The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
The Liar is Dead.
Long Live the Liar


Anthony McIntyre • Fourthwrite

One of the funnier moments in the political calendar recently was when Cherie Blair accused Gordon Brown of telling lies. As a barrister Cherie should have vast experience in the art of being barely audible from years of whispering to m'lud. But even barristers are known for the odd indiscretion. Anger having got the better of prudence, she has left herself vulnerable to howls of 'splitter'.

It is the sort of gaffe the public has come to expect from a woman who was fined £10 for not having a train ticket on the day of her appointment to the bench as a criminal court judge, and who once asked a wheelchair bound comedian, 'do you do stand-up?'

Her unpersuasive denial that she uttered the deadly words has left her hoist on her own petard, leaving her critique of Brown devalued and herself the victim of blowback. There were few rushing to the bookies to bet against fly on the wall Bloomberg agency reporter Carolin Lotter's version of events.

In accusing Brown of lying Cherie Blair knows what she is talking about, having made the long-term acquaintance of one of the biggest liars in modern British political history. It is easy to imagine the pillow talk that night in the Blair boudoir when Cherie whispered to Tony that Gordon was a dishonest rotter. What could her husband do - mumble something indecipherable and then try to change the subject? New Labour under the leadership of Blair has produced more British liars than income tax ever managed. Cheri desperately needs to get with the programme. If she genuinely thinks Gordon is something Tony isn't she would be well advised to access marriage guidance counselling or a private detective. She clearly does not know her own husband.

Like all megalomaniacs Blair finds it hard to let go of the power that political leadership brings with it. Margaret Thatcher ended up so demented by the loss of it that it is said that for months after she sustained the order of the boot her advisors continued to ply her with position papers as part of managing her cold turkey and alleviating the withdrawal symptoms.

In Brown's battle to give Blair the heave ho both men have been damaged. Blair having been holed below the waterline has little choice but to go. Nevertheless he has forced Brown to break cover, which in turn has prompted serious doubts about the current chancellor's ability to lead either Labour or the country. Blair with lots of fulfilled ambition is immune to allegations that he is ambitious. Not so Brown, whose ambition has allowed the Blair rearguard to portray the would-be prime minister as disloyal.

So enraged is Blair by the thought that Gordon Brown or anybody else may possess the audacity to seek to replace him as leader, he has thus far refused to place his imprimatur on Brown as his successor. According to Frank Millar of the Irish Times a poll conducted in England after the failed coup to remove Blair concluded that Brown is regarded by voters as less honest than the Tory contender for prime minister, David Cameron, and the more likely of the two 'to stab a colleague in the back'. Not that it seems to be having much of an impact. William Hill, the bookies, were making Brown the clear 7/2 odds on favourite to be next Labour leader.

What difference will Brown make as prime minister? He claims to be a politician of substance rather than celebrity. Perhaps, but he is almost certain to secure victory for style over substance. He is determined to infect the public sector with the virus of private capital, introduce ID cards, erode civil liberties, enhance police powers, and answer 'yes master' each time Bush shouts 'yo Brown.' Will he do anything to reverse the abominable inequality where it is estimated that the average City of London earnings are now 160 times the minimum wage? Perhaps the only area his presence, or lack of it, may be felt in is Ireland where he is highly unlikely to be as bewitched by the incessant squabbling of the Stormont political class as his predecessor.

The almost certain spectacle of a closed circle undemocratically passing on leadership, as if it were a perk of an elite rather than the inalienable right of a democracy, should never be tolerated in a party which claims to be radical. That a camarilla can dictate and control events so tightly resonates more of 1970s regime change in Argentina than a modern European democracy in 2006. Little surprise that only a quarter of the electorate has voted the Labour Party into office for a third term. Labour MP Michael Meacher argues that with Brown and Blair both moving even further to the right:

it is increasingly clear that the Labour party and the public deserve an open contest for the leadership, between candidates representing all the main wings of the party - not just the Brownite right and the Blairite far-right. They want a debate on policies, not a parade of personalities.

If the new supremo, as seems likely, Brown will lead a party that is faring poorly in the polls, faces great mistrust, is involved in a police investigation over the source of its funding, and is behind two deeply unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. An alternative scenario is that Gordon Brown will perhaps be one of those leaders that Britain never had. Does it really matter?





















Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

12 December 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Chile: The death of a Murderer
Tito Tricot

35 Years of Silence
John Kennedy

Perpetual opposition haunts DUP
David Adams

Sucking Up to Sinn Fein
Dr John Coulter

Circling the Wagons
Anthony McIntyre

Spin Cycle
Carrie Twomey

The Hypocrisy is Pathetic
Seamus Kearney

'Provo leaders should wake up to the truth'
Carrie Twomey

Prison Protest Held in Newry
Republican Prisoners' Action Group (RPAG)

Get It Together
Dr John Coulter

The Liar is Dead. Long Live the Liar
Anthony McIntyre

Throw Away the Key
John Kennedy

The State's Bar Must Always Be Higher
Mick Hall

Zionism: Pitting the West Against Islam
M. Shahid Alam

Mental Madness
Dr John Coulter

3 December 2006

Forensic Framework Unravels
Martin Galvin

RUC Killing of Irish-American To Become Issue in New Congress
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

F's All Around
Dr John Coulter

Loose Ends
John Kennedy

The People of No Principle
Geraldine Adams

Policing, a Bridge Too Far for Republicans?
Willie Gallagher

Conway Mill Debate
Anthony McIntyre

Not Too Late for a United Front
Mick Hall

Afraid of the Voice of the People
James Bradley

Ideals Live On
Dolours Price

Ray McAreavey

Poetry in Motion
Lord Falls

Michael Pebble
Anthony McIntyre

Action Required to Stop Bullies
Dr John Coulter

O'Shea is Right on Aid Policy
David Adams

Ministerial Own Goal
Anthony McIntyre

‘Beyond the Veil: Perspectives on Muslim Women in a Western Secular Context’
Maryam Namazie



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices