Monday, 4 May 2009

Double Talk

Have you noticed how Politicians and businesspeople have that wonderful ability to throw a 'feint'? When asked a specific question on a matter they either conveniently manipulate the answer to a completely different question or, in some cases, they answer the question with such assertion, authority or indignation that it sounds as if they mean what they say but mean the opposite.

We have had great examples of these this week as the Government faces creeping dissatisfaction with its leadership. Harriet Harman has been pretty obvious in her desire to be the next Labour Party leader and has dismissed as 'Utter rubbish' the notion that she is plotting to be such. Her mock indignation was a little transparent as her actions give away her motives but she can conveniently point to several others who may be plotting the same.

Alan Johnson, Health Secretary, who really should have his hands full at this uncertain time with Swine Flu posing serious questions, took time to deny his desire to be leader by saying, 'I have no aspirations to be leader.' He was quite believable until he qualified it and said, 'I am not saying there are no circumstances' when asked if things changed of their own accord for the increasingly beleaguered Gordon Brown.

The vultures are certainly circling. Hazel Blears' inopportune comments about 'lamentable communication' were deemed as out of context although reading the transcript of what she said, it was pretty unequivocal as she mentioned Brown's ill-fated YouTube addresses.

It coincides with some heavy comments from a former minister who certainly felt they had been hard done by. Charles Clarke, the perennial failure, said of recent events that they had left him felling 'ashamed to be a Labour MP'. Leaping to the defence of the leadership were party heavyweights like Lord Kinnock, who asserted that infighting would hand victories to the BNP. It seems Lord Kinnock has been spending too much time abroad as the Polls have the Conservatives and Lib Dems slightly ahead of the BNP as the big threat to the Labour Government.

Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, also pledged his support to Brown and perhaps the last nail in the coffin was a rallying call from John 'Judge me on my record' Prescott who called upon members to stop whinging and get behind the leader, though I think it was not clear which leader he meant.

The duplicitous comments from a growing throng of MPs seemed to show signs of concern that the bandwagon has finally lost its wheels. A year or so ago, Brown was facing calls to end his leadership for entirely different matters, and just as the Falklands had conveniently deflected such calls on Thatcher in her reign, the Credit Crunch and Recession had helped Brown to try and recreate his image as a financially astute leader. That seems to have backfired as so many obvious mistakes have been made on comparatively small matters like Goodwin's pension that everyone is now questioning how big the mistakes have been generally.

The real wobbler came this week, after a major climbdown in the poor handling of the MPs' expenses affair, the dreadful vote of Gurkha rights to live in Britain horribly backfired and exposed how out of touch Labour thinking was on matters of honour. It seemed to expose the whole attitude before and after the main financial crises and showed where Labour, or at least the Leader's, morals lay.

He would rather support greedy bankers who ruined our economy with a total of £1.3 trillion of our money than spend a small amount in comparison on people who have pledged to die for us.

I suppose it is the way of Politics to cackle and snipe like hyenas to wear the prey down without direct attack but it is pretty clear that Brown's days are numbered. The very fact that he is being talked about at all means they are unhappy.

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