Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Sunday, another day of Brownite spinning

So here we are, the day that Gordon Brown becomes leader of the Labour Party, and Prime-Minister elect (albeit without an election). Most of the papers this morning are talking about the EU Summit and demanded, quite rightly, for a referendum on the Constitution that has been proposed. However, the Independent on Sunday has splashed on documents it says it have which show details of Blair's plan to sack Brown after the last general election and install a "new Chancellor".

The story itself is of course not new, nor is the story about Cherie Blair allegedly demanding Blair sack Brown as well. However, what is new it seems are the leaked documents that "prove" it. According to the Sindy, the documents were drawn up by a Downing Street team of officials secretly, with proposals to get Treasury civil servants to work on the plans without Brown finding out.

Apparently the plan was not only to fire Brown but also to take away the spending control that the Treasury had amassed as part of a ten year plan called the "Gov 2015" programme. Apparently it was only due to the faltering of the 2005 election campaign and a new deal that Brown agreed which meant the documents got filed and never actioned.

There's no doubt the Sindy's story is pretty sensational, but, as Elliot Carver says in Tomorrow Never Dies, the "key to a great story is not who, or what, or when, but why". Why would documents showing Blair as an evil plotter against Brown appear on the day that Brown will be crowned as the new Labour leader? Hmmm... I can't imagine why.

Kremlinology is always good fun, but the Soviet parallels with this spin leak are quite surreal. Trashing your predecessor has always been a good Soviet tradition initially kicked of by Stalin himself. Of course, to do it before you've even officially taken over is a new step, but it seems rather obvious that Team Brown is the source of this story.

Ask yourself this. If the leak came from Number 10, what's the motivation? Why would someone leak a document slagging off the incumbent and portraying his successor as a victim of a plot the day the successor gets formally confirmed in the top job? There's no doubt the documents are great for those of us that like to pour over political events. But their timing and the line the story is pushing is so transparent it's almost risible.


Richard Havers said...

My bet is they've had them for a loooong time.

Anonymous said...

After 10yrs of this crap i think im imune to nulab spin.I read this story
and automaticaly think utter bollox
and what are they trying to hide.trying to make bruun look like a victim is just plain silly and blair never had the clout/balls to sack him.