Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brown Gurns on MP Expenses



Sorry for the lack of posting today. I have been at the London Book Fair all morning. Various people have emailed me asking if I have seen the PM's video on expenses. I just watched it. Oh dear. It's as if there is someone behind the camera holding up a board every 30 seconds which says SMILE. I'd love to know what a body language expert makes of this performance. I know what I think...

As to the political ramifications, all I can say is that it is unheard of for a Prime Minister to make a major announcement like this the day before a budget. It makes you wonder why he is trying to deflect the media's attention away from the budget doesn't it? Or am I being overly cynical? I don't think so.

If he truly wanted a consensus on these issues he would have called in Cameron and Clegg before making the announcement, not after. He's trying a trick. Hopefully Cameron and Clegg will have a conversation before the meeting and stop any attempt to catch them out.

UPDATE: Anthony Barnett says: "We are now witnessing the end game. The idea that it will last another year is too excruciating. Just watch this video of Brown! Rarely can a disease have presented itself so unconvincingly as the cure."

99 comments:

Bond007 said...

I feel sick

General Election. Now.

IanW said...

I don't know whether to laugh or gibber with fear.

Rush-is-Right said...

Weird. I think he's inebriated.

Mirtha Tidville said...

` Young people wanting to be FireMEN and AmbulanceMEN`...Ye Gods Mad Hattie will have his bollocks for that....

As for the smile,might be wrong, but it looked a bit like the manic grin he had when listening to Daniel Hannan telling him how it was.....

Plato said...

Funnily enough - am just having a think about exactly that :)

Yup, it's a diversion - just heard Nick Clegg saying Gordon's daily allowance is the same gravy train idea as the EU parliament.

Very good skewer.

Daily Referendum said...

My favourite bit is 1min 55secs in. Be afraid, be very.....

Myopic Pete said...

I thought he was doing a pretty good impression of Jack Nicholson playing the Joker.

Check the picture on my blogpost and then watch the video. it's uncanny.

pete-s said...

Typical McGrim, announces proposals even just said he was waiting for the appropriate committee to report. Also several months ago before Jackboots bathplug, he not even vote on MPs expenses, let alone whip them to vote on the subject. McGrim as usual only takes action when the excrement has already stuck the fan.

Anonymous said...

So Dracula, our great unelected leader, wants to make changes to the bloodbank eh? Can't see it myself, probably just give themselves a huge pay rise instead.

You couldn't make it up. Why doesn't some one just tell him straight to his face,that the games up? Is there really any body left who believes a word he says?

Eddie said...

Oh yes, a trick alright - that is why he looks so happy.

I think he may have been taking voice coaching lessons from Robert Peston!

Somebody clearly had those eyebrows on pieces of cotton too.

But seriously, when Cameron asked for this meeting before the recess, Brown refused a change before the report that will be conducted.

Now he is trying to force through changes in a partisan way.

Martin Kettle at the Guardian has spotted this.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/21/mps-expenses-gordon-brown

Tony said...

Iain,

Too sensitive - it's not going to get much real airtime, is it? Most broadcasters would be too embarrassed to have to talk to this video.

GB has woken up to the fact that his ship is leaking at all levels and just like the captain of the Titanic he's trying to reassure those afloat with him that he is unsinkable. The voters, unfortunately in his case, are the icebergs!

archroy said...

What a weird, weird, weird man. Try watching this with the sound muted - it is very creepy.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I couldn't watch it all the way through. What's with the smiling? His behaviour is baroque and smarmy and disected by sinister drollary, as if he is watching someone being tortured off camera.

I am getting Caligula on Coke.

ranter said...

I can't bring myself to play it. He is a truly awful prime minister. If I didn't know better I'd think he wasn't at all well.
Why the tories aren't making hay with this idiot I don't know.

Warsteiner said...

I find his demeanour quite disturbing.
As someone posted on another site though if you turn the sound down it is quite funny.

Ollie Cromwell said...

It is not the system we have lost confidence in Mr Brown It is you. Tony Blair promised to serve a full term but failed to stand up to your attack dogs and now the nation suffers your blithering incompetence. Go. Go now. Yes you make us laugh, but we need more than that in a prime minister.

http://the-red-rag.blogspot.com/2009/04/your-not-elected-mr-brown.html

Anonymous said...

It's complete booolsheet.
Put MP's on P.A.Y.E. with the same tax codes and allowances as any other poor bastard. Reducing their ability to rip us off.
A 20% cut in pay as well. all special advisors paid by party, no public money for any political purposes; you want think tanks YOU pay.

Anonymous said...

The guy has lost it. To put a proposal forward and they say that he wants to consult is the same definition of consultation as my old bosses.
"I talk you listen"
He's got to go.

Armchair said...

Does this man realise how false he looks. I wonder whether if the producer had held up the board saying "CLAP" by mistake, he would have.....Or would he have thought it was an idea for a smear tactic?

I particularly enjoyed the bit where he said that the rules were not clear enough.......Well not if you are an unconscionable petty thief, intent on exploiting the system they aren't, no!

Chuffer said...

I managed about five seconds before I projectile vomited all over my computwer, wicj is why the leys are alk stucky...

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I got to 19 seconds then stopped watching.

W.V. sterible. Yes, it is!

Bill Quango MP said...

Watch it with the sound off, but with Frankie Howerd giving a prologue from Up Pompeii!

"Ohh well...no..listen.. well... Now, MP's yes..Been having a bit of a laugh. With expenses. At our expenses no less.. Yes weeeell.
Now, time for reform. Jacqui Smith, the poor old cow. I mean, well, you wouldn't want to would you? Hmmm..
No, you wicked lot..ohh no, not that. Oh its wicked.
I meant clean the stains off the leather... oh no , now..don't titter. Not that! Not that!.
She spilled some wine on it and asked me to mop it up, yes. What dear? Pardon.. oh no..
Well I never! with a bath plug, you say?
No wonder she walks without moving her arms.. ohhhh its scandalous. "

Liz said...

He's not actually human, is he? I'm more convinced than ever that there's a big key in Gordon's back, and that a big, greasy collection of cogs and levers covered with an unconvincing layer of silicone is, in fact, leading our government.

James Burdett said...

It is shockingly bad. One thought that occurred to me, was that he is clearing the decks. The fact that no policy announcement is going to overshadow the budget, but if the strategy is to go to the country in June, then from Brown's viewpoint neutralising expenses is an absolute must.

Mog said...

Iain

Hate him - love you and thanks for your kind ... word!

Verity said...

Fraser Nelson over at The Spectator has suggested someone clever set it to music and put it on YouTube. Many, many funny comments on the Comment thread at The Speccie.

mark said...

He would not call in other party leaders before making an anouncement, as it would not tie in with this government and its dictatorial nature.

Of course not waiting for the report (expenses) will have been conveniently forgotten, in order to grab some meaningful headlines, and, also, to distract from the budget as well as smeargate.

By being seen to be doing something about expenses/allowances, he is seen to be putting the governmental house in order, and the illusion of caring what we actually think, will continue.

Wyrdtimes said...

Truly ghoulish!

I notice that they've moved away from a youtube format presumably so people can't give it a rating of 1 or link to it with their own comments.

How anyone can think that this video will do Labour any favours is beyond me.

Inspector Morse said...

I utterly despise this man, but I do wish to make one point:

He is blind in one eye. He is (clearly) reading from an autocue. That's a big handicap.

Conclusion. This was a horrendously (bodged) job, with the director not allowed enough time to demand a re-take or twelve. The man is panicking.

Delphius1 said...

I love the way he holds it together for the first 3 minutes or so, then the "smile" placard-waver's arms must tire and Brown starts to ramble on in his monotone.. zzzzzzzzzzz.

When he smiles, he looks like the sort of nutter you don't want sitting next to you on the bus.

Blackacre said...

I can't bring myself even to press play - can someone supply a transcript please?

Blackacre said...

I can't bring myself even to press play - can someone supply a transcript please?

Conservative Cabbie said...

Perhaps we could make a game out of this video. See how long you can watch it for before it becomes too much.

I made it to 32 seconds.

Stephen Gash said...

Why DO MPs in England Brown-nose so humiliatingly?

It beggars belief. Labour MPs in England have sold their consituents down the river to curry favour with this basket case.

They really are the lowest of the low.

Why are the Tories losing ground to Brown in the polls though?

I think it is not only time to dump Brown, but to dump Scotland.

moorlandhunter said...

I’ve never seen him twitch, flap about and grimace (smile) so much, has anyone hooked him up to an electric cattle fence and given him the full whack of juice?

Cynic said...

Great chance to show Brown up again. His solution to the problem of bent MPs (and there are some) fiddling expenses is .....pay them all more except those who represent London seats.

The Conservatives should attack this with all they can and push it to a vote ....... if Labour fail to get it through it's vote of confidence time. If they do then Gordon is seen whipping Labour to vote more money to MPs

I know that seems cynical but that is the reality of life and I have spent 12 years watching this shower destroy the economy and undermine the integrity of politics and GOvernmnet.

Cynic said...

It looks like something Enver Hoxha would have done on TV

RM said...

he starts out almost doing a blairish mannerism!!! very funny!

OMG! said...

I couldn't bear to watch it all - excruciating smiles and gesticulations and boring words.

The man needs a personality transplant.

Anonymous said...

Looks depressed but trying not to show it.

Dad Mzungu said...

A daily attendance allowance? I thought that is what their salary was for!

conservative activist said...

Re Insp Morse's comment about the PM's blindness.

My partner is also blind in one eye - it means, amongst other things, that there are some things he simply doesn't notice when they are out of his field of vision, and I feel that commentators should be aware of this when criticising Brown's physical actions. It also leads to a certain amount of physical clumsiness, since it is difficult to assess distances to a fine degree.

However, Brown should really have no problem with reading from static prompt cards in a sufficiently large type, unless the vision in his remaining eye is badly deteriorating. In which case, why not be honest with the public about it, and we could all make allowances?

wayne said...

"Weird. I think he's inebriated"

I thought he was pissed too.

Also someone should teach him the appropriate moments to smile in a speech. ie not when gordo was smiling. Just made him look creepy.

Be he is a creepy hoon isn't he.

Roger Thornhill said...

My sides ached.


PG13 material. I mean, some of the smiling transitions are actually quite unsettling. It is like he can see behind you while someone is sneaking up with a bucket of water or something. Then he goes deadly grim again for no apparent reason. It is almost Pavlovian, disturbed.

All I know is, as I type I start laughing again.

Boris Yeltsin (were he...) and John Redwood can breathe slightly easier tonight, that is for sure.

Neil Kinnock? He still has two up there in the top ten at least. Alright?

darkwater said...

indeed, cringe-inducing. To be fair, i think he literally has a physical problem smiling due to his rugby injury which blinded his and also damaged some of his facial nerves.

The question is which spin doctor does he employ to tell him to try smiling when his attempts are so clearly disastrous?

Anonymous said...

Surely there's a techie out there that can add new words to this and overlay with the song "Time to go now" ?

That would go viral

Anonymous said...

Mummy, The weird man is scaring me!

He is seriously deranged. Can you begin to imagine what it must be like inside his head?

trevorsden said...

ConHom are reporting that Browns Rules' will not apply to Northern Ireland MPs !!!

mark said...

This video is hilarious. Are number10 branching out onto the mainstream comedy circuit?

Or, is this a sinister attempt to make Mr Brown a laughing stock, and thereby hasten his departure?

Or, have they put out the wrong video, and this was the rehearsal?

john miller said...

You've sold out haven't you and done a deal with "PC World Screenwipes"?

Because I only watched 59 seconds of the video but have now used 13 wipes!

Bugsmalone said...

I'm old enough to remember prime minister Chamberlain and I've watched them all closely since; some good some (mostly)bad. But Brown is the most cretinous twit we've had EVER as p.m. and why the Tories aren't simply shredding him I cannot understand - perhaps we should ask that nice Mr.Iain Dale to shake them up a bit in his spare time

Bugsmalone

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Try the effort over at mine:

www.wrinkledweasel.blogspot.com

Darcy said...

In a way, I pity him. What bizarre parallel universe is it where a man so clearly at odds with himself and lacking the most basic human credentials is permitted to be self appointed Prime Minister?

It's sickening and terribly sad.

Imagine for a moment that Gordon Brown wasn't a politician. If one were to interact with him in a hospital, school, law firm or any normal workplace, can anyone honestly say that they wouldn't be just a little bit afraid? There really is no way that he would succeed if judged on merit alone.

Without cronyism, bullying, manipulation and secret deals, this is a man who would be collecting trollies in a supermarket car park and living a Kirkcaldy bedsit.

The spineless, pea-brained Labour Party drones who saddled us with Brown and the others that continue to enable him should be deeply ashamed.

Political leaders require empathy and a mandate. Brown has neither.

Tweedledum said...

Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

Give me one of Jacqui Smith's husband's clean, healthy porn videos in preference to this!

Anyone remember Ceausescu? When he was on the balcony and the crowd started booing? That's what will happen if he tries to 'meet the people' in the election campaign. Thay won't even be able to rustle up Labour party workers to fake a crowd of supporters.

Although I detest the man I also pity him. This is all going to end quite dreadfully for him.

Rexel No 56 said...

Well, if it was McBride that used to say "No" to this kind of nightmare being projected onto the British pulblic... then for all our sakes, let's get him back.

kasou said...

Rush-is-Right

I don't know if he was drunk but I managed 3 mins, then had to pause, I need a coffee, double brandy and my sofa then I will press RESUME.

Maybe now McBride is gone some youngster my consider being an MP, but then again....we still have McBRUIN in charge and that makes it a dicey choice of career unless you are a BULLY.

Peter said...

Maybe the Labour Party could get a Brown lookalike to do his speeches. Or on second thoughts maybe the lookalike could take over from Brown.

Grumpy said...

I wonder what colour the sky is on Brown's planet...

Time-to-go said...

It looks like his false teeth are trying to escape as well.

Neil James Ward said...

What was that smile is he auditioning for the role of the joker in the next batman film lets face it after next may he will have lots of time on his hands.

Images of a latter-day bogeyman said...

Saw an excerpt on the the Daily P. Those brief flashes of a fake smile are creepy.

John Moss said...

"The 6,000 series, they had rubber skin and were easy to spot, but this is an 8,000, human flesh grown 'sepcially for them, laid over a hyper-alloy combat chassis, very tough....."

Where's John Conner when you need him?

Horshamite said...

Simply bizarre. Does nobody do a reality check for him before issuing something as damaging as this?

curly15 said...

Was that an attempt at stand up comedy?

Anonymous said...

Turn the sound off and then observe his body language.

It's very enlightening.

He's nuts.

Mark M said...

Well, I managed about 30 seconds of that before the head-bobbing and weird smiling gave me the creeps and made me turn it off.

How on earth is this man our prime minister? No wonder the rest of the world laughs at us.

Paul Halsall said...

The fact he thinks this is clever is depressing.

Anonymous said...

This is so cynical and politically motivated its almost beyond belief. Of course you know what will happen. If theres any dissagreement between the parties Gordon and his henchmen will be giving interviews all over the place saying that the "Tories are not serious about curbing MP`S expenses."

Neil said...

That was hilarious - like that clip on Yes Prime Minister - the Ministerial Broadcast, where Jim Hacker is told his face is "too wooden" and he should try moving it a bit more - Gordo did a spot on impression, only, Jim Hacker did it in a practice session.

Tom said...

What a twat. What has he got to smile about? I've never believed in this guy and do less and less as the days go by.

Give up now Gordon - forget it - it's all over.

Anonymous said...

Mouthbreather

andanotherthing said...

This is all to do with Radio Five live. They did a broadcast yesterday from a london labour MP`S flat. I think his name was Mann, discussing MP`S expenses.
he was on again today to say that the Treasury contacted him last night and asked questions about his proposals, then up pops the one eyed lunatic on youtube today with the same proposals.
Apparently he was abused by his fellow MP`s when they heard what he had proposed.

Moorman said...

Brown is becoming more and more like Alan Partridge with each day.
What a shambolic performance.
What a strange,weird man!!

Watervole said...

He could even surpass Heath Ledger's famous performance as the Joker. The men in white coats can't be far away now....

Fragmeister said...

Reminds me of Jim Hacker's first Prime Ministerial broadcast. When told he looked wooden, the next run through was like someone having a strange seizure.

By the way, Hacker was the better PM.

andanotherthing said...

What i meant was that the Labour MP on 5live yesterday was abused by his fellow MP`s for suggesting just the sort of checks that Gordo has proposed today. Not that Labour MP`s had abused the One Eyed Lunatic. Pity really.

tankus said...

why hasn't it got at least a 15 age rating .....?

looks like the person that always sits alone in the back seats on the upper deck of a london night bus .

just doesn't feel safe sitting in front ..




"Heeeeres Johnny"

cherami said...

That's a new trick, then; pm upstages own chancellor.

Makes one wonder a bit about just how awful the budget is going to be.si

Martin Day said...

Doesn't Tom Watson have involvement in Media and online communication?

If he was involved in this it shows how Brown surrounds himself with people in his own image - completly useless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LOL!!!!

Nietzschesghost said...

A) He looks like a robot being tapped with a high powered cattle prod.
B) It's just designed to attack tories over second jobs (Mr Smearman 'aint learning is he?).
c) The only way to stop naughty expenses claims is to pay MP's a great deal more money and then let them pay for everything themselves.
D) Notice how all the kids want to work for the state?

Anonymous said...

Argh! Burn it!

Lord Dickie said...

God, I thought Major was bad towards the end but this is worrying for us all. Don't let him near any nuclear button, we're in Dr. Strangelove territory here.

Someone put him out of our misery, PLEASE !

Jules said...

Of course. the private sector doesn't exist in BrownWorld and taxpayer's money grows on trees.

This man is an alien straight out of Jack Finney's 'Body Snatchers'. Every. Single. Thing about him is slightly out-of-whack and slightly too abnormal to be acceptable; the cumulative effect of which fills me with a combination of dread, morbid curiousity and disgust.

Election. Now.

Mike Law said...

Iain didn't post my previous comment (I guess it was the use of two expletives).

However, the point I was trying to make was that it is rich that he states that young people should be encouraged to become legislators when this current lot pass a set of rules pertaining to their own expenses then, when they get found out for acting like pigs at a trough, cry "the rules are too vague".

What a wonderful gaggle of legislators we currently have.

Vulpus_rex said...

I'd like to have done as he suggests and become an MP -unfortunately my parents weren't well connected and rich enough to buy me a safe seat in south London at the age of 22.

john miller said...

I posted many months ago on Coffee House that some of Brown's closest advisers were having a competition.

How stupid can you make the PM appear without him noticing?

He must have played this back on the DVD player and said "Yes, that's good" whilst 8 "advisers" acquired double hernias and sorted out the winnings.

Twig said...

So it's out of the trough and on to the gravy train.

Gordon,
it's not difficult under the existing system, if you catch anyone playing fast and loose with the rules, sack 'em. We all know that Jacqi Smith's sisters place is not Jacqi's main home, she's only pretending so that she can pocket a few tens of thousands of tax free cash - can you not you see that?

Same goes for Balls, Cooper, McNulty and the rest. Just sack 'em for gross misconduct. No need for new rules, just apply the existing rules and enforce them.

CuttingEdge said...

Picture the scene in Downing Street...Brown and Watson in conference, with an empty chair at the table McBride used to plant his backside on:

Gordon: I want to get on YouTube with expenses and get 2 million hits like that bastard Hannan.
Watson: Err...
Gordon: As a government we have to embrace this new medium. What better than MP's expenses as a starter?
Watson: Err...
Gordon: The public will love me again...you aren't saying much, Tom. Tom?
Watson (thinking): Where the hell is McBride when I need him...

Jonathan Cook said...

He is mad. Quite mad.

titus-aduxas said...

The best part of that video is watching his tie animate, as he speaks.

I can't bear to look at his face, I get scared he's going to break into another of his "This snake-oil will cure gout, cancer, hair loss, athlete's foot and all known sexually transmitted diseases, madam" smiles.

God, is he excruciating to watch?

j said...

God, he's almost as irritating as Iain Dale. Almost.

j said...

God, he's almost as irritating as Iain Dale. Almost.

Anonymous said...

Watch the video with no sound, Hilarious.

Iwatched whilst listening to John Prine - It's a big old goofy world, even better

messagecraft® said...

I have literally trained thousands of people with very varying levels of skill and authenticity.

I have NEVER EVER seen anyone rate so badly on either scale - let alone both at the same time. I imagine there is some clown behind the tele-prompter waving a sign saying grimace, ahem, smile, every 30 seconds.

Who let that go public. Who signed off on that? Fire them - now!

Anonymous said...

With the sound off it reminds me of the animated video of Peter Gabriels Sledgehammer.

"Brownhammer"?

Anonymous said...

I need to vomit!

Glenn Harrison said...

OK Iain; you wanted an opinion from a Body Language expert, so here it is, with the addition of Behavioural knowledge too. I am Glenn Harrison, and I've just submitted an article for your Total Politics magazine, on 'Body Language in informal meetings'.
Gordon Brown is what is known in Behavioural terms as a 'Steady' core behaviour. This is seen in his facial expressions as bing relatively expressionless. All top poker players have this core behaviour, so it is difficult to read any 'handles' or 'giveaways' in the game. Generally they have emotionless face gestures; so you were right about the 'smile' prompt. Gordon will find it extremely difficult to 'put on' a smile. Either, someone is prompting him, or there is a regular prompt on his auto-cue, saying 'keep smiling'. Problem is, Gordon can't keep it up for more than a second or three, as he drifts back into his unconscious expressions. You'll note that he keeps nodding his head in a fast jerky motion. This is because he's been told to keep his hands still, to avoid his chopping gestures from being filmed. Someone will have told him that the hand gestures will come across as agressive. Problem is, when you restrict the hand movements in Dominant and outgoing people, the movements move to the head, and their head movements become more demonstrative.
Gordon also has a bad habit of drawing breath in a way that makes him seem insincere. Check it out.
The steady behaviour is a hindrance to Gordon Brown's accceptance in the public. He doesn't show emotion, so he doesn't come across as sincere; unlike Tony Blair, who's core behaviour was 'influence' and showed emotion when speaking. Behavioural traits of someone like Tony Blair are: likeable, charming, optimistic, smily, trusting, demonstrable and enthusiastic.
The lack of enthusiam in this clip with Gordon Brown leaves a feeling of disbelief in the outcome.
All this is seen and heard at a subconscious level for the majority of people, which results in a gut feeling of 'uncertainty', as opposed to the trust and belief intended.
So this begs a question. If Gordon Brown is being prompted on his body language, and we can see that he's working on it; how will we know if he's lying? Well, that's easy, you should all know that. His lips are moving:)

Glenn@GlennHarrison.com

pagani1 said...

More like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" just before he takes an axe to the door and asks if you can come out to play. Spitting Image would have made a meal of this shower-where are they when you need them.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown IS Jim Hacker!