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In my view the most important thing is the hole in NR accounts as described today in the Guardian newspaper. If Northern Rock doesn't own most of its mortgage book, how will the taxpayer get his twenty-six billion back?

Chickens are all coming home to roost. As you said Editor - couldn't happen to a nicer fella. Much more of this and the back benchers will start to mumble - and then he's toast. He has made too many enemy's in the party. Merry Xmas.

Why did the HMRC send out a second copy of discs when they knew that the first set hadnt arrived at the NAO? Why didnt they smell a rat and immediately stop the transfer of sensitive information from the office until the discs were recovered and their processes had been checked out?

A complete farce from the very beginning. Trained monkeys could have dealt with this situation better. As for describing it initially as a "major operational problem", thats understating its importance somewhat...

Let's enjoy it while we can.This might be a turning point equally it might be a blip so there is no room for complacency.
Poor Britain. Things must be desperate within the MOD for people like Boyce & Guthrie to speak as they have and I have a terrible feeling that there is much more bad news to come from the Northern Rock disaster.

Hands up who's a 'Blue Brownite" now? There were so many on here but a few months ago.

Come out wherever you are!

A bad week indeed, but I suspect it's the tip of the iceberg. If Brown's government is the Titanic the tragedy is that we are it's passengers.

Recently I posted here that the scandal which is now unfolding around the government's shameful neglect of the armed forces has the potential to bring down Gordon Brown.

I accept that the HMRC debacle has taken the forefront, but we seem to be almost totally silent on this other appalling situation - leaving the armed forces to stage their own fight for the finance and support they are being starved of.

All the websites of the heavyweight daily papers, including the Guardian, are reporting today on the concerted and in some cases personal attack on Brown by five former Chiefs of the Defence Staff which began in the Lords debate yesterday and was continued during interviews on the radio and television this morning. The front bench MUST wade in and support them. The military are hurting badly and the army in particular may be close to being completely broken. Read some of the serving military's comment's on a delusional article by Des Browne in the Telegraph here.


Tim, can we have a separate thread dedicated to the crisis in the military?

The desperate state of the armed forces, whose very survival may now be threatened by years of government's neglect, and Brown's defiant refusal to heed the continued security warnings given to him for months about deteriorating security in government which has been evidenced by the loss of the HMRC database, are no longer issues for political point scoring or advantage. We are well beyond that.

We now have a duty which transcends politics to save this country and its people, before the damage becomes irreparable.

Its very difficult to see how Labour can get their mis-placed credibility back over recent events. These events were not little misdemeanors they were catastrophic errors. The final nail in the coffin will be if Gordon Brown moves Alistair Darling out of number eleven and moves Ruth Kelly in! Especially when we are about to hit economic turbulence, the fact is Brown has no-one who can serve as chancellor, what he should do is give the position to a captain of industry or someone will real expertise, alas that will never happen because Gordon Brown doesn't want a chancellor, he wants a rubberstamp in number eleven.

Rejoice, rejoice.

Two comments:

We need to come up with a single phrase, or preferably word, which encapsulates Labours failings. Much as ‘sleaze’ was used against us, it resonated with the broader public and every misfortune seemingly reinforced the idea in people’s heads. My choice would be: incompetence, but there may well be better ideas.

While I would never wish for an economic downturn, we need to make sure that people associate the impending troubles with Brown. It is not “the international financial situation” which is causing the trouble; it is Brown and Labours incompetence.

Should be hammering home the point that technology-illiterates like Brown and Hutton are the same ones lecturing us about "climate change" - another subject of which they know nothing.
Just a pity that Cameron, Goldsmith, Gummer et al. are in the same boat.

Tony Makara 10:55

"...the fact is Brown has no-one who can serve as chancellor"

Does he need anything more than a puppet? Is there anyone who really believes that Brown isn't still effectively Chancellor?

James Sproule, perhaps the term 'Broken Labour' 'Broken Brown' or 'Broken Government' would be a term that fits their failings and also ties in with the 'Broken Britain' theme too.

For a phrase that will stick in the mind and sums up the Brown Government, I thought Cameron's soundbite at PMQs this week was pretty good.

"He wants to control everything, but he cannot run anything".

Yes its all falling apart isn't it ? Just listening to Labour ministers on Newsnight and Today in recent days.

John Hutton, Jacqui Smith, Jane Kennedy, Andy Burnham,Des Browne, and Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw. They all had one thing in common- they were uniformly awful. New Labour has never had a narrative or a story to tell- apart from spending public money.
They came in on the tide of Major's sheer uselessness, and have survived-despite Iraq-on Blair's "aw shucks" appeal since. Now the tide has turned, and they are shown up to be a bunch of unwordly, partisan, and frankly incompetent individuals.

God am I looking forward to the Ed Balls v David Miliband leadership contest when David Cameron is in No.10.

They will make Tony Benn look like Bill Clinton in terms of electability.

Leaving aside political hue, I had hoped that GB would be offering stolid competence as a refreshing change from the glitzy superficiality of his predecessor. Alas 'twas not to be and we only got the stolid bit.

What a pity "Back to Basics" got devalued as a slogan, as that is what we really need right now in national administration. Let's put right what we have now, before considerations of a brave new future. Who is to say that the present crop of disasters would not equally have befallen a Tory government?

We need a leader with confidence & charisma (and potentially already have one) supported by a senior management team that includes substantial experience in the real world of managing large endeavours (and there some). However, these need to be welded together as a team. A commentator after the England/Croatia match opined that our lot played as a group of individually talented strangers. A possible analogy here,perhaps?

Bruges Group NG, how realistic are the chances that 'Liability Brown' will be challenged while still in office? The more intelligent factions of the Labour party must now realise that Gordon Brown is damaged goods that can't possibly be sold at the next election. Many backbenchers will see their jobs on the line, and not just in the marginals either. There has been a notable sea-change in the media towards Brown, they sense his decline and are going for him! Gordon Brown has had his credibility shot to pieces, and not calling that election is going to haunt him for the rest of his life.

James (11:08)

the phrase "sub-prime minister" is being bandied about ....

Well the last Labour government had a Winter of Discontent, this one is having a Winter of Disk Contents.

Brilliant James.


The analogy with the Winter of Discontent does not end there- politics is starting to feel like Callaghan 1977-79 all over again, with the clock ticking down......

James, on Louise Bagshawe's column yesterday I suggested that the Control Freak was becoming the Out Of Control Freak. I'm sure we could add the Sub-Prime Minister (and a few other choice epithets) and sit back and imagine a Master of Ceremonies introducing a clapped out journeyman of a boxer in the red corner whose clunking fist has slipped down to reveal a glass chin.

From Adam Boulton on the Sky blog:

"...one does begin to wonder if Gordon Brown is cut out for the top job. He does not have a great deal of natural charisma and at times seems a little, well, plodding."


How about "Clown car government"

Delboy as PM and Rodney as Alistair Darling would be a better couple than the real ones at the top of this goverment.

Car crash government?

When banksters 'create' 'money' out of thin air, otherwise known as 'fractional reserve banking', it is fraud.

So – when they finally get caught loaning this funny money to each other, why should taxpayers be obliged to pick up the tap for a bunch of crooks trading (and inflating) PAPER they apparently do not even own?

This adds insult to injury by rewarding both crime AND failure.

That was last week! This week kicks off with another Labour donation scandal breaking. It gets better and better for this lot, worse and worse for the Country!

The OTHER 800 pound gorilla ...

Not unlike Northern Rock and Citibank etc, this government is in debt up to its eyeballs (the Labour party and the STATE) – which is otherwise known as 'credit abuse'.

For the sake of 'fair play', rather than attempt to saddle the entire nation (and future generations) with this ‘public’ debt), why not hold Labour voters and politicians liable by levying every Labour member?

That would do wonders for their ever-dwindling ranks.

Here is THE POLL question we need to see:
Do you think the entire Labour Party membership should be held liable for the public debt they have created?
Yes / No / Don’t understand the question.

BTW: Only thieving bankers (lying lawyers and pandering politicians) can take the word "CREDIT" and twist it into becoming debt slavery.

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