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September 29, 2013

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John B

I commend you, Richard for always seing the best in people. But my own opinion is somewhat different. McBride for me is potent symbol of the depths to which politicians sank in the Blair/Brown era. I'm often reminded of, yes let's all laugh, George W Bush's intention to "restore dignity to the Presidency" (after the Clinton/Lewinsky episodes). New Labour were always characteristed as being overly influenced by "spin" - it seemed an idle jibe in the early days but we are now seeing how deep seated it was.

I think Brown realised that he needed a his own Rottweiler to counter Campbell/Mandelson who no doubt were determined to "manage" him as they sought to "manage" everything else. (It is ironic that for ten years we were governed by a "coalition" of two warring factions in Labour, a coalition much less functional than the present arrangement between two separate parties!) Enter Damian McBride.

I've not read the book but from your account of it, he seems like a disfunctional bully. Capable of aggression one minute and tears the next. Bullies to blub ... because they are emotionally unintelligent.(I've nothing against men crying, btw,) McBride souds very much like Brown in that they were both fiercely ambitious to the detriment of personal relationships. I've met lots of people like this - people obsessed with their careers then wonder why they're still single aged 40 (nothing wrong with that - it's their choice - but that's the point - it's a path they have chosen). The remarkable thing, as ever, is the lack of influence of supposedly good education. Much is made of his Cambridge career but it's seems to have had no effect on his character. He went with a chip on his shoulder and left with a bigger chip on his shoulder. When did he acquire wisdom? Judgement? A sense of the "right thing"? The idea that spreading rumours about the mental state of oponents' wives might be rather immoral. All he got was well connected - and a well connected bully is a very dangerous man indeed.

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