Friday, October 19, 2007

Iain Dale's Diary: Panic at the Ministry of Defence

Iain Dale thinks an exchange in the Lords on a little Des Browne gaffe (or big set up) makes things "muddier and muddier". In what way Iain? No more muddy and perhaps even slightly less muddy?

And when Mr Browne is reshuffled as happens to all eventually rather than being the first of Brown's ministers to go wouldn't he be the last of Blair's?!

Des Browne does seem to be painted as gaffe prone. Tory clots persist in calling him Swiss Tony. Which is I think a sign of how dim Tories are. Tony Lloyd MP, the Chair of the PLP, is clearly Swiss Tony, not Des.

Des does have a bit of a run-away gob on him and some non linear thought processes. These might be handy doing a Crossword or finishing a Sudoku in record time. But not necessarily the best asset when wrestling with a loathsome word weasel like Liam Fox.

In this case though it looks a bit like Browne's had some trouble with linearity. Perhaps he is party to an upcoming announcement on this matter which he thought was already in the public domain? Or else he's been set up.

Purely as a little thought experiment - for fun - would you think the MoD staff would be more or less prone to setting up a minister or colluding with opposition spokesmen than those in other Departments of State?

When Browne was immigration minister he had a meeting with Farhat Khan's MP Graham Stringer and told him as a serious point that as FK had collected 10,000 signatures she was clearly the sort of resourceful individual who could escape death and destruction (from gangsters and warlords) for herself and her young children when returned to NWFP.

Graham Stringer remarked at the time that Browne's remark was "perverse". Which is to say the least.

As Farhat herself told Michael Buerk on R4 Choices: "I am strong, but I am not bullet proof". Sources tell me this programme has been considered "best ever", will be repeated and may even get a wider airing.


Iain Dale said...

Er, that is not a pic of Des Browne...

Chris Paul said...

Er, Iain and where did I say it was? Did you even read the post? Or is that a gag?