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Seems sensible really, personal attacks are never nice and Gordon Brown seems to be doing a good job of destroying himself anyway!

If you want to see the truly ugly face of over-powerful Trade Unionism you have only to look at Bob Crow!

I agree with Dorries and her daughter. Avoid personal attacks completely - it's out of order. Brown may be a bad PM and a bad chancellor, but unlike Blair he's fundamentally a decent man - just a decent man in the wrong job.

For the good of the country, though, he should be gone ASAP.

Where is the evidence that Brown is a decent man?

Sources I trust say otherwise.

If you want to see the truly ugly face of over-powerful Trade Unionism you have only to look at Bob Crow!

Here he is: http://10n.ta4.at/

Yes, it's hard not to attack brown when he is orchestrating the demise of the country through both intention and incompetance, but attacking people, often not even on anything relevant, is what the left do.

L is for Labour, L is for Lice.

I'm with John Broughton. A deep,shadowy, strange man.

It surely depends on the nature of the attack. Whereas it might come across as distasteful and unnecessary to use words like "autistic", to take one example from the not so recent past, it would be entirely right and proper to campaign with specific examples under a headline such as "Probably the most destructive politician in living memory". The former is little more than petty personal abuse, whereas the latter is an accurate summary of why we are aspiring to replace him and his government.

one area in which i would welcome some union pressure on labour is over welfare reform and the proposed work-for-dole scheme. the unions should push for the government to ensure that any work undertaken by the unemployed is fully waged for the duration of the work undertaken. we cant have the state exploiting the jobless for cheap labour. im all for government finding work for the jobless to do, but it must be fully waged. once the proposals for work-for-dole are finalized, and once i get the use of my right hand back, i shall be setting up an online campaign to demand that any work undertaken by the jobless is paid at the going rate. i hope others, including the trades unions, will support my campaign to get a fair deal and a fair days pay for a fair days work.

"Brown may be a bad PM and a bad chancellor, but unlike Blair he's fundamentally a decent man - just a decent man in the wrong job."

Amen to that.

Furthermore, I do not want to live in a country where decent people in public life, however misguided, are subjected to vicious personal attack.

It's far from obvious that shouting "old Labour is back" is sensible given that vast swathes of the country north of Watford are angry with Labour precisely because it hasn't been "old Labour" enough.

I agree with John Broughton @ 13.19 and M. Dowding @ 13.28. I think it is rasonable to assume that he knows what he is doing - everyday, and nobody pushed him into his job!!

Agree with the sentiments although my view is that NuLab was just a difefrent packaging formula.

Gordon Brown did not feel sorry for John Major from 1992-97, when he was wrongly tarred with the sleaze tag. Quite the opposite, he was the first to put the boot in. I have got Brown's speeches from that time. Brown has also behaved in a totally dishonourable way throughout his time in Government. Just look at the number of running feuds he has conducted-

Tony Blair
John Reid,
Robin Cook,
Alan Milburn,
Stephen Byers,
Charles Clarke,
Frank Field,
Jonathan Powell,
Peter Mandelson

Brown is now reaping what he has sown for the last 25 years. The man who jeered 'Tory sleaze'- yet who's own MPs ignore him and vote for the John Lewis list. The man who said 'no more boom and bust' - but who will leave us with a £57bn deficit.

All Tories should be relishing dancing on Brown's political grave.

Thanks Norm Brainer - I was trying to eat my lunch! :-)

Thanks Norm Brainer - I was trying to eat my lunch! :-)

"All Tories should be relishing dancing on Brown's political grave."

True, London Tory but perhaps the fact that we are not, to a man and woman, hopping skipping and jumping shows that we are nicer people than he is!

One omission from this document:

Gordon Brown appointed Joe Irvin to be his trade union fixer at Number 10 last summer.

Irvin is a dyed-in-the-wool trade unionist, having worked for a number of them. He was also Prescott's spad in the late 90s.

Irvin has got the PMs ear, to the extent that he has now been promoted to become the PMs Poltiical Secretary.

Tony Makara @1334.

Why should all "work for dole" schemes pay full, unionised wage rates?

My personal view is that ALL benefit payments, except those for the disabled who are incapable of any work, should be conditional on the claimant doing two days work for the state - sweeping litter, tending parks, emptying bins etc - leaving them three days free to look for work.

This should start after three months of unemployment and rise by a day a week every subsequent three months until after 12 months they are working full time in return for their benefits. If they don't like working for sub-minimum wage pay, which benefits must be, then they are free to leave and either stop drawing benefits or get a job.

I'm afraid that nothing I have heard or read about Brown from Westminster insiders demonstrates that he is a 'decent' man. He appears to be incapable of reining in a vicious temper, or of delegating tasks.

I am old enough to clearly recall the utterly vicious nature of Labour's attacks on the Tories, and on Mrs Thatcher personally. I am not recommending that as a Party, we publically adopt the kind of abuse you can read on Guido, but I certainly agree with much of it, and feel so blisteringly angry about Brown.

We should be putting the blame for the wreckage of so much over the past decade squarely on the PM's shoulders, where it belongs.

I can't agree that Brown is a fundamentally decent man. As Chancellor he constantly lied about things such as the legacy the Tories left and as PM he lies in the house every week. He's quite happy to stab anyone in the back to protect himself and his public image seems surly, miserable and quite detestable.

I've not seen anything to suggest he's a decent man, but that doesn't mean that personal attacks are a good idea.

I don't know if "New Labour" is much more popular than "Old Labour" now.

I agree that Brown is probably a better man than Blair (I think he cares deeply about the Labour Party rather than just himself) but it's still not saying much. I remember his behaviour when John Major was in power, not very edifying was it?
However we are not trying to replace Brown we're trying to replace the Labour Party and endless personal attacks on him will only result in Brown being succeeded by someone equally unpalatable.

Brown being a 'fundamentally decent man' is the latest canard being trotted out by his few remaining friends in the media, tired old Jackie Marr being the latest in today's Guardian.

In the same article she then mentions that three senior Cabinet ministers told her that they have never been spoken to so rudely as Brown speaks to them.

There is a report in the Independent today about 'decent' Gordon Brown bawling out underlings No.10 on a regular basis.

I also understand that he can never mention David Cameron in private without making a reference to his schooling.

What a 'decent' man.

I hope DC & co are making plans for the post-Brown world. It could be with us very soon.

john moss, i think we can agree that dole as we know it should be replaced with a type of community wage, and that the community wage should be earnt rather than doled out for free. however my point is that any work undertaken should be waged at the going rate, this is a matter of principle and employer rights. it would be grossly unfair and illegal for the state to exploit the jobless for free/cheap labour. the state should certainly provide work for the unemployed but it must be fully waged. we also have to bear in mind how a statist government might use such cheap labour to undermine jobs that already exist, ie park-keeping or construction/disposal work.

London Tory:

Did Indy mention the throwing of telephones in rage, cannot be certain about the target!

Gordon Brown was not a good Chancellor of the Exchequer. Since around 2001, he inflated the economy on a bubble of debt, both private and public, and we are now reaping where he sowed. Furthermore, he is clearly not up to the job he has now.

So by all means attack him for the above, as well as for his agreement to the Lisbon Treaty. But, unlike his predecessor, he is clearly not in the job for personal gain, he seems, in himself, a decent man and would probably be a good neighbour. So personal attack is likely to be counter productive. Such attack would also be un-gentlemanly (or unladylike). Tories were once expected to be ladies or gentlemen (but that was long, long ago!).

I dunno... I think blair was much more an "ok sort of guy" than brown.
I think he at least listened to people before ignoring them, rather than blanking them and throwing stuff (mud or tables) back.

If I had to chose one of them to look after my imaginary pregnant cat whilst I was on holiday, it wouldn't be brown - he'd sell the cat food and eat the kittens and then tell me that my now bedraggled cat is in much better condition than when he found it and then fine me for not having the appropriate cat licence.
Blair would probably use my own credit card to start an experimental cat spa focus group, though.

It's too hot today.

Obviously Norm! I thin you need to lie down old chap!

Nostradamus is in the house.

‘Gordon Brown: Fit For Office?’ Broadcast: Monday 14 May 2007 08:00 PM Dispatches Channel 4.

‘Some very senior figures on Gordon Brown's own side are certain he is unfit for office: one has called him "control freak" and another "psychologically flawed" and one serving cabinet minister has said he'd be an "expletive disaster" as Prime Minister.’

As Peter Oborne revealed way back when in 2007.

In March 2007 we were also advised:

‘Chancellor Gordon Brown's Treasury operates with "Stalinist ruthlessness", treating colleagues with contempt, the ex-head of the civil service has said.

Lord Turnbull, who was also Mr Brown's permanent secretary for four years, said the chancellor would not allow serious discussion about priorities.

Mr Brown had a "very cynical view of mankind and his colleagues", he added.'

Yesterday, Sunder Katwala General Secretary of the Fabian Society, maintained that the present situation is the result of a collective failure by Labour. Agreed, a collective failure to prevent or even contest Brown’s inglorious succession in the first place.

If only he were a fundamentally decent man he would be a much more formidable opponent.
He isn't. He is malignant on a number of counts and has a long history of being so.

Hi Norm Brainer. You sound like my sort of a Norm. I have an imaginary one eyed Labradoodle with a prosthetic leg and a bad case of the mange all directly attributable to Gordon Brown but I suspect that it could still give your up the duff moggy a right good kicking.

Its interesting listening to the procession of interviews given on the news wires from the left within Labour this afternoon.

There are two things happening here. Firstly Labour is, as we all know, doing dreadfully in the polls. And its the Conservatives who are benefiting from this (fact) with their message and reputation for being more careful with the public finances. The obvious implication being that with tighter fiscal spending, taxes will reduce and this will alleviate the strain on folks pockets. Thats the first thing, but within Labour, on the vocal left - they are rationalising in a very different way...

Their message is that Labour need to get back to being a Labour Party - helping ordinary people who are hurting, by using a windfall tax on energy companies to pay for more social housing, which will also keep builders busy. The language is also inflamatory - 'greedy companies lining shareholders pockets, poor people hurting.'

Gordon Brown increased the taxes on oil companies by 10% after the last GE and said that that would be the last increase in this parliament. Today the Treasury says that they are 'still looking at it'. The mix of desparation and opportunity here will prove lethal.

I really don't understand why anyone could call Brown a decent man. He has lied regularly to parliament, he leaves colleagues in the lurch, he dissappears when there is trouble, he has no compunction on many ocasions to hit the less well off for cheap headlines. He is a disgrace to the country.

However, I agree with the notion that we should lay off Brown and concentrate on attacking Labour. Apart from the fact that it is storing up points if someone else becomes Labour leader we cannot go on with the cycle of Labour governments wrecking the country for the Tories to have to sort the mess out, getting themselves called nasty because thet take the difficult decisions and then, when the economy's sorted, Labour promise the earth get in again and wreck everything again. We can't go on like this, apart from anything else Labour have all the fun. As a meaningful force in the country they have got to be kicked to hell.

'If I had to chose one of them to look after my imaginary pregnant cat whilst I was on holiday, it wouldn't be brown'

After what happened to Humphrey, the last people on earth I would ask to look after my cat on holiday would be the Blairs.

It wasn't Weston-super-Mare that Brown went on holiday to, was it ?

Whether or not Brown is fundamentally decent is not really relevant. The fact is, the public - rightfully - does not respond to vicious personal attacks, especially when the individual in question is already on their knees.

What they DO respond to is a party or politician that is sincere in policy and policy attack. This is why Davis was not crucified for his recent initiative, but instead largely praised or ignored. It's also why politicians like Ken Clark, William Hague and Michael Portillo have - irrespective of views or party standing - remained largely untouched by the scathing attacks that many other Conservatives suffered during tougher years. Sure, they weren't immune, but because they are perceived as men of principle and not naked ambition or they were spared the aggression that Howard, Thatcher, Widdecombe, Lawson, Redwood and many others had to regretfully endure.

People always hated Prescott more than Blair - because he was the attack dog.

In fact the complete opposite is true. The reason why Howard, Thatcher, Widdecombe, Lawson, and Redwood were attacked so mercilessly is because they were right in both senses of the word and thus far more dangerous to the Labour party and its friends in the BBC and leftwing media than Clarke or Portillo ever were.

Absolutely brilliant, Norm Brainer! And if you do have a heavily pregnant cat in this weather, you have my sympathy. My non-pregnant two haven't stopped low-level moaning about the heat since Saturday.

PS I asked them their views on Brown. Their response was withering, but they pointed out that there's no need for the official party to dirty its hands by pointing out his psychological short-comings, as so much of the media is doing this anyway. Best to remain optimistic about the Tory future, they urge.

Truth is, Gordon Brown gives autistics a bad name.

Gordon Brown's behaviour comes across as that of a psychologically flawed weirdo. That may not be a very nice thing to say but that doesn't stop it being true. Don't the public like politicians who tell the truth? To be honest I can't see the public feeling sorry for him if we put the boot in. Everyone else is and it doesn't seem to upset anyone.

That said, we do need to focus attacks on the Labour Party as a whole in case they pick a new leader.

Once again, he's been a disaster as PM and an awful Chancellor - I'm not denying either of those things. I expect he's also difficult to work with and get on with. He's also lied repeatedly about Lisbon, the economy, and a score of other things. I don't object to attacks on his character if they're fair attacks - that is, attacks on his character that have relevance to his ability to lead the country.

I do object to the attacks that take a perverse delight in his situation - the type you see on Guido's blog every day. For example, the type of attack which doesn't just point out his 'character flaws', but clearly takes delight in doing so.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned - I just find it revolting to see people not just kick a man when he's down, but so obviously enjoy it as well.

I agree personal attacks on Brown should be avoided.

We need to be going after the Labour government, not just Brown. Gordon Brown will implode all on his own without any help from us.

"Maybe I'm old-fashioned - I just find it revolting to see people not just kick a man when he's down, but so obviously enjoy it as well."

If he'd messed up my financial situation I'd probably enjoy it. Done in moderation I think it can be tactically useful - strike a chord with public feeling etc.

Personal attacks mainly don't work and are often counterproductive since they can arouse sympathy for the attacked amongst the electorate. Labour sank to personal attacks during both the Crewe and Nantwich & Henley by elections and look where it got them.

It is the Labour Government that people are fed up with, the 'it's only Gordon Brown's personality that's the problem" line is actually a Labour myth designed to distract attention from the deep unpopularity of Labour's policies and actions. So let's stick to attacking them and then it won't matter who the PM is come the next election because it won't be about them it will be about Labour's appalling record in government.

The personal attacks must not come from MPs or prospective MPs, nor their family members, tennis partners or pets. The personal attacks can be made by conservative journalists and Blairites. The Conservative Party should show itself to be above the mudslinging, unseemly catcalls of the Labour backbenches. When David Cameron is mentioned it must be to do with a policy that will put right a labour failing or injustice. Also the focus should be spread around the shadow cabinet that Cameron will keep when they get to power. At some point though, an exhaustive list of all Labour's scandals, failures, copouts, and embarassments must be read out to remind people just how long this has been going on. Old names dug up, political graves danced upon, Labour donors named and shamed. Whilst I'm on the topic surely someone at central office could put together a list of firms sponsoring the labour party and distribute for the Conservative membership and supporters to boycott. We are the largest party after all. Do it quietly but let it be known that it is being done. Some of their remaining smaller donors might just pull the plug and make things even harder. Stop shopping at Sainsburys!

I know, Sainsburys are a major Labour donor, not a small one, still, stop all the same. I'd hate to think I was voluntarily putting money in Labour coffers. Mind you, I'd hate to think I was putting money in Labour coffers involuntarily.

Gordon is a horrible despicable man. The word decent could be just as well used for Comrade Bob.

However, personal attacks are Guido's job not ours. Focus on incompetence and offer our alternative. Let Gordon Brown hang himself, he doesn't ned any help from us.

And let us not forget the attack on Non-Doms, and the application of windfall taxes on energy companies, the 10% tax fiasco, and VED/petrol stealth taxes.
Labour are trying to create an underclass of support by ressurecting class war and the creation of a welfare dependant majority.
One of the reasonings behind reducing the voting age to 16, is to ensure that a hard cadre of indoctrinated youth emerge, having been suckled by lefty teachers from an early age through civics classes etc,.
ND is right to a degree, a high level of personal criticism against Brown, simply gives the PLP an excuse to find another leader. Brown is one of the best weapons the the Tories have, he is accident prone, uncomfortable and incompetent, he is therefore best left where he is to wreak ever more mayhem.
In the meantime it is Labour, their policies, their hand in glove cosying to the unions...[(cash bailouts for policy influence), whilst morally and ethically repugnant, is it illegal?], the constant harping to toffs and the class warfare cards being played, the weak economy, Northern Crock, NHS, CJS, Quangoes, HMIRC, Taxes, ID Cards etc et al, that needs to be attacked, an all inclusive attack on Labour as a whole, the bear of Collective Cabinet Responsibility. Single none out, tar the lot with the broad brush; Unless something juicy arises that needs personal attack.

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