Destroyed by a lack of courage

There is a great article at the Telegraph about a new book by Alistair Darling.

Beware the fury of a patient man. In keeping with John Dryden’s adage, the deferred rage of Alistair Darling has proved a more potent weapon than the invective and office furnishings hurled around Downing Street by Gordon Brown.

Some time ago, I met the former chancellor on a London Tube train and suggested that Tony Blair’s memoir, then newly published, had been unexpectedly acerbic about Mr Brown. Mr Darling remarked, with some feeling, that Mr Blair had not told the half of what went on. He has now obligingly plugged those gaps.

Tell all books filling the gaps left by others are always fun.

Although Mr Darling does not actually use the words “brutal and volcanic”, Mr Brown emerges as a lightly house-trained variant of Vlad the Impaler. In a climate of petulance and paranoia, senior figures apparently conversed, in the manner of Bertie Wooster’s aunts, like mastodons bellowing across primeval swamps.

I must get this book, sounds like a barrel of laughs.

Far from being testosterone-fuelled, Planet Brown was a bed of shrinking violets. The then PM’s timorous dithering, on issues from calling an early election to constitutional reform, found an echo among his supine satellites. The besetting sin affecting the Brown regime was not a shortage of temper but of backbone. That bravery deficit should weigh heavily on Ed Miliband as he prepares for his party conference. He will, if he is sensible, pay little heed to commentators urging him to linger over the smoking entrails of the past. The Blair/Brown hegemony described by Mr Darling as “almost a dictatorship” will not be replicated soon, if ever.

Striking parallels to the Clark years there. And there is a word of warning there for Phil Goff:

Crises do not come much larger than the breakdown of the economy, and of law and order. With the polls edging Mr Cameron’s way, Mr Miliband knows that he will have to show in his TUC and party conference speeches that he has a solution the country, as well as the party, can embrace.

Political history does not favour the noisy tyrant, the misleading caricature with which Mr Brown, for now at least, is stuck. But nor does it bless the quiet man. The unwritten lesson of Mr Darling’s memoirs is that political regimes do not die of hissy fits but perish for want of bravery. If Mr Miliband is to seize his moment, he will need all the courage he can muster.

Labour in New Zealand perished for a lack of bravery and they are still perishing from their lack of bravery in ousting Phil Goff.



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  • diabolos

    Some would argue that Labour in NZ was conspicuous for its bravery – it destroyed the best country in the world in an overreaction to a National Governments ineptness in 1984.

    The british empire has gone (sadly) – we are no longer judged by their paradigms or actions.

    The poms will soon be discovering the downside of neo liberal thinking.

    We need to be certain that Key and his neo liberal toadies dont get back into power. We are done for if they do.

    It isnt about goff or bravery – its about stupidity … of the media, the blogosphere and the voting public. We just seem to want ‘bread and circusses” … well the RWC might just do that. If we Win – we get NACT – if we lose – we get a large dose of reality.

    Mark my words – this All Black team and their coach are indeed a metaphor for New Zealand and its economy – its focus and its social paradigms. Lets see how it plays out.

    i only hope my personal viewpoints are wrong.

    • orange

      See, that’s also the mark of Labour not getting it. Instead of working to become more popular, they refuse to change and just say the only reason they are not doing well is because all of New Zealand’s voters are stupid, which soooo makes them want to vote Labour. Amazing.

      • diabolos

        Orange – orange you are so glib….

        Labour arent saying that – I am saying that – a free thinking individual you dont happen to agree with. Get over it – cross the bridge.

        The most stupid bloc of voters was in 1984 when a trojan horse Labour administration was voted in. We’ve suffered ever since.

        Always picking up on the leftist rhetoric arent we fuckface … (there see – another leftist taunt to you in the white sheet with eyeholes and pitchfork in hand) … but you go very easy on your own dont you.

        Go and find another canned response … if you can muster the intellect to do so

      • diabolos

        I’d have to be absolutely stupid to think i could work to become more popular in this forum … of “american gothic” standins and admirers.

        Orange – were you brought up in the ozarks perchance – did momma marry her cousin … are you a throwback to the hatfields and the coys?

        See the link …

        This could be a family pic taken from your album or indeed the National Party … on the left JK – on the right – probably Ruth Richardsons bodydouble.

        That is the National and ACT government .. American Gothic …

        Im still chuckling about your silly series of conclusions.

    • Agent BallSack

      Is this just to see how many times you can fit ‘paradigm’ into a blogpost?
      Labour should have dumped Goof months ago anyway, obviously no balls in that caucus, be very glad their social engineering doesnt have a chance for at least 3 years to affect us all (again).

      • diabolos

        good word paradigm – some people live within one that is securely locked down against outside influences. Its called inbreeding.

        Do you have a balls fixation – or are you just keeping your head for a bet … i hear the muted sound of banjos playing a settin on a porch …

    • hard1

      If your per­sonal view­points ARE wrong , will you take a finger off , or at least flail ?

    • Agent BallSack

      No, I changed my name on this blog as I initially had the same initials as Barnsley Bill here.

      Just wondering where you take your name from…

      The Greek word “diabolos” means “the liar” or “the one that commits perjury”, from the verb “diaballo”, which means “to throw in”, “to generate confusion”, “to divide”, or “to make someone fall”. Later the word “diabolos” was used by Christian writers as “the liar that speaks against God”. From this meaning come many modern languages’ words for “devil” (French: diable, Italian: diavolo, Spanish: diablo, Portuguese: diabo, German: Teufel, Polish: diabeł).

      Or perhaps youre just a Chinese YoYo