The ‘Hutton’ Report: “Brown would be a f**king disaster as PM”

by

Comment at end

22nd December, 2009

The September 2006 plotters out to remove Tony Blair

Tonight’s BBC report on Eddy Mair’s extraction of the evidence (listen here) from John Hutton is some sort of a coup, to coin a phrase, for Radio 4’s PM presenter Eddie Mair. (My thoughts on this later.) Yes, Mr Hutton DID say the oft-quoted phrase and YES, he thinks Brown WAS one of the plotters! Quel surpris!

Hutton served in the cabinets of both Brown & Blair. Now, for reasons best known to himself, he has decided to admit his "effing" words on Brown at the time of the "shameful" coup against Blair.

Asked if one of those (plotters) was Mr Brown, he (John Hutton, former minister under both Brown and Blair, and a strong Blair ally) added:

“Yes I think so. I don’t think that was really a period of history in our party that anyone of us should look back with any sort of pride about.

“It was a very, very low point for us. Everyone who was involved in those machinations… I think they should hang their heads in shame. I think it was a very miserable period for us.”

In response to this revelation Nick Robinson, at his blog here, sees himself as vindicated as an honest journalist. He has the entire 13 minute interview at his blog. He clearly has known since September 7th 2007 WHO exactly said these words, as described below. Hats off to Nick for not outing Hutton before he was ready to admit that HE was the cabinet minister responsible.

Many criticise the BBC, me too on occasion, but if it had been a Daily Mail journalist to whom Mr Hutton had spoken, you can be sure he’d have been “outed” two and a half years ago.

BBC's Nick Robinson reporting on a phone call from an "unidentified minister" who said Brown would be "an effing disaster as PM."

Nick Robinson, BBC news, 7th September 2007:

“The madness may not yet be over. My notebook filled today with anger and bitterness from all sides – even after today’s statements. One Blairite minister said something extraordinary to me today, so deep was his anger. ‘It would be an absolute effing disaster if Gordon Brown was PM, and I’ll do anything in my power to effing stop him.’ And yes, he did want to be quoted.”

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

So why now? Well my thoughts on that are here, if you must have a peep.

Back already?

Here’s the full BBC report:


Report from BBC

John Hutton admits ‘Brown disaster as PM’ prediction

Former Defence Secretary John Hutton has confirmed he was the cabinet minister who said Gordon Brown would be a “disaster” as prime minister.

Mr Hutton, long suspected of being the minister quoted in a 2006 report by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, admitted he was the source on BBC Radio 4’s PM.

But Mr Hutton said his opinion of Mr Brown had since changed.

“I think he has been a tremendously hard-working man, who has really put his heart and soul into it,” he said.

Mr Hutton’s admission came during an interview with Eddie Mair when – after persistent questioning – he owned up to briefing against Mr Brown.

He said that September 2006 – when pro-Brown plotters were apparently seeking to speed up Tony Blair’s departure from Downing Street – was a time of “quite high emotions”.

Mr Hutton said he was sorry to see Mr Blair forced out so soon after an election and said the plotting to remove him “reflected very badly on those involved in it”.

Asked if one of those was Mr Brown, he added: “Yes I think so. I don’t think that was really a period of history in our party that anyone of us should look back with any sort of pride about.

“It was a very, very low point for us. Everyone who was involved in those machinations… I think they should hang their heads in shame. I think it was a very miserable period for us.”

Coronations

Asked about his current view of Mr Brown, he said: “My opinion has changed… I think he has – and certainly, in all of his dealings with me, showed nothing but, sort of, a great deal of support and help during my time as a minister.

“So I personally have no criticisms of Gordon’s performance as prime minister at all. I think he has been a tremendously hard-working man, who has really put, as I said, his heart and soul into it.”

BBC political editor Nick Robinson’s report that “a member of the cabinet” had predicted that Mr Brown would be, as he reported it, an “absolute effing disaster” as prime minister was seized on as evidence of discontent within Labour ranks about the transition between prime ministers.

In the PM interview Eddie Mair asked: “You are credited with saying – perhaps that’s not the right word – you are credited with saying previously that Gordon Brown would be ‘a fucking disaster’ in the role of prime minister. Did you say that?”

Mr Hutton replied: “That’s not my view, of course.”

Eddie Mair: “Did you say it?”

Mr Hutton: “I am not going to, sort of, go into this… sort of, who said what to whom again here because, you know, I could say yes or no to that question.”

After refusing to answer the question a few more times Eddie Mair asks: “My guess is you said it. You haven’t denied saying it, and you… So, come on. Did you say it?

Mr Hutton replied: “Well, there’s no point in me denying that I didn’t have very serious concerns about….”

Eddie Mair: “You said it. Didn’t you?”

Mr Hutton: “I did say it. Yes, I did. Yeah. Let’s just get that over with.”

Mr Hutton, a long-standing ally of Tony Blair, was a rare voice among cabinet ministers to call for a challenger to stand against Mr Brown, saying that the Labour Party “didn’t do coronations”.

Despite that criticism, Mr Hutton remained in the cabinet under Gordon Brown where he was business secretary before moving to defence in October 2008.

When he resigned as defence secretary barely nine months later, the MP for Barrow and Furness also announced he would be leaving Parliament at the next election.

He said that he thought the full story of the events surrounding Mr Blair’s earlier than planned departure from No 10 would come out at some point in the future, saying: “The truth always does.”


MY THOUGHTS ON HUTTON’S ADMISSION

Well, where to start?

Let’s put it like this; if you think that Mr Mair wheedled something out of Mr Hutton that he was determined NOT to have wheedled, you understand little about politics. That is not to say that there is a coordinated counter-plot plan to undermine Brown as the general election approaches, led by a firm Blairite and former minister to both leaders.

After all Mr Hutton clearly says that he has no criticisms regarding Gordon Brown’s “performance as Prime Minister.”  He thinks he “has been a tremendously hard-working man, who has really put, as I said, his heart and soul into it.”

Ye-e-e-es … right, Mr Hutton.

Between the lines?

A message for the present PM from a departing senior colleague and confirmed New Labourite? Let’s say, for the sake of argument – ‘you, Mr Brown, shouldn’t have removed the REAL leader of the country by bullying and brute force from your heavies, for a start.  HE was never voted out by the electorate. But you did it. Now, do not soil New Labour’s move to centrist politics by running an election campaign to appeal to the disenchanted Left.’

Maybe …

On the other hand … oh, I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t.  Go back to where you were…


WHO WAS THE POET?

Now, Mr Hutton, which cabinet minister coined this little ditty, referred to here in March 2008, when Brown had been PM for less than a year?

At Downing Street upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t Blair
He wasn’t Blair again today
Oh how I wish he’d go away.


RELATED

Less than a year after Labour party political pygmies moved to remove Tony Blair as this country's Prime Minister Mr Blair gave his last memorable speech to Parliament. Some colleagues wept, some smiled. (Pictured - Margaret Beckett, with Brown & Blair)

Blair couldn't hide the emotion in his last speech to conference, just a few weeks after the "coup"

26th September 2006: BBC report – Blair’s emotional farewell

26th June 2007:  (Video): Blair’s last Prime Minister’s Questions, House of Commons/Transcript

19th December 2007: Blairites breaking ranks

27th January 2008 – Brown & The Undead government

2oth April 2008 – Death of glue-less, clueless Labour & Wiki entry 2050

10th May, 2008 – Brownites say: “Bring back Tony Blair”

  • Smouldering angrily over the moves to remove Blair, the country's PM? Looks like it to me.

John Hutton was the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under Tony Blair, from 2nd November 2005 until the day Blair stepped down, 27th June 2007. Hutton was kept on by Brown as the Business Secretary until 3rd October 2008, when he moved to Defence, making room for that other Blairite, Peter Mandelson at the Department for Business.

The rest is history.

Anyone seen Lord Mandelson recently, btw?


John Rentoul has also blogged on this here.

See John Hutton’s website here.


The ‘Hutton’ Report: “Brown would be a f**king disaster as PM”. John Hutton, Blair ally admits he said it about Brown. Why now?

Free Hit Counter


Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s