...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Day 2002: Revenge of the Safety Elephant


It can hardly have escaped your attention that former Minister for Trying to Bang People up Without Trial, Charles Clarke, has given a series of interviews to Radio 4's "On the Ropes", BBC 2's "Newsnight" and Rodger Stavro Mordick's "the Times".

In these interviews, Mr Clarke says how unfair and MEAN it was of Lord Blairimort to sack him for being rubbish and that he deserved at least two more years to prove just how much MORE rubbish he could be!

And it certainly wasn't the case that he SOBBED LIKE A BABY when Lord Blairimort was prying his fingers off the doors of the Home Office. There may have been something in his eye, that is all. Probably a foot. Having missed his mouth.

Mr Clarke has also complained that his replacement Dr John "sweetness and light" Reid spends too much time being POPULIST and reacting to the TABLOIDS.

Dr Reid should be following Mr Clarke's method of saying one thing, then saying another and then blaming the Liberals and THEN reacting to the tabloids before doing whatever Lord Blairimort told him to do in the first place.

The Home Office is certainly NOT not fit for purpose, insists Mr Clarke. The mistake is to assume that the purpose of the Home Office is to run the police, the prisons and the immigration service! It certainly couldn't do any of that!

People – and by people I choose to include runner up to Mr Balloon in the least hated Conservatory of last year contest, Mr Davis David – have said that Mr Clarke's tantrum is as devastating to Lord Blairimort as the resignation of (then) Sir Gerffey* Howe was to the (then) Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

[R: *among his other duties, Sir Gerffey was once President of the Cambridge University Conservatory Association and this is the name that they printed on all their material for freshers. I hope they are honoured that I will always remember him this way.]

Of course, Mr Davis David is WRONG about this.

Sir Gerffey's attack on Mrs T was so devastating because is was totally unexpected and – to everyone's enormous surprise – not actually RUBBISH. Two killer factors neither of which apply to Mr Clarke's tittle-tattle.

The other thing to remember was that Mrs Thatcher was VULNERABLE but only FELL because there was a PREDATOR waiting on the back benches for the opportunity to strike. Mr Michael Hessleswine had the gravitas and charisma necessary to be a CREDIBLE contender for Mrs Thatcher's job. Furthermore, for him NOT to have challenged her after Sir Gerffey's resignation speech would have fatally undermined him in any future attempt: in short he not only COULD but HAD to challenge her when he did.

Lord Blairimort faces no such person today.

Very sadly, the only person who COULD have fit the mould was former Foreign Secretary and former Leader of the House, Robin Cook, but he tragically died.

The Labour don't really have anyone else who isn't just… well… Mr Clarke.

And anyway, Lord Blairimort has one huge advantage: a human shield. Anyone wanting to challenge Lord Blairimort will have to stand in line or go through MR FROWN first.

Installed in the Chancellery sorry Treasury with almost as much power as he wants and unofficially crowned as heir-apparent, Mr Frown is as happy as a PIG in MUCK. His only real worry is whether he will be TAINTED by association when he finally ascends to the Prime Ministerial throne. For HIM to challenge Lord Blairimort would be the, er, NUCLEAR OPTION – an all or nothing gamble which he could, after all, lose.

If ten straight years of stability in the economy tell us anything, it's that Mr Frown and gambling are STRANGE bedfellows.

Almost all of the Labour MPs are desperately trying to convince themselves that Mr Frown is their great hope, the king over the water who will make it all good again after the years of corruption under Lord Blairimort and his lapdogs in the cabinet, er…

What this is is a very NU Labour story: add gossip to media and STIR.

Charles said this about Tony. ooOOOoo! Well Tony said this about Charles! ooOOOoo! Well, now Charles says this about John and Margaret tells all of them off and Peter says it was all Gordon's fault anyway and he's not playing any more. So there! ooOOOoo!

Don't you wish we had GROWN UPS in government?

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