6 January 2010

Gordon Brown's plotting comes home to roost again

Today's news about more plots against Gordon Brown by Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt is only the latest reminder that Brown himself had spent years plotting to remove and replace Tony Blair.

A slightly more subtle reminder was the extraordinary speech he made in November 'supporting' Blair's candidacy for the presidency of the European Council. 'Supporting' is in inverted commas because his 'support' was preceded by no fewer than seven pre-delicate hitches in quick succession.

Regular readers will know that pre-delicate hitches are things like 'uhs', 'ums' and false starts that often come just before a speaker says something that he/she thinks is rather delicate - e.g. when Brown was defending former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, or when Hillary Clinton was threatening North Korea with consequences.

In this case, the question is: what was so delicate about it his support for Blair that he prefaced it with so many hitches?

Was it that he was finding it difficult to 'support' the very person he'd been plotting and briefing against for years?

Or was it that he that, given his well-known hostility towards Blair, he knew that no one would believe him - however 'clearly' he said it?

let-let me say very very clearly that we
uh-the British
uh-believe that
uh- Tony Blair would be an excellent
uh-candidate and an excellent person to hold the job of president of the Council …

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