17 October 2009

The way Brown works

Brown is taken to task by Andrew Grice over his handling of the expenses scandal.  He starts off with this anecdote:

The floor of Gordon Brown's room at the House of Commons was plastered with the parliamentary expenses claims made by his ministers. Remarkably, the exasperated Prime Minister was ploughing through reams of paper by himself, to find out which MPs it would be safe to promote in an imminent reshuffle.

The incident, which happened just before his cabinet shake-up in June, highlights both Mr Brown's inability to delegate and just how much the controversy over MPs' expenses has cast a shadow over British politics since it broke in May.

How Brown managed the expenses scandal is a classic case study in “how not to do it”:

Not for the first time, Mr Brown made the right call on a big issue and then made a mess of implementing it. He didn't consult Labour MPs or opposition party leaders before pre-empting a review of expenses by the Committee on Standards in Public Life by rushing out interim changes. That allowed MPs in all parties to defeat his proposal to replace the "second homes" payment with a daily Commons attendance allowance. He also made a hash of announcing his plans in his "smiley" YouTube video.

And summing up the Brown premiership:

When Mr Brown "gets it", he expects everyone else to instantly, doesn't take people with him, gets impatient, bulldozes ahead and crashes. So even when he's right, it goes wrong.

It is this lack of management skills, the failure to take colleagues with him and taking decisions through the prism of short-term tactical advantage that could well lead to his downfall.

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  1. But when dear sir, when ? I am so fed up with Brown and his cock ups.

  2. Good point and this does need to be addressed. I will come back to this.