Westminster Hour and Mark d’Arcy was holding the fort for Carolyn Quinn. Ed Vaizey was my co-panellist. Gordon Brown and the pension scandal, Iran and various green bits were the key issues of debate.
The sky is darkening over Gordon Brown – and it’s a race as to whether he gets to the Prime Minister finishing line before being engulfed by bad opinion polls and damaging issues – such as this pension scandal. And Labour are doing themselves no favours with the usual New Labour spin: in this case deliberately timing the release of pension papers under a Freedom of Information request from The Times (well done The Times) on the Friday night of the parliamentary recess. Sneaky, disgusting, planned – and it won’t help him.
We will return to Parliament and Gordon Brown will have to face the music – which is not something often seen as most Treasury Question time he puts his minions out front and sits with head below parapet.
The damage to individual pensioners, the pensions industry as a whole and the damage to trust in politicians (if it can go any lower) is immense. But ultimately it may be damage to Gordon that is irreversible. We will see how things panned out. But he cannot say he wasn’t warned. The point is – he needed the money and clearly he didn’t really care about the consequences. That is sooooooo New Labour – live today and let someone else pay tomorrow!