+ + + Brown Spotted In Westminster + + +

Isn’t it funny how Brown won’t turn up to Parliament to represent the people of Kirkcaldy and earn the £65,738, plus expenses and the pension, we pay him? Instead he goes around the world as he bids to restore his reputation, banking thousands for speeches while he does so. Yet Obama turns up, and he’s up there like a greyhound. Perhaps it was to complain that those DVDs didn’t work…

Osborne Would Block Brown

Despite assuring us that he intended to disappear into the obscurity of the lefty charity world, the horror of Gordon becoming the head of the IMF somehow seems possible. On manoeuvres in Bretton Woods, Brown has been lobbying, without a trace of irony, to take the leadership of the body which is charged with managing deficits in cash strapped countries. Another week where the people of Kirkcaldy have been well represented in Parliament. 

Guido isn’t so sure he’s quite the shoe in that he is briefing he is, though perhaps they were impressed with his prudent management style and understanding of how governments can rack up such huge debts. Osborne’s people have made it clear that they would block the £270,000 pa appointment: “It would be an insult to the British public if Gordon Brown were to be put forward for this job. This is the man who wrecked the British economy and has never apologised. It is not going to happen on our watch.”

Guido won’t be buying back those Nokia shares just yet.

Going, Going, Gordon

So Gordon’s spokesgirl Kirsty McNeill denies that he is going anywhere. It seems the Labour MPs in the tea-room may have been getting a little ahead of themselves. Those so quick to accept her line completely might like to ask her why she is touting her CV around London head hunters though…

In nearly a year of being paid over £5,000 a month to represent the people of Kirkcaldy, Brown’s attendance record proves what everyone already knows – that his heart is not in it. He doesn’t turn up at debates, has asked just a handful of written questions and has done nothing to earn his taxpayer-funded salary. If he’s not really planning on shortly moving on, why not?

UPDATE: A co-conspirator writes:

Worth pointing out that likely successor John Park MSP suddenly stood down from his FPTP seat in the Edinburgh elections. Easing the way for a move to Westminster despite being Labour’s election coordinator.

Where's Gordon™? – Being Leant On

You can imagine the fingers of blame pointing already…

Forsaken

It is a sad new tradition that at the start of PMQs tribute is paid to fallen soldiers. Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, of the First Military Working Dog Regiment, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed by small arms fire on patrol with his dog in Helmand Province on Tuesday of last week.

His springer spaniel, Theo, suffered a seizure shortly afterwards and died. The British are very sentimental about dogs and combined with the death of young Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, who was flown back from Helmand with Theo, this story touched the hearts of many.  On Wednesday at PMQs he was given the customary and deserved tribute by the PM and the leader of the opposition.

The Speaker in this situation often gives priority to the constituency MP of the fallen hero to say a few words of comfort. No such comfort was offered on this occasion. Liam Tasker was born in Kirkcaldy.

The Easiest Job in the World

Gordon Sarah Brown PPS McGovernAlison McGovern hasn’t had a glittering career outside of politics. According to her website she was head girl at school in 1998, don’t you know, then on to UCL. She worked briefly as a researcher at the House of Commons before going to spin for Network Rail. She was elected in May, and as Guido reported at the time, immediately promoted to the dubious role of Gordon Brown’s PPS. Though no longer a frontbencher, or even a participating Member of Parliament, Gordon found it necessary to recruit such a minion.

You would think that after Brown’s abject failure to turn up to Parliament to represent the people of Kirkcaldy, Alison would have quietly dropped the laughable non-job description, but no, she is still using it today to promote her role as a Labour Yes2AV spokesman. So how has Gordon been keeping his PPS busy?

The  job normally entails:

  • Being with the Minister at all times in the Chamber and for meetings on the Parliamentary estate. Gordon has given one backbench speech in an adjournment debate since May 2010 and asked a handful of written questions.
  • Liaising between Commons and your bosses Government department. Gordon doesn’t have a department.
  • Controlling access to the boss for other MPs who want to see him. Would anybody be seen dead seeking Brown’s advice?

Many would argue there is little point to Gordon Brown in his current role, let alone his PPS.

Tony and Gordon's Charitable Tax Dodging

Gordon Brown’s constituents in Kircaldy must be delighted to hear that their part time MP is making a cool £15,000 an hour on the international stage. It’s no wonder he was so quick to give the money from his dire book sales to charity, on top of what he is raking in from speaking he would have only lost most of it in tax anyway. The rest of the cash is apparently going straight to The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown and thus his staff and operation. If he paid his staff out of his fees they would be paid out of 50% post-tax income, this way they are paid out of untaxed income – a handy little tax dodge.The GB/SB Office is not a charity though, unlike the similar structure Blair has set up.

Through his Sports foundation, a charity, Blair is able to avoid paying tax on income he receives. The charity comes into question when it is revealed that the charity isn’t really doing very much. They paid more in staff costs in the last quarter than they spent on charitable activity. A similar get up is going on with the Faith Foundation which employs old loyalists like Ruth Turner at £120,000 a pop. With Blair’s staff costs rumoured to be a £5m a year, that’s a heck of a lot of cash saved through the donations and “charity” staff.

UPDATE: Guido is trying to get hold of someone from UK Uncut who will no doubt be livid about such practices. Right?

Brown Blows Balls Line

Brown popped up to represent his constituents in Kirkcaldy on the American news channel CNBC earlier. Guido is sure Ed Balls was as happy as he was to see him. Given Osborne has spent the last six years systematically trashing Gordon Brown’s reputation, it must hurt when he is compared to the old Prime Mentalist. However there are those that suggest the two have more in common than just recent appearances, particularly in regard to the politicisation of the Treasury. It’s not every day that you get such a clear comparison though. Who was it that said:

“Then we had a terrible month of weather which hindered transport and communications in business in the country.Obviously it has been a difficult few months. But that just shows just how fragile the recovery is.”

Yep, Gordon Brown in April 2010 blaming the less than encouraging rise in growth on the snow rather than his own taxation policy. Surely Osborne wouldn’t follow suit…

"Mer Mer Mer Mister Speaker…"

One time only, for the first time in six months, here’s Gordon:

Happy Halloween

Watch out for the deficit denying undead zombies:

Where’s Gordon's™ Courage?

We are a week or two now short of having paid Gordon Brown to stay at home for six months writing his Beyond the Crash – How I Saved the World book. Guido has no objection to him embarking on a new career as a fiction writer, it is just that he sees no reason why the taxpayer should subsidise his writing.

He has only deigned to vote on one day since being rejected by the people, September 6. The only other day of attendance was to be sworn in, effectively to clock on for his pay.

He has not seen fit to give us the benefit of his experience during the debates on the Spending Review, the Emergency Budget or in fact any other subject. If he is saving it all up for his book than he should have the courage to resign and move on.

There were rumours that he would resign his seat after the election of a new leader of the Labour Party. Well, what is he waiting for, none of his former comrades want him and he is clearly too scared of the mockery that he would face in the chamber to contribute to the proceedings of the House. Either he contributes to Parliament or he leaves it.  The taxpayers do not owe him a sinecure, the taxpayers have enough debts due to Gordon already…

Where's Gordon™? – Rumour Says In the Village

Word reaches Guido that Gordon Brown is taking some time out of the final editing stage of his book and is in town today for Osborne’s speech. There is no way that the Speaker wouldn’t call upon him if he was to rise. If he does turn up he will be a lightning rod for the government benches to point the finger of blame at for the cuts that are coming. What will he have to say for himself?

Guido doesn’t quite understand the logic of him being there, but then that was always the way with Gordon…

Friday Caption Contest (Naughty Chair Edition)

This week there is a copy of Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley’s comprehensive “The British General Election 2010” up for grabs for the wittiest caption comment.

Usual rules apply, competition closes midday Saturday…

The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown

The official line is that Gordon will not be commenting on Blair’s confirmation that he was indeed a dreadful PM and appalling team-mate, but then we’ve all heard that before. Instead he has chosen today, randomly, to announce the setting up of The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown that will be paid for by his after-dinner speeches. So it won’t be creating many jobs then.

In a dig a Tony his statement makes much out of the various, unpaid, international aid roles he  is taking up. There was some speculation he was taking soundings for Shadow International Development Secretary, but today’s statement gives no mention of that.  So still no news on whether he intends to turn up to Parliament next week…

Have You Seen This Man?

Back in June when David Cameron’s helicopter was diverted in Afghanistan, officials described it as a routine precaution. News this morning has emerged though that the PM was in a lot more danger than originally thought. Military chiefs are urging a comprehensive review of the Prime Minister’s security. It is believed they are seeking this man in connection to the attempt to shoot down the chopper:

Yeah, ok, it’s the last Friday of silly season…

BrownAid

As the new parliamentary term and Gordon’s book launch approaches, Guido is hearing whispers as to his future plans. Given he has managed to turn up to work just twice since the election, it’s good news that the people of Kirkcaldy – might actually get the representation they deserve.

Apparently Gordon is taking soundings about standing in the Shadow Cabinet elections, specifically seeking the role of Shadow International Development Secretary. It would be a first if he actually won a contested party election… Andrew Mitchell must be quaking in his boots. Not.

Proof Gordon Is Wasting Money

Brown is, we are told, pounding out 10,000 words per day. If he were the “Fastest Typist In The World” (150 words per minute), then this would only take him 67 minutes of each day. Leaving him plenty of time to do those constituency duties which he claims he is still doing.

But Gordon isn’t the “Fastest Typist in the World”. Let’s assume he’s a ‘fast’ typist (40wpm), then his 10k marathons will be taking him four hours and ten minutes of each day. Assuming he is doing constituency work until, say six in the evening (as he is paid to do), then he’ll be working until around 11pm each night. Meaning he won’t see his kids. Which Brown professes not to do, so we must assume therefore that he’s letting his book time eat into his constituency work.

More than likely he’s officially a ‘slow’ typist (23wpm). In which case he’ll be spending seven hours and fifteen minutes of publicly paid time on his book. Even allowing him two or three hours for constituency work, that’s a pretty busy day. But those times are merely for copy taking…

What’s the average typing speed when someone is composing? Well, that’s just 19wpm. And how long would it take to compose 10,000 words if one is typing at 19wpm? On average, not taking account for poor eyesight and periodic fits of rage, it would take eight hours and forty-five minutes. Pretty much the same as a full working day, that the taxpayer, not Simon and Schuster is footing the bill for..

Maths via email from Stephen Bray

Brown's Unnecessary Minion

Though no longer a front-bencher, or even a participating Member of Parliament, Gordon has found it necessary to recruit a PPS. Alison McGovern, newly elected MP for Wirral South, has been appointed bag-carrier-in-chief . While he sits at home in Fife, rocking, back and forth, spinning his disastrous economic record, she will be working in Westminster on his behalf. Why can’t he do it? Guido recommends  she spend more time shoring up her own ultra-marginal constituency.

As suspected, Brown didn’t hang around for last night’s vote on the Education Bill. Welsh Lib Dem Jenny Willott is the only other mainland MP that has been completely absent from this session – she’s just had a kid. There are those that say Brown is having yet another dig at Blair’s post-Downing Street behaviour by staying on, but what is the point if he isn’t actually going to engage? At least Blair didn’t bother trying to pretend he still cared.

Gordon Lurking, Still Shirking Working

Rumours flitted on EyeSpy.MP that Gordon was on the parliamentary estate, Twittering politicos said he was seen at the end of the chamber during questions to Culture Media Sport Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

So he was, lurking briefly by the Speaker’s chair, greeting a few TaliBrown cronies before he went off to do violence to a keyboard banging out another 10,000 words of his “I Was Right” memoir.

Guido has yet to check the record, but suspects Brown did not bother to vote late last night on the Education Bill…

Gordon's "I Was Right" Out in November

Gordon Brown’s as-yet-untitled tome on why he was right about everything and the nasty Tories got the global financial crisis all wrong will be published in November by Simon & Schuster. The fact all the profits will be donated to charity does not excuse the fact the taxpayer will be picking up the tab while Gordon taps the keys.[…] Read the rest

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Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

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