Disturbing reports have emerged that Gordon Brown is rude to his secretaries – or garden girls, as they are known inside Downing Street. He is said to shout at them abusively. On one occasion he is reported to have impatiently turfed one of the girls out of her chair and sat down to use the keyboard himself.
All recent prime ministers – Thatcher, Major, Blair – were loved by the garden girls. All recent prime ministers from time to time endured problems. Only Gordon Brown has vented his frustrations on secretaries, who can never answer back or speak for themselves. In the end this intemperate and regrettable conduct may cause him as much damage as Mr Abrahams.
- the sting in the tale of an article in the latest Spectator by Peter Oborne under the heading At the heart of the Labour funding scandal is the moral collapse of a once-great party.