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Browning out

Two fun comments on this brief report of the resignation of Hazel Blears.

From “Simon George”:

There is a term in electrical engineering. It refers to a kind of power failure that instead of occurring instantly, can take a long time to occur. It plays havoc with equipment and is usually much more damaging that a normal blackout

It’s called a ‘brownout’.

And this little snippet from a spoof speech by HB, penned for her by “The Penguin” (10:56 am, worth reading in full):

“My politics has always been rooted in the belief that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary expense claims, …”

I’m also dipping in and out of Prime Minister’s Questions, on the telly. It all illustrates what I more and more feel about how The Universe works, which is: that there are two kinds of questions. There are those that the questionee can ignore. And there are those that he finds he really must answer, because if he doesn’t answer them convincingly, something he is desperate to prevent will happen. Outside of Parliament, all kinds of questions are being asked of Gordon Brown, and not answered, and this now looks like costing him his job. But PMQs is a monument to the first kind of question. Brown is, it would appear, browning out, although I have learned the hard way not to state when the process will be completed. But you wouldn’t know it from watching PMQs.

11 comments to Browning out

  • RayD

    Brian, do you want to have another go at this post?

    “Outside of Parliament, all kinds of questions and being asked of Gordon Brown, and not answered.”

    After a couple of reads I guess that’s “…questions are being…”

    “But PMQs is a monument to the first kind of question.”

    Structurally this should be the second kind of question.

    “Brown is, it would appear, browning out, although I have learned the hard way not to state when the process will be completed. But you wouldn’t know it from watching PMQs.”

    I wouldn’t know from watching PMQs that you have learned the hard way…?

  • Laird

    With all the turmoil we’ve been enduring over here, it’s kind of fun watching this slow-motion train wreck safely from this side of the Atlantic. (That might not be nice, but then I suppose I’m not a very nice person.) Are the elections Wednesday?

  • The and should indeed be are and now is. (I do like that sentence.) Thanks.

    As for the first/second thing, I think that is also now clarified.

  • Martin

    The elections are tomorrow (Thursday); results will be out on Friday for the County Councils, and Sunday for the Euros. Brown, if he’s still in office, will be in Normandy for the D-day commemoration on Saturday. I expect all sorts of mutterings and goings-on in his absence.

    And while we’re having a go at Brian’s grammar, Outside of Parliament should surely be simply Outside Parliament?
    And yes, I like The and should indeed… too!

  • Kevin B

    Just to be clear for Laird and others who don’t follow European politics that closely, the elections that take place Thursday are for the local councils and the European parliament.

    The councils are pretty much the same as local governments in the US. i.e, they tax us locally, blag taxpayers money from the state government and from the federal, (european), government and have little power to affect our lives positively. Only – in the case of the half decent ones – by amelioratiing the state and federal impositions a little, and – in the case of the bad ones – by imposing their own liberty destroying mandates.

    The elections for the European Parliament are our equivalent of the US federal elections. Except for the fact that the euro parliament has no power and cannot influence anything.

    The power in Europe is held by the commission, and to a lesser extent by the Council of Ministers. European voters have no say in the make up of these two bodies. We can only affect them by voting in or out the parties which make up our state governments who then get to pick the true government.

    Which brings us to the ‘Mother of Parliaments.’

    Think of Gordon Brown as a state governer, except we don’t get to vote for him. The prime minister is chosen by the party which has the most members in the House of Commons. Parliamentary elections are held every five years, or sooner if the current incumbent decides it’s a good time, or if the opposition manages to force a vote of no confidence through the house.

    Parliament, like local governments, can only, at best, ameliorate the effects of the Brussels dictats, and at worst, and this current government is very much in the worst category, pass on the most noxious of the euro regulations and then add their own foul nostrums.

    So when Gordo goes, it will be a good day for the country, but not really that good a day since the real power in the land has long been ceded to a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels.

  • Kevin B

    BTW, my last comment was a rant, and qualifies for the ranter’s exception with regard to spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    Thank you.

  • RAB

    Twas a good rant though,

    and absolutely on the money.

  • Kevin B

    Thanks RAB, but the trouble with spelling out our impotence like this, is that it makes it a lot more difficult to refute the kind of comments americans make to a post like this by Josie Appleton at Reason. You know, the ones that shake their heads sadly over the pussyfication of England.

    Also, how can we berate Obama for dissing us as “just another country”. About all we have going for us now is our armed forces, and with our Air Force valiantly flying back from Iraq, and our Navy fearlessly hunting drug smugglers in the Caribbean, that leaves our Army. For now.

  • Here’s a candidate for Samizdata quote of the day — and it’s from a *Labour* politician, Andrew Mackinlay:

    “All this about economic prosperity boards tying up with some other bodies is gobbledegook. Most people have had enough of all this…. I say to her that this is complete nonsense and that we have had enough; we want to get rid of this plethora of quangos and joint bodies, and all this linking up and partnerships – all these buzzwords. I say take it back.”

  • Paul Marks

    I strongly suspect Prime Minister Gordon Brown is finished.

    However, Britain has already borrowed the money that will destroy the economy.

    It is too late to avoid very hard times now – very hard times indeed.

    I fear that future suffering will not be blamed on Mr Brown – which it should be. For example today more companies announced the ending of their pension schemes – this is a direct result of the taxes on private pension schemes imposed by Mr Brown since 1997, but the B.B.C. and so on did not mention this.

    In a few years when the present deficits have led to national bankruptcy people may forget that it is the choices of Mr Brown (not Mr Johnson or Mr Cameron, or whoever is Prime Minister at the time) that have led to this.

    The people must be reminded that Mr Brown is NOT a responsible person who has been undone by being unimpressive in presentation.

    Mr Brown has wreaked the economy of this country – and history must not let him off the hook for this.

  • Nuke Gray!

    I wonder how you can immortalise these lessons?
    “How now, Brown, you Cow(ard)?”
    And I guess people will no longer want to collect Brownie points!