Sunday, April 15, 2007

Browne in the brown stuff

According to the spin from the MOD Des Browne merely noted a decision made by the Royal Navy's top brass, he could have stopped it, but it was not really his decision.

The problem with that story is that it is not true. According to Saturday's Telegraph here, and The Sunday Times here the rules show that the sale could have only gone ahead with the specific authorisation of Des Browne.

The Sunday Times also lays into Browne some more with this castigating comment from General Lord Guthrie, attacking the way that both Des Browne and Geoff Hoon have used the MOD press office to protect their handling of things rather than the MOD or armed services in a culture of spin.

The Sunday Times also has this on how Mr Bean sank the Royal Navy.

However it gets worse, according to the Sunday Telegraph, Des Browne "went AWOL" when the cash for stories drama broke.

I would not want to be Des Browne on Monday when he gives his explanation to the House of Commons. This story still seems to have plenty of mileage left in it.

For more on the hostage crisis see here.


Anonymous said...

"attacking the way that both Des Browne and Geoff Hoon have used the MOD press office to protect their handling of things rather than the MOD or armed services in a culture of spin."
Benedict, I must admit that this is one political crime carried out regularly by this government which makes my blood boil!
This kind of behaviour is beyond contempt at a time when the ordinary men in women in the military, who are poorly paid and ill equiped put their lives on the line for this government!!!!

James Higham said...

The lying toadies, the lot of them. There's going to be a revolution before long and unpleasant things will occur to these vipers.

Elliott said...

The real scandal, and that which will have done the most lasting damage, was the posture of knock-kneed inaction adopted by the government while hostages were in Iran.

But of course that will be forgotten now we're all so nicely immersed in this ferment of destructive recrimination.

Thoughts in detail in case of interest.

Anonymous said...

This sort of bad news for Labour is going to run and run, From what I understand now Labour have been in power for 10 yrs , info is coming out under the FOI.
If it isn't civil servants giving newspapers the nod on what to look forfor, it'll be disaffected MP's or the Blairites trying to shaft Brown.
In the doo doo definitely , and there is no end in sight.....

Benedict White said...

ChrisD, Yes I agree. Politicians more interested in saving their own skins than doing the job.

james higham, With a bit of luck we will just have an election.

Elliott. many thanks for the link. I have responded to that on your blog.

As for the situation post capture, whilst it didn't look good, I do have to wonder what else we could have done? The trick would have been preventing capture by having more assets in the area, but as you know in real terms defence spending has been cut.

Maggie Thatcher Fan, Yes the bad news will run, and run, and run some more. I just hope it does not prevent Brown becoming PM, for a short period.

Elliott said...

Thanks for the comment Benedict. Obviously there is little to be gained by asking what might have been done at this point. But it is disappointing, to say the least, that the diminishment of this country resulting from the softness of our policy response has escaped domestic notice in the face of our obsession with slamming the Navy.

Benedict White said...

Elliot, I don't think I am slamming the navy, I am attacking the government for creating the situation.

In part the government have been fiddling with our armed services in all sorts of counter productive ways. That is part of the problem.

The other part is lack of resource for the job at hand.

Anonymous said...

... and meanwhile Blair is telling the BBC that his legacy will stand the test of time. Yes I'm sure it will.... but not in the way he would want. It will be remembered as a massive failure.
The man is deluded.

Benedict White said...

Maggie Thatcher Fan, yes that legacy thing is sad isn't it?