Comment at end
24th February, 2010
For what it’s worth – and you will have to do the searching yourself – I am sure I recall Rawnsley saying some time ago that he was no longer in Tony Blair’s camp over Iraq, possibly no longer even a “Blairite.” He received plaudits from several other journos for that, but I stopped reading him. So I can’t swear – as it were – as to what is motivating him in his ‘revelations’ about Brown. Somehow I do not get the feeling that he has suddenly seen the Conservative light.
Thanks to his accounts of bullying in Downing Street, the Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley has found himself at the centre of a very messy political storm. But he stands firm over his portrait of No 10’s dark side
‘I don’t feel trashed,” says Andrew Rawnsley after two days of heavy bombardment from the Labour establishment. But there is an uncharacteristic hesitation in his voice. The author who dared accuse Gordon Brown of bad temper and bullying has had his own integrity and accuracy questioned in a media firefight reminiscent of New Labour’s heyday. “The problem is him,” a glowering John Prescott told Newsnight viewers this week, an encounter that took the political and made it ferociously personal.
“I think it tells you something illuminating about the crazy logic of elements of the Brown attack machine,” says Rawnsley the next morning, “that they thought the best person to defend the prime minister was John Prescott, a man who gets up furious and goes to bed even angrier . . . Oh yes, and a man who once hit a voter.” (Source, Guardian)
Source for the egg/punch throwing story – Prescott defending himself after a protester threw an egg at him just before the 2001 election. Most people, myself included I admit, thought that Prescott was quite justified on that occasion.
Ministers are pretty bad-tempered at revelations in Andrew Rawnsley’s new book that the prime minister periodically loses it, swears and frightens his staff.
Jeremy Paxman asks John Prescott, who was the deputy prime minister between 1997 and 2007, if he believes that Mr Rawnsley’s claims about Gordon Brown are true.
Broadcast on Monday 22 February 2010
Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman apologised during Newsnight on Monday night after he used a swearword in the programme.
The presenter read quotes from Andrew Rawnsley’s book, The End of the Party, which has controversially accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of bullying.
Seconds after reading the passage, Paxman said his editor had told him to apologise for using the swear word.
A BBC spokesman said the offensive language was used after the watershed and Paxman “apologised immediately”.
The woman at the centre of the row – the National Bullying Helpline – said her charity receives no government funding, that she is not a member of any political party and that her action in ringing up the BBC over government denials on Brown’s alleged bullying is not politically motivated.
The founder of the National Bullying Helpline tells Steven Morris about her charity and its alleged contact with Downing Street.