We need a new approach and new people, not a new Code of Conduct

What the departing Speical Adviser did was against the existing Codes. It does not take a new Code to stop this happening again..

What it will take is a complete change of approach and changes of personnel. When Cabinet members like Mr Balls and Miss Cooper spend time seeking to misrepresent Conservatives instead of answering questions and improving the performance of their departments we can see that the approach of bash the Tories rather than fix the country is endemic to this regime at high levels.

Just listen for a few days to the way Labour Ministers handle debates and fail to answer questions in the Commons. It was not just one Special Adviser who thought it was about getting the Tories. If Mr Brown really really wants to stop it he has to call in his senior people and tell them all the clean up the government’s act, and he needs to sack a few more of the worst offenders.

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15 Comments

  1. Blank Xavier
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I suspect it comes from the top, because it appears to permiate everywhere.

    If the people at the top are truely against this sort of thing, the very fact of that attitude is absorbed everywhere and people’s behaviour modifies accordingly.

    When you see this sort of toil and trouble throughout an organisation, it can only be because the people at the top are *not* against it.

  2. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Brown will not do any of the things you suggest. His tactics in response to these events are typical – express regret for the events becoming public NOT for allowing and encouraging them to take place and offer to alter the rules as a further smokescreen. He is the ringleader of this mendacious crew. He gives the orders and he really doesn’t want to stop attacking anyone whom he sees as a threat to his future in office. The country has been ruined by this despicable man who puts himself and his political ambitions above all else. He should be driven from office and in the process not be allowed to be rewarded for his abysmal failure.

  3. ManicBeancounter
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    This will simply not happen. The PR aspect goes to the core of New Labour. In the zest to rid themselves of the extremist left, and not to let differences show, there is a whole language and techniques of evasion that has developed. It stifles individuality and any thought outside the goverments line.
    I would suggest that the whole government is run by the Spin Doctors, whether the continual stream of initiatives; the phoney opposition of fake charities; the bullying of lobby correspondents; or the evasion of parlimentary debates.
    It might be worth someone starting a blog to make fun of this aspect by comparing the questions and answers (whether during parlimentary questions or on the Today programme) and by exposing idenditikit responses.

  4. oldrightie
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    You are now having a laugh. The conductor of this orchestra of shame is Brown himself. He will be plotting a new but equally nasty approach. Be careful out there!

  5. Chuck Unsworth
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Precisely. It’s not about ‘rules’, it’s about attitudes and personal behaviour. It’s about the disgusting culture fostered and encouraged within Downing Street.

  6. Terence Stinton
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Very true Mr. Redwood, recently I saw the fragarent Yvette in The House accuse you of being asleep (which you weren’t) you asked her to withdraw the comment but of course, she did not. They just wish to score points over the opposition, not to contribute to the debate. O/T, I work for a company that you used to be a director of (begins with ‘M’)

  7. Lola
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. All organisations take their character from their leadership. If the leadership is scheming, evasive, deceitful, vindictive and mendacious that’s how the organisation as a whole will function. The way that Labour MP’s operate in debate is the way Brown operates.

  8. Lola
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. All organisations take their character from their leadership. If the leadership is scheming, evasive, deceitful, vindictive and mendacious that’s how the organisation as a whole will function. The way that Labour MP’s operate in debate is the way Brown operates. No amount of re-phrasing of any ‘code of conduct’ will change this. If you have principles and hae been brought up well you will know how to behave. If you need a ‘code of conduct’ to guide you you shouldn’t be in the job.

    (Mr R – please will you delete my incomplete accidently submitted previous comment?)

  9. alan jutson
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    John
    Our whole Parliamentary system has been exposed to be rotten to the core by this lot.
    Clearly we do not have enough safeguards in place to stop a Megalomaniac from taking control in a totally undemocratic manner.
    Parliament is no longer a House of/or for debate, what we have is an elected Dictatorship at present.
    The Speaker it would seem is only interested in his expenses and organising trips aboad for himself and his wife, and not at all intertested in much else (words left out).
    Our Democracy had been founded for centuries on personal responsibility, and the integrity of its Members to serve the People of this Country, and whilst you will always get individuals who will stray from the straight and narrow, we now have a Party in place who seem determined en mass to ride roughshod over anything to get their own way.
    What sort of an example does this set for us the citizens of this Country, or for that matter Countries who are seeking to make themselves more Democratic.
    We have a Prime Minister who has not even been elected as such by his own Party, bringing in disgraced past Ministers who are not even elected at all by anyone, who employ so called spin doctors (non HNS liers) at the Taxpayers expense.
    After all of this they wonder why some people protest in frustration.
    I can only hope that the next Government behaves in a manner more suited to our culture and history, otherwise I fear we may have lost the plot for good.

  10. Ian Jones
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    The whole New Labour project was built on this. It has been obvious from the start what is going on, its just the Brown has zero charisma so is unable to hide his true intentions. In the past he sat in the background scheming, if he had been the leader from the start then Labour would have lost the election ages ago.

    The question I would like to know is who distributed the emails? Has to be someone in 10 Downing street or has the Establishment become so fed up by Brown and his socialism they have turned the state machinery against him? Either way this wont be the last scandal before the election!

  11. TomTom
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Student Politics from the middle-aged bourgeoisie of Nu Labour. They know nothing else beyond Peyton Place gossip – even their stock phrase in letters generated to constituent complaints has the tell-tale indicator -“tittle-tattle”. It is a verbal party bloated on innuendo and boastful verbosity but devoid of competence or any capability.

    These are the empty barrels making noise and de-railing anyone with skill or competence such as Dr David Kelly. It is the same with any clique which seizes power and seeks to retain its illegitimate grip in the face of bare-bottomed incompetence.

    The British are learning home truths about themselves – it is not simply Germans or Russians that end up historically with tyrannical regimes – even the British have it in their DNA especially when Scottish tribal politics becomes entrenched in London

    • Freddy
      Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      “Student Politics from the middle-aged bourgeoisie of Nu Labour. ”

      Absolutely right. Of course, you know that the word Taleban means student …

  12. Freddy
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Of course, this comes back to our biggest problem, the complete hijacking of the mass media, particularly the blasted BBC, by the compliant left.

    If the BBC main news made a point of showing, and disapproving of, ministers failing to do their duty by parliament, then they would be forced to clean up their act.
    You may say that the news is not long enough to show all the offenders, but I suspect that it would only take a few such showings for this spin-obsessed government to start pulling up its socks.
    Perhaps with the tag-line “The destruction of our parliamentary democracy”, or some such.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Why is Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, not calling for a police investigation of McBride’s activities, with a view to bringing charges of “misconduct in public office”?

    A common law offence, described here on the CPS website:

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/index.html

    “The elements of misconduct in public office are:

    a) A public officer acting as such.

    b) Wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself.

    c) To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder.

    d) Without reasonable excuse or justification.”

    Yesterday one Craig Murray lodged a formal request for a criminal investigation with Tom Watson MP, the Civil Service Minister:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/formal_request.html

    but I guess that may be brushed aside.

    It needs to come from somebody with political clout – not to interfere with the course of justice, but simply to make sure that justice is started on its course.

  14. mikestallard
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    And now for the good news:
    OK so we are all fed up with this scandal and we all know what the future holds for this wretched government.
    The news is that Labour people (of the very best sort) are even more appalled. Labour if it is anything, is idealistic and progressive and pure. It is a revolutionary party which seeks to improve people using the law and economics.
    So Labour people are furious at seeing their very sincere ideals being dragged in the gutter.
    Look at Labour List, if you don’t believe me. Even Derek Draper is repentant!
    I want to mention the excellent (Christian) Frank Field here too.
    http://www.frankfield.com/blog/q/date/2009/04/14/darkness-at-the-heart-of-the-labour-party/
    Once the idealists have gone, there is nothing left for Labour.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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