It was General De Gaulle who stated that it was surprising how much bad government a country could withstand. He was correct to make the observation, but even he would be amazed how far even his dictum would be put to the test, had he lived to see Gordon Brown.
It is clear from reading Alastair Campbell’s Diaries (The Blair Years ISBN 978-0-09-179629-7) that from well before the moment Labour won power Blair had given up trying to control Gordon Brown’s dysfunctional behaviour. The slogan ‘vote Blair. Get Brown’ would have had validity even in 1997, let alone 2005 when it was used. Brown demanded control from the beginning, and in most cases got it. Ten years on, it is incredible, given that by 2007 Labour clearly knew well how unsuitable Brown was to become leader, that the same tax-wasting temper tantrum is still running the country.
Tony Blair’s character comes across in The AC Diaries as artistically creative, a great writer of script with the courage to push forward ideas, and a great actor/performer. But when it came to dealing with the people around him, he was hopelessly weak at every turn. Gordon Brown was and is the result.
The effect of ten years of a dysfunctional character running much of the country is not only that government finances are out of control. No matter how much money is raised in tax, so many billions are wasted that borrowing spirals ever higher. It’s not only money that’s become a disaster area, however.
Government is giving up total. The Inland Revenue lost 7 million records by sending them by recorded mail, and not keeping back-up copies – a thing that even a 10 year old child in today’s world would know was wrong. Iain Dale believes such incompetence is widespread. (later news bulletins clarified that there is a risk of exposure of 7 million private bank details and other personal information, and that the government does have copies taken elsewhere) See BBC Report on collapsing morale at HMRC
The Northern Rock ‘run’ was entirely preventable had the government taken a firm hand on events, assisted the wholesale money markets early enough, and kept any individual name out of the media. The rescue that became finally necessary is proving very costly, and will put pessure on government finances already in a hole. Other names of similar institutions might be coming into unnecessary crisis next, as the government either has no idea what it is doing and is not prepared to take ultimate responsibility. If it doesn’t get a grip, the financial crisis so far happening in financial institutions, could soon cause a government financial crisis of 1970s proportions.
Hospitals have to a large exent given up preventing deaths. People are not dying for the lack of millions. UKL 20 would save most of the unnecessary deaths, for example those that are sacrificed to hospital acquired MRSA etc. Cleaners are not expensive.
The lack of relatively cheap magnesium infusions also ‘does for’ tens of thousands of heart patients in Britain every year. These are not given in the UK as they are in Germany for example to all heart patients. In Britain only collapsed farm animals get a magnesium shot from the vet. Humans are expendable. The NHS sucks out all the money and then refuses to do even a basic job.
Another example. Small businesses that want to register trading names and start up businesses, are finding that the government registry responsible, Trade Marks and Names, that used to work so well pre-1997 is completely unable to provide any answers as to whether proposed trading names are available or not. The same goes for so many departments now that it is almost impossible to find anyone in any section of government prepared to take responsibility for anything. Whether it’s Foot & Mouth spilling out of Pirbright, flood planes being built all over or immigrants pouring in at too fast a rate, there is no one on hand to do anything.
It starts at the top. Brown sees every event from one perspective and one perspective only – as he always did throughout the Blair years, and tragically for Britain, again now as Prime Minister – the perspective of ‘how does this affect my position?’ He’s created a ‘dog eat dog’ world throughout government, where failure is now almost guaranteed at every turn. For Britain to recover from this crisis-by-government, Brown will have to go. The problem is that he will not need to go for two more years. In that period he will bring us to or knees.
The problem is that those who used to hold the ship afloat and carry Brown’s responsibility for him while he played every issue for his own political advantage are giving up. They’ve had enough, and the money’s run out.
Even the strongest countries, as Britain could have been fairly described in 1997 can be brought to collapse if a basket case is left in power too long. General De Gaulle was correct, but he could never have imagined waste and stupidity on the Gordon Brown scale. Under Brown, the term government is a misnomer. It is no more. We are adrift in the world awaiting an inevitable crisis. Let it be quick, before too much more damage is done to our once proud country.
In two years time, Cameron’s ideas to abandon reliance on the State and rebuild society from the bottom up will be thrown into harness very quickly. By the time he gets to Downing Street, there will be one unholy mess to sort out. There is a lot riding on his shoulders.