Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Forgotten Post from the Past: Gordon Brown, temper tantrum

The one thing that can't be said of current UK Labour Leader Ed Miliband, is that he loses his temper, he is positively serene compared to his predecessor, if not any more competent.  Gordon Brown is much closer to NZ erstwhile Labour loser David Cunliffe... it's worth recalling this story from four years ago....

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Major allegations in the weekend that Gordon Brown is a bully deserve more careful consideration than the obvious kneejerk. There was never any allegation of violence, but reports in both the Observer and the Evening Standard allege Gordon Brown:
- is always look for someone to blame;
- is constantly on the verge of an explosion;
- does not get as much information as he could or should get because he erupts with bad news and blames the messenger;
- repeatedly throws mobile phones in anger;
- repeatedly threw computer keyboards (and staplers) onto the floor in anger.

Bullying? Well those who allege such a thing ought to stand up. However, the bigger story is his anger in dealing with staff, and difficulty in accepting blame. Not for one moment will Brown accept he overspent whilst he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, even though he almost always ran significant budget deficits - during the good years. Not for one moment will Brown accept some responsibility for an investment environment that encouraged property speculation and rewarded the banking industry for investing the vast quantities of fiat money that buoyed the economy, until it crashed. Nor will he accept that the vast spending increases on the NHS have delivered much other than increase salaries and tread water.

In short, he doesn't like taking advice which tells him he is wrong, and so because he does not receive bad news as quickly as he should, and because criticism and self-reflection have to be driven internally, and not from advice, he is more prone to making mistakes.

Now there is never a shortage of reasons to vote against incumbent politicians. Most are gutless against the claims and calls of the vested interests who want other people's money, want to restrict the private property rights of others and prevent competition. Lying, deliberate obfuscation and a belief they know best for others are all par for the course.

However, to be unable to listen to advice, to be only too willing to blame those around him, when he himself makes the decisions. To be so obviously incapable of making certain decisions, such as when to hold an election (after teasing for so long that it was imminent), to "what's my favourite biscuit", is the sign of no leader.

The man who boasted of abolishing "boom and bust" had a whole team behind him, many of them are with Ed Miliband (and includes him).  Why would anyone trust them at all to lead a TV quiz show team, let alone lead a government?

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