Sunday 6 September 2009

The Worst Prime Minister Since...No, Just the Worst

I wrote in a previous blog that I thought Gordon ‘the Joker’ Brown was the worst prime minister since Frederick, Lord North. I think I owe an apology to Lord North; the Joker actually makes him look good in contrast.

I fully admit my bias: I despise New Labour; I despised Tony Blair as much as I despise Gordon Brown. But I also try to be fair. Looking over the historical records, looking at the conduct of the people who have occupied this office all the way back to Robert Walpole I simple can find no prime minister as disastrously bad as the Joker. Walpole was corrupt, yes, but he was a great political manager. There are one or two mediocrities like Aberdeen and MacDonald but all showed some leadership qualities, some understanding of what leadership was about.

And now consider the Joker, consider his latest ‘triumph’. It is now openly admitted that he and Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, did not want Addelbaset Ali Mohamed al Megrahi to die in prison; at least that’s what they told the Libyans. The families of the victims of the Lockerbie were being told something quite different. The double-dealing is bad; the hypocrisy is worse; the cynicism is worst of all.

Bit by bit this government sinks into fresh depths of turpitude and incompetence. I can’t honestly be sure how much further this will go, but I now believe anything to be possible. Brown’s appeasement of Gaddafi does not just make him look bad; it makes the whole country look bad. He’s been asked by David Cameron to ‘come clean’ on the whole issue, but he can’t, he simply can’t. He can’t criticise the SNP administration because they did precisely-and objectively-what he wanted, assuming he was sincere in his comments to the Libyans. He can’t say that this was something he did not want because it makes him look like a liar as well as a fool. He is now responsible, moreover, for the most serious decline in Anglo-American relations in decades.

It will pass, I know, these things do, but how much more damage can the Joker do before next June? I can just picture him in Downing Street, after the cold bath and the salty porridge, hiding under the sheets when confronted with some tricky problem; hoping that if he says nothing it will simply go away. As I have said several times now, leadership is not just about decisions and high office; it’s about moral courage. The Joker has none.


  1. Hopefully he'll go the way of Lord Bute (there are obvious parallels):

    IN 1763, a major political crisis led to the resignation of the Prime Minister, John Stuart, the third Earl of Bute. The focal point of the attack on Bute was that he was Scottish. Lord Bute had brought an end to the Seven Years’ War in which Britain had defeated France for world supremacy. But the financial cost had been ruinous and the National Debt was spiraling out of control. As a result, Bute concluded a quick settlement that handed back to France many of Britain’s territorial gains. Worse, he imposed a massive tax of 4 shillings per hogshead on the Englishman’s favourite tipple - cider.

    English patriots were not amused. Bute was assailed in the tabloid press for being out of touch with English sentiment and English wallets. He was hung in effigy across England and a London mob smashed the windows of his house. Bute was finally hounded out of office on 8 April, 1763. It would be more than a century before another native Scot would be a British Prime Minister - Lord Roseberry in 1894. - The Scotsman, 14th May 2005

  2. Thank you for that excellent addition, Toque. I wish I had thought of that particular parallel!

  3. I'm a lover of pubs and real ale, so I do rather despise our current PM and Chancellor of the Exchequer for what they are doing to them. Tut!

  4. Oh, I despise them for so many reasons, Toque, betraying this country being high among them.