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Jerry Hayes

There is something sickeningly unpleasant at the way Gordon Brown is being hunted to extinction.

July 15th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

For a party that prides itself on its opposition to blood sports, there is something sickeningly unpleasant at the way Gordon Brown is being hunted to extinction. As he lays cornered and bleeding, waiting for the hounds to finally rip him apart, the young hopefuls smear their blood across their faces. Finally, Balls and the Milibands have been blooded.

I carry no brief, nor affection for Brown, but what is happening to him is nothing short of cruel. I have written some rotten things about him. I have salivated and sniggered at each and every juicy morsel. But, nothing, nothing, can justify the daily onslaught of first Mandelson and shortly Blair. This is not character assassination, this is the modern equivalent of hanging, drawing and quartering. We haven’t even got to the stage where his head has been placed on a spike outside Traiter’s Gate as a warning to the others. But this will come. Even the stoutest of minds, the strongest of characters would find it difficult to cope. No former Prime Minister has been so eviscerated. Cameron would be wise to begin a vow of silence on all things Brown.

Something in my guts tells me that soon there will be a tipping point, when the public will say, “enough’s enough, leave the poor man alone”.  And it will be soon. That, I suspect is what really worries Tony Blair. I know the rule in politics is never kick a man until he’s down and there are at least five of you, but administering the final, brutal, mortal, blow, could put in jeopardy  the squeaky clean Brand Blair.

I can understand now why he avoids the Commons, why he has gone to ground with his family, why he wants to avoid the horrors of door stepping journalists and the intrusion of ever present camera crews.  And why he wants to be cocooned in the comfort blanket of Kirkcaldy, where he is respected and loved.

And what of his children?  Two enchanting little boys.  A new school. Trying to make friends. The teasing, the humiliations, the sheer bewilderment of soaring to the heavens on a magic carpet only to see it crash in flames to earth. Worse, seeing the dead eyes of their mummy and daddy, trying to pretend that everything is fine, when they are dying inside. It is the innocents who always suffer most. I hope Mandelson, who would have cooed over them as a benign uncle, one day can look them in the eye. I doubt it. He will be counting his millions and finally admitted as the super pet of the filthy rich. Until his usefulness comes to an end and he too is cast into the baying mob. But I doubt that that is Mandelson’s greatest fear. At least he could play the proud martyr. He, like the publicity hungry Vicar of Stiffkey, mauled  to death by a lion in a failed stunt, would make the last edition. What gnaws at his innards is the horror of being old, alone and worse; forgotten.

Oh, and I wonder, though not for long,  if he will apologise to Andrew Rawnsley, whose book he rubbished and whose distinguished career he smeared and tried to destroy. It was a black operation that very nearly worked. I hope that he is reminded  of his sneer to Andrew Marr, his beautifully manicured nails still dripping with Rawnsley’s blood, “He’s a good colourful writer, that’s all. It’s all flammed up. After all, he has a book to sell”. I hope those words come back to haunt him. They won’t. And it’s no use wondering what he will see when he looks in the mirror. There will be no reflection.

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Gordon Brown at the Zoo, drunkenness on the Terrace & Michael Gove not in a blue movie shock.

July 13th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

There is something deliciously appropriate that Gordon Brown held his election thank you party at the London Zoo yesterday. Perhaps Broadmoor was full. Maybe Rampton are fussy about the people  they allow in. So the Zoo it had to be. But we haven’t been told where. Was it in the the reptile house? Oh, the fun of seeing Balls crawling from under a stone to spit occasional venom. And then of course denying it. “Me an insurgent?”  Well, at least he wouldn’t say he was obeying orders. Oh, the joy of seeing Mandelson uncoiling like some venomous basilisk, to first gently lick his victim into poison induced paralysis, before swallowing him whole. Perhaps, before their dying screams were muffled by his undulating gullet he sibulently whispered that they were, ” fucked, finished and futile” . Or, why not the Monkey House where the Milichimps, well bananaed, would be chittering excitedly about values and reconnections  under the Kong like gaze of a chest thumping Prezza?  It couldn’t have been a joyous event, with the air noticeably chilling at the entrance of Gordo, a Dementor like apparition sucking the souls from  the very breaths of the revellers.

But on Sunday I went to a much happier event. Jeffrey Archer’s 70th birthday summer party. Well, it wasn’t so much happy as joyous. The Archers know how to entertain with warmth and gusto. To hire the splendid Kit and the Widow to wickedly take the piss out of him in song and persuade Major, Thatcher, Lamont and a giggling throng to sing Nessum Dorma in Punjabi (well, actually replacing Verdi’s words with a takeaway menu), is nothing short of genius.

And this tends to be the difference between New Labour and the modern Tories. We know, even in adversity, how to let out hair down. With some notable exceptions, the new intake of 1997, were a pretty dull lot. The bars and restaurants in the Commons were deserted. Well scrubbed Blair babes, with the attitude of  of extras from Dynasty and the garb of nuns on holiday, stalked the the corridors in the hope of sniffing out some sort of inappropriate behaviour or sexism that they could whinge to the Guardian about. It was oddly puritanical. If Labour learns anything about itself in the coming months it has got to be how to feel comfortable in its own skin. First, they have to find a skin that fits.

So I was mightily relieved to hear of late night drunkenness on the Terrace the other evening. I doubt whether we will go back to those wonderful days when after late votes Labour MPs would decant scantily clad lovelies from floating gin palaces onto the terrace. Or, when we would all be greatly entertained when the great Robin Corbett, then Shadow Law and Order Minister, would attempt his trick of knocking an egg into a glass with a hurled shoe. The trouble was he did it at the bar. Never had been so much been broken by so few. But although it is not always a brilliant idea to get so skulled that you can’t vote, I take my hat off to young Mark Reckless who fessed up straight away. No daft excuses. That lad has earned more respect for his honesty from colleagues than any amount of anal tonguing he can give the Coalition in the Chamber. And, after a couple of weeks, all but the most ghastly of po faced post-erectionists in his constituency,will think him a bit of a lad. Just don’t make a habit of it. Dear old Sir Nick Scott got caught out a few times. Nick was a kind, caring, non Thatcherite minister, who served in Northern Ireland. At the Irish Embassy reception at Party Conference the poor fellow got totally slaughtered and ended up in the the back of a squad car. The next day he ended up, bleary eyed for a drink at the bar. “Well”, he said to the assembled throng of journos, “that was a bloody good night. I still can’t remember how I got home!”  He did when we produced the front page of the Mirror with a picture of Nick prone on the back seat.

So the thing to remember is that the Commons works at its best when it is convivial and reasonably well oiled. I made more life long friends of all parties in Annie’s Bar. And when you are in trouble whether as a minister or in your private life, being seen as likeable and straightforward can mean the difference between political life and death. This is primarily why Gove will prevail over Balls. You might be interested to know that there is a film available on You Tube called The Feast At Midnight. This is  a tale about a naughty boy at a Public School. There is a starring role for the ever so slightly dodgy chaplain, who is played by a young aspirant actor called Michael Gove. But before the tabloids start salivating, there was not a hint of sex.

But for some people it’s best that they never touched a drop. I was sitting in a Commons bar one evening, when George Brown asked if he could join, “you wicked Tories”. Now George seemed to think white wine was a non alcoholic refreshment and he’d drank a few buckets before he joined us. Slowly, he noticed Richard Holt who was not blessed with the looks of Brad Pitt. “Good God” slurs Brown, who’s that ugly bastard ?  A few vats later George staggered to his feet and warmly embraced us all, promising us everlasting friendship,”and especially you Holt. You are quite the ugliest cunt I’ve seen in my life.” Now that is not the way to win friends.

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