What grips me is that we, the ubiquitous man in the street, are taken to be stupid and inexperienced, when the majority of us are fully aware of what is going on. Take the case of the junket that went to Australia in the late 60s or early 70s, at the behest of a contractor to see some pipes laid. Ultimately I laid those pipes, but the price of that junket, I am sure, was included in the price of the pipes. At the time I found it so absurd, because it implied that we were communicating either with Morse code or flags, when men were actually walking on the moon.
It is obvious that somebody somewhere has an axe to grind, when they gave all this information to the Telegraph, and then people rushed about acting all surprised, when even I, a stupid old idiot in the backwoods of Ireland, have known that it has been going on since the dawn of time, you only have to remember Tony Blair’s excesses. If I had gone into Parliament, wet behind the ears, a little in awe of what was going on around me, and discovered that among all the rituals that have been handed down from old rascals like Lloyd George, a few perks are taken for granted, you might just think it all natural. You certainly wouldn’t kick over the traces, it might be frowned upon, and you would be thought prissy.
The one thing you can say about Brown is that he is precipitate, afraid of his own shadow, and I strongly suspect under the influence of his spin doctors. This sweeping condemnation, like many of his others, is unreasonable, when one remembers that people’s reputations are at stake. Probably most of the MPs who are forced to have second homes, are responsible for no more than oversights, and anyone who has had a second home will realise that is not quite so easy to keep everything together as it is with only one home, and reasonable errors can occur. I myself have recently, as a result of the illnesses of both Sophie and myself, had a tremendous disruption within the home, and valuable documents have been mislaid. This has involved us in having to request duplicate documents to keep our heads above water.
I hope that those people who are going to be required to push another one of Brown’s new brooms, in this financial shake-up, will use commonsense, understanding, and not go at it like a bull in a china shop. First of all I think they should discover who leaked the information and why.