Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Our greatest ever chancellor

On the one hand, we have today's Telegraph running an outrageous piece of puffery by Charlie Whelan on behalf of his old boss, the Bottler.

On the other, we have the very lefty-leaning Independent running a devastating analysis of just how and why the Bottler is so startlingly inept.

I may mourn the fact that the Telegraph should apparently have become so willing an accomplice in its own nobbling by No. 10. But the Whelan piece at least has the advantage of being so shamelessly stupid as to be hilarious.

We get all the usual, breathtakingly cynical sob story stuff about the death of his daughter, against which 'a few bad opinion polls pale into insignificance'; plenty of guff about 'vision'; the usual tosh about how the Bottler 'masterminded three great election visions' (actually I think Peter Mandelson might have something to say about this); plus, of course, the bog-standard spin about the Bottler as our 'greatest' chancellor; and lots of 'getting on with the job'.

Tellingly, there is also a rather nasty swipe about how 'people he had considered his friends swiftly manoeuvered to block his path to the leadership' after the death of John Smith. Still smarting, eh, Bottler?

Even more preposterously, on the subject of the election that wasn't, we get the claim that 'Gordon has never been a short-termist politician, which is why he was so reluctant to go to the country so soon'.

Yet the piece de resistance is this line: 'There is not one person in this country whose circumstances suffered in any way because there was no early election.'

Well, I can think of one.

The McRae piece by contrast precisely dissects the Bottler's shortcomings, in the process making very clear his central role in the government's near endless incompetence. He highlights not just the Bottler's botched merger of the Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs, to the obvious detriment of both, but his role in devising the regulatory system that gave us the Northern Rock fiasco.

But perhaps most revealingly, he points up the shortfall in government revenues this year and consequent increased public borrowing. And we all know the part our 'greatest ever chancellor' played in this.

So much for the the Bottler and his 'formidable intellect'.

Do read it.


Ingram said...

First link is to CiF not Telegraph FYI...

The Creator said...

Thanks for that Ingram. Link now fixed.