Confessions of a Brownite
Most enjoyable morning being accused by Polly Toynbee on Radio 4 Today (8.15) of “stirring” things between Blairites and Brownites in an essentially united Labour Party. On the day that a Brownite serialised his memoir of viciousness and (a bit of) repentance in a Conservative newspaper.
I read the extracts on the Tube to the studio and my stomach lurched at Damian McBride’s description of his motive:
Until I completely lost my way at the end, everything I did as Gordon’s spin doctor, I did out of devotion, out of loyalty and out of some degree of love for the greatest man I ever met.
One imagines Brown as a cross between Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Albus Dumbledore.
Three other quotations stood out for me:
The unspoken word was from me to him [Brown], and said: “Don’t question my methods.”
That seems to sum up the Brownite operation: Brown, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband knew perfectly well what McBride was up to and trusted him to get on with it.
The second quotation is McBride’s absurd pretence that Brown’s campaign against Blair was about ideology. David Miliband had to be stopped, McBride says, because he was
determined, as Gordon would see it, to take the party down routes he had resisted for more than a decade — creeping privatisation of public services, closer integration with Europe.
The ideological division in the Labour Party is real enough, but it was exploited ruthlessly by Brown out of personal ambition rather than conviction.
The third quotation is from Liz Lloyd, Blair’s deputy chief of staff, to Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, the Blairite whose cache of emails was given to The Guardian yesterday as a spoiler for McBride’s book, about David Miliband in 2006:
I still cannot get up the courage to tell him his country needs him.
Why ever not?
Still, this morning Polly accepted that the Brownites behaved worse than the Blairites in that factional struggle. That’s a Labour gain.Tagged in: Damian McBride, ed miliband, Gordon Brown
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