Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Alistair Darling has added to the “Bully Boy Brown ” controversy by telling Sky News that people working for the prime minister tried to damage him because he told the truth about the economy. This confirms reports in Andrew Rawnsley’s book that Brown’s aides tried to undermine the chancellor after he forecast the worse economic downturn for 60 years.

In the interview Darling confirmed that No 10 worked against him. He made his “60-year” prediction in an interview he gave whilst on holiday at his croft in Scotland in the summer of 2008. Afterwards, Downing Street aides briefed journalists saying that his prediction had damaged the economy. They suggested that he should be asked to go.

“Nobody likes the sort of briefing that goes on,” Mr Darling said, “the forces of hell were unleashed”.

According to Mr Rawnsley, Brown’s friends including Charlie
Whelan and Damian McBride, then his political spokesman, started a campaign to undermine the chancellor over his interview, raising the prospect that he would be fired from his high level post.

When he was asked if he thought that McBride and Whelan had briefed against him, Mr Darling said: “Of course you have people saying things.”

Of course he was bound to add, referring to the fact that McBride was sacked over his disgraceful lying slurs of leading Tories and their wives in an email campaign last year, that his best answer for them was that he was still there and one of them was not.

Mr Darling seems a difficult man to shift. Last summer Brown planned to move him from the Treasury and replace him with his (Brown's) friend Ed Balls. But Mr Darling was not prepared to move over to let Balls take his place in one of the most powerful jobs in government. In what must be a very uneasy relationship between chancellor and prime minister the reshuffle attempt must have caused even more problems for them.

What was even more embarrassing for Brown was that his plans were an open secret. Everyone knew that Brown intended to put Balls in Number 11. Darling’s refusal to budge showed Brown to be a prime minister who had lost control of his own party, unable to allocate positions.

As Marie Joseph Eugène Sue wrote in 1841: “la vengeance se mange très bien froide”, or "revenge is a dish best eaten cold”. Mr Darling has found that as Brown struggles towards the end of his political career, plunging a little dagger in the back of your enemy, just when a helping hand is needed, is a very satisfying feeling for one who was wounded in the past.



  1. Great article Tris. Good for Darling!

  2. Thanks SR.... Good for him indeed. He's risen a bit in my estimation.

    I wonder what Mandleson will make of it.

  3. Darling seems like an honest, thoroughly decent chap surrounded by wankers. But then that is my perception, as it is true Brown, Balls and Draper all tried to brief against poor Alistair...but when it comes down to it, he should resign if he is to get ANY respect from me.

    Have some dignaty Darling, resign and save your marginal seat!

  4. I don't like him at all Dean. He's been a useless chancellor, but I was impressed when he told Brown where to go when he wanted to replace him with the seriously weird Balls.

    Given that absolutely everything Balls touches falls apart at the seems, the job of chancellor for him seemed like a no no to me. His judgement is flawed; he appoints all the wrong people; he's been a catastrophe for kids in England and he married Yvette Cooper! Mad.

    I think that he's getting his own back right now. But I bet that's nothing compaed to the book he's going to write....

  5. Now is The Hour

    He will be gone in a few days.

    I feel it in my waters

  6. Sorry

    Brown will be gone in a few days

    It is another Wendy moment.

    Mandelson is in on this.

  7. Bugger: They couldn't possibly get rid of him now?

    Besides, who on earth would take over?

    I think he will "lead" them to the election, and despite them being in total disarray, after 13 years, two wars... and all the rest, they are still only 6 points behind the Tories...so they will probably come out neck and neck..... unless there are some more beans to spill.....

    Go figure....

  8. The GE shall see a large Tory majority, we shall destroy New Labour in the 200 marginals we need to take....so to hell with the headline figures frankly they tell us little given it is a FPTP Westminster GE...its all in the marginals

  9. Hum Dean.....

    I agree the polls could well be well out of line, but I'm thinking your estimations may be a little erm optimistic.

  10. Tris, I still have a gut feeling although, it might have been that Sweet and Sour along with the 8th bottle of Tsingtao last night, but Gordon is already gone.

    Darling could step forward as the person of "integrity and honesty,". Not that I said nothing about ability.

    Weirder things have happened including Gordon Brown's own progressive elevation to unelected PM.

    Oh and Alec Douglas Home as PM also. He famously tried too understand economics by using a box of matches and was Scottish Unionist Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Lanark in 1931. A Tory in Lanark!

  11. The above was e, sorry that I wasn't monikered.

  12. Hell Bugger.. Thanks for clarifying that. I was mixing you up there with Anon who promised to get a moniker weeks ago. ,,,,, We're all waiting Anon!

    Anyways, yeah, OK stranger things have happened, I admit.

    Mr Douglas-Home tried to understand economics with a box of matches? What did he do? Get his fingers burnt I suspect.... a bit like many others who try to understand it...

    Aye, a Tory in Lanark is a pretty rare sight, but as Dean would say, they were different Tories in these days before that awful harriden came along and turned them into greedy selfish pigs with blue frocks and handbags.

    Still she and Gordon Brown seem to get along well.....

  13. She is so do lally these days she probably thinks that she is still Prime Minister and that Gordon is Dennis with a bit of extra weight and only one bleary eye.

  14. Ouch Munguin.... Don't you like her or something?

  15. Anon: You maybe have to take a wee drop more water with it.....?

    I'm intrigued though about economics and the box of matches.... Did he burn the house down.

    I have a strange feeling that I already replied to this post... It must be the 5th bottle of Irn Bru.....