Brown on Murdoch evidence “This conversation never took place”

11th June, 2012 2:50 pm

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  • cjcjc

    Anyone believe him?
    And he didn’t get his rotties to undermine Blair, either, right?

    • AlanGiles

      If it is a case of taking the word of Brown (or even Cameron or Clegg) over the rotten Murdoch and his equally dubious senior staff, then yes I would believe him. It has been proven that both Murdochs and their poodle Rebekkah Brooks were both economical with the actualitie at the Levinson enquiry – and Coulson…….

      • Hugh

         On much of his testimony it seems to be a case of taking his word over that of everyone else. It’s hard not to conclude that Brown wasn’t just economical with the actualitie in denying he knew of any plot to unseat Blair; he flat out lied. So why, exactly, would he tell the truth about this?

        Incidentally, which part of Rebekkah Brook’ testimony do you have in mind when you say it’s been proven she was disingenuous? 

        • AlanGiles

          Listen to some of her weak responses to the questioning of Mr Jay. She was being disingenuous to put it mildly that she didn’t think that by whipping up hostility  in the most sex-ridden scandal sheet, and publishing names and addresses the readers of the NoTW were likely to take action themselves, especially given the public distaste (understandably) on the subject of paedophilia – and lets be blunt about it – the average reader of scandal amonst “celebrities” and TV personalites, is not the most intelligent or discriminating of readers. Wade (as she then was) must have been advised on the wisdom of doing such things, but decided she knew best. She didn’t.

          On the subject of old Murdoch. Please cast your mind back to last summer when he appeared in the Commons in tandem with his son. Prior to the hearing, a few days earlier, when asked what his priorities were, he answered “this one” (gesturing to Brooks) in a strong voice. The day after he gave his evidence, if what he said can be dignified by the word, his voice was strong and clear again – but on the actual dayof the hearing – he gave the impression that he was elderly, confused, dazed and even a little gaga. You felt if he had been asked what day of the week it was, he would have had to defer to  his son.

          “Mr. Rupert” was plainly putting on a performance, for the benefit of the media and the politicians. Now why he did this is debateable, though the most obvious explanation was that if he had been his usual self the questioning of “Mr Rupert” would have been much more robust.

          I think it is fair comment to say he was prevaricating on that occassion, and if you think of that day and his demeanour both fore and aft of it, either he was being incredible, or he was trying to create a false impression of his state of mind (“this is the most humble dfay of my life”). If you reach the conclusion he was putting it on, then you are perfectly entitled to do so.

          • Dave Postles

            Doesn’t it seem strange that Murdoch accused Brown of ‘waging war’ on NI when that was pretty much the phrase used by Cable?

          • treborc1

            I find nothing about the Murdock’s, New labour or the Tories strange , it’s just unlucky i suspect the Liberals did not get caught up somewhere, or they are so unimportant nobody cares.

          • Dave Postles

             LibDems: pusillanimous.  If they believe that there is a case for Hunt to be referred to the adjudicator on the ministerial code, they should allow a free vote, not this subterfuge of abstention/absence.  They have no convictions or principles.

          • Hugh

             Terming it “disingenuous” isn’t putting it mildly, it’s putting the strongest phrasing on it that the facts really allow. Given that the campaign was based on “Megan’s Law” in the US, which apparently manages to operate without societal meltdown, I’m not entirely clear how dishonest Brooks was to claim she didn’t see violent outbursts as inevitable (of which there were precious few, in any case, as far as I can tell).

            It is also worth noting that we now actually have a “Sarah’s Law” enacted (albeit different to that envisaged by the paper, but one that would, nonetheless, probably not exist without its intervention). 

            Brown’s testimony, meanwhile, could bear a more disparaging term.

          • AlanGiles

            Hugh, if I didnt know better I would say that you are either Charlie Brooks – or – and I think this is more likely – you have a crush on the rat-nest haired harridan.

            For all his faults (I will never forgive him for allowing Purnell his head) Brown isn’t a fool. If he lied under oath (and he is a son of the Manse remember) he would be guilty of perjury and if found guilty would end his career in public life. OTOH Brooks and the Murdochs have little to lose – they may well face charges anyway, and in any case I should think her career is already over in the UK (no doubt she will be well taken care of by Daddy Murdoch), and both Murdochs have lost their omnipotence in British media, their biggest cash cow (NOTW) is no more.Taking power away from people like “Mr Rupert” is dangerous (like the old gangsters they “send the boys round” metaphorically).

            The Browns had already lost one child in tragic circumstances – in any case, the medical problems of their son was a private matter and NI should have had the decency not to intrude.

            I have to say that only a few witnesses have emerged with any credit from this: it seems to me Vince Cable, John Major and Gordon Brown were the only ones amongst the politicians to sound authentic and genuine. Most of the others sounded cagey.

            John Major in particular was very measured in his evidence: if he says Murdoch asked him to change his policies, I believe him (which immediately shows R. Murdoch up in another lie). Why should JM lie?. He is no longer in office, or seeking it. I can’t forgive him rail privatisation, but, again, as somebody who opposed his government, I would still say that his word is more believeable than the N.I. trash

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            “For all his faults …. Brown isn’t a fool. If he lied under oath …. he would be guilty of perjury and if found guilty would end his career in public life. “

            1.  I do believe that Brown is a fool, and a liar as well on this and many other matters.  Son of the Manse or not.
            2.  I very much hope that he is charged and found guilty of perjury.  That would be an unexpected, but welcome outcome of the Leveson enquiry.
            3.  The current situation is that Brown has no career in public life.  That does not stop him drawing an MP’s salary and significant expenses.

          • AlanGiles

            Jaime I am surprised at you. You claim to have no political affiliations yet you would rather accept the word of a dodgy newspaper proprietor and his conniving editor,  whose evidence has been contradicted not just by Labour politicians but a former Conservative Prime Minister?

            So if Brown is lying, so is John Major, Vince Cable and a whole host of other people?. Why?. What can they gain by lying under oath? – after all it is not they who are in danger of prosecution.

            Frankly if Murdoch or Brooks told me it was Wednesday I would want to check the calendar to make sure they were telling the truth.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Alan,

            I’m anti-Brown, not pro-anything else.  There is 13 years of evidence of his incompetence.  I don’t think I read any NI papers, so don’t knowingly follow any agenda they may have.

            I did see one report that the Westminster lobby could not collectively believe what Brown was saying.  These are the people who get leaked to.  If these serious journalists don’t believe him, who could?

            I don’t think Cable or Major are relevant – they were not part of Labour’s Government, so would not have had the inside track on which Labour Minister or SPAD was leaking to which journalist.  You only have to look at Ed Miliband’s own words of yesterday – also under oath in front of Leveson – to see that he was effectively declaring Gordon Brown to be a liar.

            I suspect that in the end, post-Leveson, Gordon Brown will not be charged, because that is not the purpose of the Leveson enquiry.  But his reputation will deservedly take another downward spiral, and no one will trust anything he says.

            Gordon Brown reached the peak of his personal competence as a lecturer in a College of Further Education, nearly 25 years ago.  It is a national disgrace, a disgrace to the Labour Party and also to the selection committee of his constituency that he was ever allowed onto the national stage.  It is a continuing disgrace to the Labour Party that he remains an MP.

          • derek

            You got to be joking man? Ed Miliband declared Brown a liar? Murdoch gave a lecture in Edinburgh, I think it was in 2006 declaring he wanted to break down the BBC licence fee and their air time and internet interests.So his company could take up the slack.This is all about a business man that wanted to dictate government policy and when he didn’t get his way he made threats against the sitting government and you want to pin this on GB?

          • Peter Barnard

            Oh Derek, don’t give Jaime T an opening for another Gordon Brown rant … we have read so many of them over the last couple of years.

            He really should see a “trick cyclist” about his phobia/obsession.

            Hope you are well and best wishes.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            In deference to you Peter, and your reasoned interventions which I’ve found useful over the years, I’ll not take this opportunity further forward.

          • derek

            LoL @Peter, the mocking bird continues his tune. I say my post has relevance too the supposedly quasi  judicial role that the conservative never had.

          • Mike Homfray

            Agree Peter. And just about all the successes of the last Government are down to Brown in any case. Blair led us into illegal and unwinnable wars and looked good on TV. The good work on domestic policy was Gordon’s

          • Hugh

             Brown on whether his advisors briefed against colleagues: 
            “I would hope not, I have no evidence for that.”
            Miliband on the same question: “Ed Balls, no. Charlie Whelan left, I believe in 1999…one of the reasons he left was he briefed. On
            Damian McBride, when I was a Cabinet minister, I did raise a specific
            concern that I had with Mr Brown, I believe in 2008, about some of Mr
            McBride’s activities.”

          • derek

            Ain’t that just an outline of how minister conduct business with special advisers,which in turn all rebounds back on Hunt.

          • Hugh

             No

          • Hugh

             “if Brown is lying, so is John Major, Vince Cable…”

            That quite obviously doesn’t follow.

          • Hugh

            I’m pretty convinced that Brown did lie under oath, as was every journalist who heard him (not just those from the tabloids) as far as I can tell. Frankly it’s hard to believe Brown’s claim to have no knowledge of a plot to oust Blair unless one has a crush on him. The fact that you are the last person in Britain to be using Brown’s own “son of Manse” line seemingly without irony does make me wonder.

        • Dave Postles

          Brooks: she maintained that the information about Brown’s son derived from a father whose son had a similar condition.  NHS Fife now admits that one of its staff is likely to have divulged the information.

          • Hugh

             NHS Fife says one of its staff probably spoke to the paper; it confirms that no one hacked into or illegally accessed Brown’s son’s medical records; and it does nothing to refute or disprove the fact that the Sun got the story from a father whose son had a similar condition. The Sun meanwhile, apparently has an affidavit from that father.

            Brown, meanwhile, was so cut up about this that he kept his anger to himself for five years (how uncharacteristic) until after the Sun had dropped its support and in the meantime maintained a friendly relationship with the editor he blamed.

            And Brooks is the dishonest one?

          • treborc1

            One thing is for sure if a father gave up information about Brown, you can get your bottom dollar it was paid for, and that is the same as hacking is it not.

          • Hugh

             You mean aside from the fact that it’s not illegal?

          • treborc1

            I thought paying for information which is private would be illegal.

            If I said ah yes Fred the carpenter was in hospital with his child and his child has the same problem as Gordon Browns, that would be hear say since  it’s not fact.

            But if you paid say a Junior doctor to look at the medical file and then gave the information which is private, then would not the data information act mean you broke the law.

          • Hugh

            “if you paid say a Junior doctor to look at the medical file and then
            gave the information which is private, then would not the data
            information act mean you broke the law.”

            Yes, it would be. There’s no evidence they did.

            Hearsay is a judicial term for evidence and whether it’s admissible in a legal proceedings. It has nothing to do with whether it is factual or enough to stand up a newspaper report.

          • Dave Postles

             It would become material if the newspaper was brought into libel proceedings, so any hearsay would be referred by any prudent newspaper editor to the paper’s legal advisers – or should be.

          • Hugh

             What libel do you imagine was involved? It is also principally a problem for criminal cases. Hearsay is generally admissible in civil law.

          • Dave Postles

             If The Sun has an affidavit, why hasn’t it placed it before the Leveson inquiry?  Even so, The Sun went to the extent of blagging the information – it would seem pretty certain that the reporter didn’t ring NHS Fife and introduce him/herself as a reporter from The Sun

          • Hugh

             ” If The Sun has an affidavit, why hasn’t it placed it before the Leveson inquiry?”

            Because it would reveal their source, apparently.

             “Even so, The Sun went to the extent of blagging the information”

            I don’t think there’s any evidence of that at all.

            “it would seem pretty certain that the reporter didn’t ring NHS Fife and introduce him/herself as a reporter from The Sun. ”

            I don’t think that’s particularly unlikely at all.

          • Dave Postles

             1 No, it doesn’t necessarily reveal the source.  It can be made available to the enquiry in camera, but revealed that it has been submitted without divulging the contents.
            2 How else do you explain the release of the information?
            3 It seems fatuous to expect that anyone would reveal such information to someone who identified him/herself as a reporter for a national newspaper.

          • Hugh

             1. As far as I know all the evidence submitted to the enquiry is available to the public. It’s rather fundamental to the process. That’s why journalists traditionally go to prison rather than reveal their sources even where a court demands it.

            2 and 3. It’s how journalists get information all the time: speaking to contacts who they persuade or are eager to say more than their employees would like them to.

    • treborc1

       Yes me sadly, I cannot stand the bloke, but I suspect if it comes to Brown and Murdock’s lot well sadly it’s Brown.

      As for his wife friendship, well that’s politics for you women tend to take friendship above politics.

      you want to hear pure Bull sh*t go and listen to Major.

      • toni

         I watched Major’s evidence and didn’t think he was talking sh*t.

        In reference to Murdoch he mentions a private dinner with the two of them and their wives –
        (Quote from the BBC) “He said the discussion was one he was unlikely to forget. “It is not often
        someone sits in front of a prime minister and says to a prime minister ‘I would
        like you to change your policy (on Europe) or my organisation cannot support you’,”

        (In April, Mr Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry: “I have never asked a prime
        minister for anything.”)

        Sir John said that newspaper owners should not be allowed to get away with the suggestion that they weren’t aware of what their papers were publishing.  

        Sir John refers to holidays where his privacy was invaded and doctored pictures published, and utterly disputes the vile McKenzies famous anecdote about pouring the bucket of sh*t over his head.

        In regards to GB and his child, remember Ann Diamond and the death of her baby? The horrendous position the Sun placed her in. She didn’t agree to that either, and up til recently McKenzie still demeans her testimony and her personally. 
        So if people here would sooner believe Murdock, Brooks and co, your choice, but I’ll stick with GB.
        Btw. Sir John also spoke very warmly about Neil Kinnock. Read the transcript. 

        • treborc1

          You  may think these people are now heros for telling it as it is, why did you not do it back when Murdock said it, if Major had stated this back when he was in power, Murdock would not now be here.

          But nope they are all like a band of old mates, Brown Major Cameron, I do not believe any of them if you brought in a pile of bibles.

    • treborc1

       Do you really think Blair left because of Brown, if you do it does not say to much of Blair does it. Blair left to get to America to ensure what ever was promised was paid.

      • derek

        Yep! good point Trebroc and lets not forget that Blair made a public statement that he wouldn’t serve another full- terms but what stands out most from Leveson’s inquiry is the closeness of government and the press, so did Murdoch tell Blair at a meeting that the sun wouldn’t support Brown because Blair did recant that statement and went public with another statement to say he would serve a full- third term?

        We all know that it’s wasn’t 2010 when Murdoch ditched labour, it was as some as Brown took office and they ran a press headline in the sun-“labour has lost it”

      • Hugh

         Odd that the announcement and timing happened to coincide with the resignation of Brown’s allies and demands for a date, isn’t it?

        • treborc1

          Deals done to lead the party come undone.

          • Hugh

             Yes, they do – as Gordon knows from his earlier efforts, but that doesn’t really alter the fact that pretty much every political analyst and journalist seemed to conclude Blair was forced out, and I’d argue that’s likely to be how history records it.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6238194.stm

          • treborc1

             Rubbish, Blair had the Progress group behind it will all it’s MP’s plus the hangers on who replied on Brown like the Mandy’s.

            Blair to Brown hello mate tell you what look your sacked.

            Brown and his little group would have been dead, because without power Brown was nothing, unless of course he had something on him

  • Bill Lockhart

    Brown and the truth are completely estranged. His web of lies about the sorry business of their son’s illness is made obvious by the simple fact of the continuation of his wife’s personal friendship with Brooks after the event- literally unimaginable thus proving his version untrue. He reflexively lies to himself  and everyone else whenever one of his strange, nasty intrigues comes to light. His pathology is frankly disturbing.  Thank God there was never a nuclear button moment when he held power.

    • derek

      NHS Fife say it’s highly likely that an employee released G Brown sons medical condition. So did the Sun pay for that information? It completely contradicts Brook’s evidence as the Brown’s wanted to air a public statement but the Sun wanted press time.

    • Chilbaldi

      No. It is perfectly imaginable when looked at in context. Brown and Co needed the Murdoch empire onside, at least this is what was perceived. As a result it is perfectly conceivable that the Browns would maintain some sort of a relationship and that Sarah Brown, ever the dutiful wife, would do her bit for Gordon.

      • Bill Lockhart

         So, at best, Brown is an unspeakable hpyocrite who encouraged his wife to maintain a friendship with a woman who he now says had put them through emotional hell, all for political advantage.  Your version makes him even worse than mine.

        • Chilbaldi

           It makes him cold and calculating, which we all know he is in political terms.

          But the issue here is not Brown – it is whether Brooks and Co acted incorrectly in this matter. I think the evidence points towards yes.

          • Bill Lockhart

             Brooks and Co  may well have acted “incorrectly”- that certainly does not prove that Brown is telling the truth. I think the evidence points towards him lying.

      • Hugh

         Some sort of relationship including pajama parties.

    • treborc1

       Which proves since Thatcher left power we have had the longest run of a conservative Government in memory, and they all sold out to the Murdock’s who basically ran the country

  • Daniel Speight

    John Major on Tony Blair today.

    “In many ways Blair was to the right of me,” Major says.

    “I had gone swimming on the Thames and left my clothes on the riverbank and when I came back Mr Blair was wearing them,” he adds.

    • treborc1

      That suit of clothes is wearing well, because Cameron got it back.

  • GKar

    Blair? Brown? I’m damn glad they’re both gone. They’re just opposite ends of the same New Labour worm!

  • Thomas_Stephens

    I think Brown’s most powerful point is as follows: 

    “I
    ask you, if any mother or any father was presented with a choice as
    to whether a 4-month old son’s medical condition – your child’s
    medical condition – should be broadcast on the front page of a
    tabloid newspaper, and you had a choice on this matter, I don’t think
    there’s any parent in the land who would have made the choice that we
    are told we made to give explicit permission for that to happen[.]”

    More
    than that, though: the Sun like to have their cake and eat it on
    matters regarding Brown’s personality here. The Brown of 2007-2010
    was a dour, reserved Scotsman with little skill in the public sphere;
    he kept his private life – and that of his children – firmly out
    of the public eye. Their take of Brown’s actions here does not make
    sense considering their traditional character assesment of him –
    and even Brown’s critics should accept how utterly ludicrous News
    International’s claims are here. 

    However,
    there is a very important legal aspect to this issue. As
    Brown says:

    “If
    people are able to say in the aftermath of something like this that
    they’ve had explicit permission when they haven’t, and they can claim
    ex post facto that permission was given when there’s no evidence that
    it was, then this practice will go on and on and on and children’s
    information … will go into the public arena[.]”

    Let’s
    make it clear: there is no evidence – other than oral testimony –
    that Brown explicitly said no to this information being published.
    Conversely, there is no evidence – other than oral testimony –
    that Brown gave permission for it to be published. Neither party has
    backed their claims with written transcripts, as no written
    transcripts were made. But legally, in such a case, who does the law side
    with in this matter? Is it really appropriate to simply call it a
    draw?

    Take
    this case away from the politicians – and make it one about a
    mother and a father faced with the publication of sensitive data
    about their child by a media proprietor – and the situation becomes
    clearer. It is the people affected by the case – and not the Media
    operatives – who the law should side with. The onus is not on them
    to keep an evidential record of what they said to the press. That
    obligation belongs to the people who published the story. NewsCorp
    have not provided this information. Love Gordon or hate him, it really is absolutely ridiculous to take NewsCorp’s side in this whole affair. 

    • Logically and cogently argued Thomas, and prima facie I would have agreed with you, except you miss the point that Brown subsequently undermined his own reliability as a witness in respect of his denial of press briefings regarding ousting Blair (which appear to be at odds with the testimony of Ed Miliband, and given the collective press response I strongly suspect will be seen as an unreliable account).

      Once a witness is suspect of providing a full and truthful account in one regard, it is harder to find for them in another, whether they are actually being truthful there or not.

      • derek

        David, Blair had made a public statement that he wouldn’t serve a full-third term, now it’s naive to think that talks on change of leadership hadn’t taken place? of course Blair did try and recant that statement but why?

        • Hugh

          Your point is somewhat undermined by the fact that Blair’s public statement prior to the election was exactly the opposite: that he would serve a full third term, but would stand down in time the next election. He ended up resigning less than half way through the term and almost three years before the eventual election.

           I’ve never seen a serious journalist or political analyst anywhere suggest anything other than that Blair was forced out. Have you?

          • derek

            In fairness I think you refer to a secondary account? Blair made the statement that he wouldn’t serve a full-third term and yes he then recanted.My initiative  is, that Blair initiated a change which would have involved a preference change and time.

          • Hugh

            I refer to his commitment to serve a full third term made at the Labour party conference. (I believe Brown would have been there).

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2004/oct/01/uk.labourconference2

            And on the eve of the election in 2005, he confirmed to John Humphries he would serve a full third term – denying even that he’d need to stand down 6 to 9 months prior to an election.

            http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/when%20did%20blair%20promise%20to%20step%20down/169525.html

            He only “recanted” from that position after pressure from Brown’s allies.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blair-backs-down-on-full-term-pledge-but-refuses-to-set-a-date-477415.html

            What secondary account are you refering to?

          • AlanGiles

            Honestly Hugh, you get more naive by the day. Blair SAID a lot of things, but didn’t need them.

            A few examples:

            1996: Blair announces if he wins the general election he will renationalise the railway network and scrap Gillian Shepherd’s JSA.

            He never did, and I doubt he ever intended to.

            Blair said he would serve a full term in the hope that enough Conservatives and conservative “Labour” types would continue to support him – he knew that much of Labour and the country hadn’t forgiven him for Iraq (and he was right – he lost half his majority at the 2005 election).My suspicion is that Blair guessed that, to quote Noel Coward “there are bad times just around the corner” and got out while the going was good – just as his pal Richard Branson so generously sold his “Virgin” record empire to Zavvi – just about a year before the **** hit the fan.

            I would take anything Blair said with a cellarful of salt, if I were you. I always did.

          • Hugh

            “My suspicion is that Blair guessed that, to quote Noel Coward “there are
            bad times just around the corner” and got out while the going was good”

            Yes, how naive, as are, evidently, the BBC, Guardian, Independent and all the  media you don’t like – all of whom seem to be under the impression Blair was pushed from office by the Brownites. You and Derek, though, are canny enough to see the truth (but, cryptically, are opting to keep your evidence secret).

          • AlanGiles

            I would never have had you down as a secret Blair lover, Hugh!

            Some of the other things Blair said:

            “My government will be purer-than-pure”

            The reality: Peter Mandelson, Stephen Byres, Ron davies, David Blunkett etc etc etc

            “I am a pretty straight kind of guy”

            The reality: Dodgy dossiers, Cash for Honours, the only serving P.M. to be interviewed by the police in connection with a criminal investigation (so far that is…)

          • Hugh

             I think you’re probably clever enough to see that Blair being dishonest and his departure being the result of Brown’s allies forcing him from office are not mutually exclusive propositions.

          • derek

            Hugh, did you read the first paragraph of the guardian link? the full-term would be cut short before a general election.


            08/03/2003 03:14 PMID: 31927Permalink   Tony Blair won’t stay if he was no longer wanted Peter Mandelson, a former cabinet member, has said that Tony Blair may not serve out a full third term if he wins the next election.He said Mr Blair would not ‘go on and on and on and on beyond the point where he was no longer wanted’. This raised the prospect of handing the Prime Minister position over to someone else during the third term.This contradicts Lord Falconer’s statement last week that said he expected Mr Blair to serve a full third term. A remark that angered supporters of the Chancellor who is believed to still hold an ambition for the job himself.”Whether you suggest that Blair’s heart flutter or labour’s failing votes were pertinent, Blair initiated  a change over of leadership, now were not talking about some deal in a Scottish food store  post John Smith, were talking Tony Blair post Iraq and 200,000 lost members.

          • Hugh

            Have you? The 1st para of the one I gave reads: “Tony Blair last night reshaped the landscape of British politics by
            announcing that he will fight the coming general election and, if
            re-elected, serve a full third term as prime minister, but stand down
            before the likely election of 2009.”

            1) That doesn’t really suggest he would stand down less than halfway through does it?
            2) Your quote, as far as I can tell comes from an ITV report from 2003 – a year earlier.
            3) It’s not Blair saying it.
            4) It was exactly this speculation he was trying to put a stop to in his 2004 and 05 statements
            5) 2004 and 2005 are post Iraq and 200,000 members lost.
            6) Tom Waton and co’s letter to Blair to go now initiated the announcment of his departure and it was quite obviously earlier than planned.

          • derek

            1/ a reasonable time scale and hand of of leadership and PM’s position wouldn’t be conducive to a short time scale.

            2/My quote was from an individual closer to Blair than the majority of labour party officials.

            3/Yes Blair, had said on several occasions that he wouldn’t go on for ever and wouldn’t stay if the party didn’t want him.

            4/No 2004 and the reform of welfare became the obstacle to Blair’s resignation.

            5/ Labours share of votes dropped annually under Blair and the invasion of Iraq 2003 saw mass protests against Blairism.

            6/No, Blair simply didn’t see Brown as the heir to new labour and reforms.Hence his Thatcherite moment to recant and continue until his preferred heir was crowned, well it worked and Cameron took the crown.

          • Hugh

             1) Full term = 4/5 years. 2005 – 2007= 2 years. Most people can tell the difference.
            2) But somewhat more distant than Blair himself.
            3) Yes, he said, he’d serve a full third term but not a fourth.
            4) Er?
            5) And..?
            6) Er, how did he recant? You’re claiming he stood down in 2007, three years before an election, voluntarily. 

          • derek

            Your contradicting your own posts? 2009 was the preferred next G.E. 2007 was a tad to late and Scotland abandoned Blair and new labour. In retrospect Brown should have gone for the 2009 election.

            Surely shome Mishtake, if you think Iraq and the build up to the invasion of Iraq wasn’t a disaster for Blair? look at all the election result after 1997, labour share of vote went down.

          • Hugh

             What you’ve written is incoherent.

          • derek

            It wouldbe nice ifyoucouldoutline your reasons?

      • Thomas_Stephens

        If I recall correctly, in his testimony Brown denied having authorised his people to make briefings against Blair and denied having knowledge of their happening; but in regards to whether they did or didn’t  he said “I would hope not.” It’s not as clear-cut as just denying press briefings, but I do still carry your point that he quite probably lied in one or two of the above points.  

        However, I don’t think it impacts on my argument. I would never deny that Brown is an immensely  paradoxical figure and I wasn’t trying to vindicate his entire testimony. I’m looking at the narrower issue of what happened regarding his son and I do think his argument here makes more sense than that of NewsCorp. Even despite making the point you have, you essentially seem to agree with me here: why would Brown – or anyone – agree to have their child’s details published? 

        Most importantly: you ignore the point that the testimony of the people in the other side of this argument is also potentially undermined. Brooks for one has been charged with perverting the course of justice. Why believe their side over Brown’s here, exactly? 

        • Brown was under oath to tell the truth when he dissembled by saying “I would hope not”.

          But frankly this is not an either-or debate: I don’t support Brooks or Murdoch and think it is highly likely that they too lied under oath, and it would be nice if they were caught out.  I also don’t support Brown; while I am not as critical as, say, Jaime (to pick a name at random 😉 ), I support his general thesis that he was a poor Prime Minister, and believe that history will, with some justification, not be kind to him.

  • derek

    Cameron’s evidence, Brown is conducting some conspiracy theory? Hmmm! civil law suit! as the PM makes a very public accusation.

    Brook’s text to Cameron just before conservative party conference,” we’re in it together” bang! bang! the mighty smoking gun!!!!!!!!!

x

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