Category Archives: Brown, Gordon

Triumph of the careerist dimwits

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 08.55.53The ambitious but ungifted advance relentlessly

Dalrymple attends a conference about some forthcoming changes to the NHS. One of the lectures is given by

a lady apparatchik whose grimacing attempts at smiles, and whose bodily writhing as she tortured the English language with neologisms, acronyms and platitudes in the service of evident untruth, made Gordon Brown’s bonhomie seem like a model of spontaneity.

At one point there is

a single guffaw of contemptuous laughter. It was an illuminating moment, a flash of lightning in a moonless night-time landscape. For a moment I felt almost sorry for the speaker: you could see the panic on her face, a fear lest 150 doctors turn on her and demand explanations in comprehensible language.


doctors are far too well brought up and chivalrous. Or is it pusillanimous?

Brown was never as detestable as Blair

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Incompetence is less appalling than evil

Gordon Brown, writes Dalrymple,

may have been a flawed, even a very flawed, human being, but he was at least recognisably human.
And Brown had one quality
that moved me, and in my opinion lent him great dignity: he never made political capital of, or sought public sympathy for, his personal handicap. You have only to imagine what Blair might have made of such a handicap to understand the significance of that quality. Indeed the mind turns away from the very thought of it. I am a very poor sailor and can make myself queasy at the thought of a boat, but the very idea of Mr Blair talking of his injury and handicap gives me full-blown nausea.

ZZZ rating

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Quiet please. Research on bonds being undertaken

Moody’s has been sleeping on the job for years. Its ineptitude, writes Dalrymple, is demonstrated by the high ranking it used to accord Britain.

Dalrymple examines various aspects of the British economic mess that the rating agency, luxuriating in a deep slumber, failed to notice. For instance, the British prime minister Tony Blair used repeatedly to refer to big spending increases

as ‘investments’. So did [the chancellor and Blair’s successor as premier] Gordon Brown.


felt it unnecessary to provide evidence that this spending brought benefit, economic or otherwise, or to consider its costs. He spoke as if the money came from a generous extraterrestrial donor and not from higher taxes and government borrowing.

Dalrymple concludes:

A country with a government that cannot tell the difference between investment and expenditure is one from which lenders would best steer clear.

Thatcher and corporatist corruption

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 08.25.01Margaret Thatcher‘s belief, writes Dalrymple, that the idea of public service

was a mask for private rent-seeking, which could be avoided only by the introduction of the management techniques of the private sector, paved the way for the corporatist corruption of Blair and Brown. She helped create a large class of apparatchiks posing as businessmen, who learned how to loot the public purse

Blair and Brown

expanded the public sector to secure votes and increased dependency on the state. They did so by borrowing.

Doctrinal coherence and incoherence

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 00.37.23An exercise in formulating the respective political philosophies of John Major, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Tony Blair would be a bit like

trying to catch a cloud with a butterfly net,

says Dalrymple. Not so in the case of Margaret Thatcher. But, observes Dalrymple,

coherent political conviction or doctrine does not necessarily lead to coherent practical political action.