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“It’s the lie that kills you”

John Rentoul

marr 300x199 Its the lie that kills youI haven’t had time until now to note Damian McBride’s heartwarming praise of Gordon Brown’s integrity in Saturday’s Independent when confronted by a difficult choice between truth and advantage:

The only time I saw Gordon Brown face anything like that dilemma was when a journalist asked me if Tom Watson had visited his Scottish home prior to the 2006 “coup” against Tony Blair.

They had no evidence and asked the question with no confidence. So when Gordon told me Tom had indeed visited, I said – to my shame – we could probably get away with it. He replied instantly: “Never do that. It’s the lie that kills you.”’

What a shame that Brown ignored his own advice when he said that the opinion polls were irrelevant to his decision to call off plans for a general election in the autumn of 2007. When Andrew Marr asked him in that recorded interview on 6 October 2007 about the polls that had turned against him, Brown said:

If I’m honest, the real reason that I have decided is that I believe the country deserves to see from us our vision for change for the future, and the implementation of it, in a way that was not possible, let’s be honest, because of the events of the summer.

His advice was proven right. His credibility never recovered.

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  • http://twitter.com/220_d_92_20 David Boothroyd

    2007 not 2010, I think. But Brown could have been honest and convincing if he had answered that the opinion polls were shifting rapidly, which indicated that a large part of the electorate was in a state of uncertainty. It was unfair to force them to the polls to choose a government for the next five years when the Prime Minister was new in office and the main opposition party had not completed its policymaking process, and therefore the choice at a general election was unclear.

  • Junius

    When John Major left office, bequeathing Labour an economy in sound condition, he also left Tony Blair a bottle of champagne together with a note saying ‘It’s a great job – enjoy it.’

    When Tony Blair left office after his final PMQs, following the palace coup in which Tom Watson (Postman Pat videos delivered countrywide, no distance too great) had been complicit, David Cameron led Tory PMs in the applause for the departing prime minister.

    When Gordon Brown left office, bequeathing the Coalition an economy in tatters, he had neither the courage nor the courtesy to appear in the Commons to congratulate the new tenant of Ten Downing Street. Instead he slunk away, leaving the duty to Harriet Harman. Mr Brown’s erstwhile Chief Secretary of the Treasury did leave a note, but no champagne, jocularly advising his successor there was no money left – although he did manage to scrape together enough small change to pocket a severance payment of a tad under 20 grand.

    That tells one all one needs to know about the character of the son of the manse and self-proclaimed moral compass bearer. As to the character of Damian McBride, one learns all one needs to know by reading Alistair Darling’s Back from the Brink.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnRentoul John Rentoul

    Thanks for correcting me!

  • creggancowboy

    His credibility never recovered from saying he would overturn Blair’s human rights abuses and excesses in anti “terrorism”. Blair, Brown, Miliband same old (cont p 9)

  • TrulyDISQUSted

    His credibility disappeared the day he sold off half of the UK’s Gold Reserves, having announced the sale in advance to ensure bargain basement prices.

    Pity none of the legal types didn’t explain that it wasn’t actually his gold.

    Please don’t mention this hideous man’s name again in any article unless it’s to tell us he is dead so that the street parties can be arranged.


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