What the fuck happens to them

What happens when you’re PM?

Our existing Prime Minister seems to have aged 100 years while in office, and the one before that 200 years (John Major was always old, sadly Thatcher was born without a face so this is harder to observe). See for yourself:

Happy as Larry, riding a bike in Amsterdam, probably off his tits on legal drugs, and not a grey hair to be seen (even doing his best Zapatero – Spanish PM – impression). Compare this to:

Stern, grey, having probably just clocked on that he and his wife (Betty Boop) paid £3.6 million for a house that cost artist and previous owner Roger Bevan(ite?) £950,000. Oh, and a war.

Now observe Brown back when him and Blair were in discussions about ‘carving up’ the leadership in an Islington restaurant by the name of Granita:

Now look at him:

Grey day. Judging by this Dave Cameron’s chiseled good looks will disappear and he will look more like a pasty, a toff pasty who surrounds himself with Eton-ites.

So what happens in there? Don’t know! Does it happen in the happiest country in the world?

Apparently that is Denmark, so lets do a similar thing with their last two PM’s (not the existing one, as he has only been in office since April last year – too soon):

Handsome, tasty etc, but let us compare with his 2001 image – 8 years after the start of his Prime Ministerial career:

Oh, still really rather delicious.

And the centre-right chap, Anders, who took his place in 2001:

And a 2009 photograph:

Much the same.

I’ve a book idea for Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Produce Hot Looking Men Way Into Their Old Age, Known Otherwise as Silver Foxes.

Until next christmas, goodbye.

Why kick a man when he’s Brown?

That former swappie trotbag Steel got it right this week when he said of Mr. Brown:

So the poor man bumbles along, and if he rings Mrs Janes again, the conversation will probably end with him saying: “I don’t know where to turn,” and her replying: “Mr Brown, please accept my condolences, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in your position right now. I know this was the job you always wanted but there was also the chance it could turn out this way I suppose. Try and stay strong, Mr Brown, you poor poor thing.”

Brown is one to feel sorry for – our top hacks agree – and don’t for a second think that this will bring in the votes. But, I hasten to add, was this the plan?

The Sun thing was dreadful, and brought more scorn to their front door than Brown’s, but today’s attempt at doing something for the best has backfired.

Mr Brown joined Australia in apologising for the shipment of child migrants headed for the old developing colonies, such as Canada and Australia, who were lied to about their families and used as work fodder. But before Brown could take off his happy hat, the Telegraph reports:

Harold Haig, the secretary of the International Child Migrants Association, said he was appalled that the Australian apology has come before any British apology.

“Gordon Brown should hang his head in shame,” he said.

“He is allowing the country that we were deported to to apologise before the country where we were born. It is an absolute disgrace. He should hang his head in shame.

Oh I wonder why he bothers sometimes, it is just the most extraordinary point of blame. Perhaps a little late it is, but what does Haig believe is the motive? Does Brown love child slavery? Brown should not be hanging his head in shame!

Don’t worry about the leader who you feel dreadfully sorry for, pour scorn on those who are happy to kick a man when he’s down – for whatever reason they feel, however unnecessary.

Brown versus Osborne on the economy (, stupid!)

Andrew Rawnsley, in his Observer article, retold an overheard quip made by a proud George Osborne that he spends only 40% of his time on the economy (rather a lot, my guess would’ve been 10%). Since his other responsibility is general election co-ordinator, his above figure implies most of his time is spent on the latter job (and, as Rawnsley points out, considers it more important). On the flipside, Gordon Brown who is the prime minister, almost definately spends most of his time with numbers. He should’ve stuck with it methinks…

Keep your word Mr. Brown

“Public spending will continue to rise. It’s in our figures. We’ve costed it, and you’re paying more in top rate tax to pay for it.”

Gordon Brown

Bloody right.

But he “can’t bring himself to jettison the neoliberal policies that are alienating Labour voters“.

Brown: Sorting the expenses system

Daniel Hannan thinks Gordon Brown’s proposals of external regulators overseeing the expenses system will make things worse.

In the anti-politician climate that Hannan accuses Brown of exacerbating, the move to ‘Formalising their feebleness, enshrining it in statute, will mean the end of parliamentary sovereignty, both as a legal concept and as a political fact.’

The blog entry takes the whole issue way out of hand, reading more like war cry to the ‘save the pound’ patriot the end of parliamentary sovereignity!! Getting MP’s to publish tax receipts will not end the political freedoms of our representatives, but expenses abuse certainly will. And what is the best way to curtail these abuses, as well as offering a gesture of accountability by the voting public; transparency of course.

No doubt Daniel Hannan MP just wants more of the same, a view that David Cameron hasn’t officially abandoned.

Jordan – Andre / Blears – Brown

I have written before about my relief that Peter and Jordan were splitting up, thereby predicting the Labour Party split as the second most important.

Well today I was hardly surprised to see on the Daily Mail website a story regarding Hazel Blears and the expenses scandal that started “Gordon Brown was facing a cabinet in revolt tonight as Hazel Blears and other senior figures took a defiant stand against moves to shift or demote them in the Prime Minister’s next reshuffle.”

Mr. Brown told the concerned today that Blears’ actions, though within the law, were ‘completely unacceptable’ and that he would not shirk away from suspending more MP’s, adding that he is the only leader to do so over the expenses row.

As for Blears, she launched a public relations offensive today to save her job by reminding the concerned that she repaid more than £13,000 in Capital Gains Tax.

Furthermore, on the far right of the story was a a picture depicting a tragic looking Katie Price with information detailing that she had thrown all of Andre’s clothes out already. Thus being proved right yet again.

Mail 20-05

Gordon Brown’s own “toberlerone affair” solution takes effect

Gordon Brown’s pledge to end parliamentary self-regulation, and admit “a new independent parliamentary standards regulator to be responsible for pay and allowances”, is definitely an appeal to the “toberlerone affair”, even if its not officially acknowledged as such. It exists in the parliamentary collective unconscious.

Not King Midas, its Gordon Brown

Today’s events have proved Michael White’s prediction wrong that the speaker will remain until next general election when he said last week “Few Labour MPs nowadays left school at 15 and worked on the shop floor. It may be solidarity or sentimentality, bloody-mindedness or plain feebleness. But they will not give him up next week.”

They did.

In the last days of Blair, those of us on the left were sick of his statesman(sinking)ship. We (including back then Polly Toynbee with her nose peg) thought butter wouldn’t melt in Brown’s mouth. Unlike Blair, not everything Brown touched would turn to stone.

It did.

The Michael Martin resignation was one more thing that went awry and out of favour for our hollowing premier. Andrew Sparrow’s bit in the Guardian mentioned that “Gordon Brown, the prime minister, has now given up saying that he thought Martin was doing a good job.” Perhaps he has seen that the odds of him becoming next speaker are 250/1 (far better than the odds of him winning Labour a fourth term).

The man who was forced down for not doing enough about the expenses scandel today said the only thing he could have, “that MPs will no longer be allowed to “flip” second homes or claim for household goods”.

Sunny Hundal imagines that a parliament clean out of system abusers will cure the ills of the political system. But since voters want to give the big three parties a kicking, why bother getting rid of those MP’s who are otherwise effective in the house (say, Ed Balls, for example) if a rule change can reunite the voting public with (Labour) establishment politics?

I’m not blind to the reasons why people feel all “abusers” should be kicked to the curb, and mine is not a justification of MP’s wrongs, anything but. However its the system that must be amended, and those politicians that have done the abusing need to work twice, (clear throat), three times as hard to appease the voters (provided they are not unwanted baggage), rather than be part of a wholesale reshuffle.

But enough about the outgoing speaker for one night, carrying on the subject of premier’s who were unpopular towards the end, but only paved the way for a lot worse, I’ve just heard that “The United Nations [have] named former President Bill Clinton … as its special envoy to Haiti, with a mission to help the impoverished nation achieve some measure of stability after devastating floods and other crises.”

Potatoes for voters? Nah, just smile, Gordon

After reading about the vote-wooing tactics of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the free potatoes in the Guardian I asked myself how well that would go down if Gordon Brown took to it. It certainly would look curious if David Cameron questioned Brown’s tactics with the piercing bellow “Death to the potatoes!”

But it seems that Brown need not go to such lengths. There is at least one influential social activist willing to plug his merits.

Funny, about this time last year I believe she influenced Thirty-three Labour MPs to vote against their party, and Gordon Brown, by demanding the introduction of a system of rewards for people who install solar panels and wind turbines at home.

She writes flirty emails to Boris Johnson about solving crime with music and dance.

In an interview with Sophie Heawood for the Times Lily Allen has said that she “will vote for you, Gordon Brown”.

And I suppose that she will also be encouraged by the sacking of Elliot Morely as envoy on climate change, after he was found to be claiming £16,800 in mortgage interest payments for a loan that had already been paid off. He voted against the rewards-for-installations that Allen had sent letters to MP’s trying to swing their votes for.

I wonder if Andrew MacKay voted for rewarding energy savers?

Update: Now Martin will be told to stand down

So despite Michael White’s clarification that Michael Martin will not seek a thrid term, reports say the speaker will be told by senior Labour figures that he must stand down by general election.

What will Mr. Brown say to this after his reminder that Mr. Martin “does a good job”? It just seems like everybody is contradicting him for the sake of it. The only person who is listening to him on the expenses, weirdly enough, is Alex Salmond!! Of all people.