Sunday, 13 January 2008

Gordon Brown-Trousers in a Spin

When Tony Blair was Prime Minister, you could always tell when there was something going on that he - or, more likely, his spin doctors - didn't want the media to cover. There would be a sudden crop of bizarre non-stories about things that were more or less guaranteed to gain coverage, but didn't actually contain any news.

Now it seems that Gordon Brown-Trousers is trying to adopt, adapt and improve the technique with a view to saving his political bacon. Take this story from the Daily Mail, for example: Transplants: Concern as Brown backs right to remove organs without consent. The headline tells you pretty much all you need to know, but the executive summary goes something like this - approximately 1000 people die every year while waiting for organ transplants, and there are about 8000 people on the waiting list at any one time. In a bid to cut deaths, Gordon Brown-Trousers wants everyone who dies to be a potential organ donor, unless they specifically opt out, or their relatives object.

Sounds like a good plan, eh? After all, in this environmentally friendly age, we should recycle anything we possibly can - I fully expect local councils to add bi-weekly corpse collections to their other recycling schemes any day now.

No doubt specially refrigerated red bins will be added to the rainbow-hued fleet of refuse containers already vying for space in many of Britain's gardens, and eco-conscious citizens will be encouraged to die in one wherever possible. Those of us who prefer a more traditional exit from this world - you know, screaming in vain for help on a trolley-filled NHS corridor, for example - will no doubt face heavy fines for thwarting new Government targets for wetware reclamation and recycling.

Unfortunately, this ultimate recycling scheme looks set to fail before it has even got started for, although boffins from the British Heart Foundation and the National Kidney Foundation are tentatively in favour, there is a problem. According to the NKF, the NHS would be unable to cope with the massive influx of donors presumed consent would bring, needing more transplant coordinators, better testing facilities, a national transplant centre to match donors and patients, and more transplant surgeons.

And what about the risk of patients being polished off before their time so their squishy bits can be recycled? Burke and Hare would look very tame indeed compared to widespread premature organ donation!

No, even by Gordon Brown-Trousers' pretty poor standards, this scheme is so badly thought out that it has to be a blatant attempt to hijack the media. So what is he trying to distract our attention from?

Well, the choices are endless. There's Peter Hain, who has skillfully dumped the Brown-Trouser Government into yet another sleaze / funding scandal over allegations that he tried to conceal donations to his campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour party. Of course, this is old news, but new revelations about a think-tank and chap called Morgan have brought it back into the limelight.

Then there's the Northern Rock fiasco, which is STILL rumbling on, and looks to become even more embarrassing for beleaguered Chancellor Alistair Darling and, of course, his craven boss. In the latest developments, shareholders are hoping to hold off enforced nationalisation, which, it seems, would effectively mean that investors in Northern Rock would lose their money - hardly something that would look good for the former Iron Chancellor, now cringing Prime Minister, Gordon Brown-Trousers, is it?

But my best guess would be the Stephen Carter humiliation. It was revealed yesterday that Carter, the PM's new chief of strategy, is said to have made "materially false and misleading statements" as a director of NTL, according to court documents filed in the United States.

The Daily Mail, probably revelling in this opportunity to out-spin the spin-doctor before he's even begun to revolve, goes a little further, publishing the fact that documents filed in US courts allege that Mr Carter described to a fellow director how he gave information to shareholders: "What I tell them is nine-tenths bullshit and one-tenth selected fact." Sounds like the perfect qualification for a powerful government PR man - and, make no mistake, Carter's role makes him very powerful indeed - even though the case has recently settled with no admission of liability on behalf of Carter and his colleagues.

Yep, that will be it. How can Gordon Brown-Trousers' new fixer be expected to fix anything, much less the PM's now devastated reputation and public image, if some folks think he's speaking nine-tenths bullshit and one-tenth selected fact? And what will folks think of the Prime Minister who hired him? Yet another own-goal for a Prime Minister so bogged down with sleaze, scandal and his own incompetence that he has no hope of keeping his job beyond 2009.

Billy Seggars.

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