You know who your friends are...
If I were in a sticky situation I’d want all the backing from my corner I could get. Well, Peter Hain got that yesterday from the Prime Minister. Unfortunately for him, Gordon Brown decided to go about it in a very strange way indeed. On the one hand he was praising the Work & Pensions Secretary and then on the other hand he was complaining of him taking his eye of the ball. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by this; Gordon Brown gave with one hand and took with the other for ten years as Chancellor. But then came from Brown what will probably go down as Peter Hain’s epithet...
Hain the Incompetent
What made Gordon Brown think that saying Peter Hain presided over "an incompetence" in the way he handled the funding for deputy leadership campaign, only he will ever know. It is as though Brown wants him to get as much stick as possible so that he decides to end it all and fall on his own sword. Such is the level of Hain’s incompetence right now, he’d probably miss though. Thanks a bunch Gordon, Hain must have thought on hearing this appraisal. For the rest of Hain’s career he’ll be “Peter The Incompetent” and it’s all thanks to that special backing from his chum Gordon.
It gets worse!
However, the fact is Brown will not sack this incompetent buffoon and his future rests with the Electoral Commission and Commons standards watchdog. But just to make certain that his position is untenable, just in case Brown’s double handed compliments, his incompetence, the vast list of unanswered questions and a potential police investigation weren’t enough, Hain has now been caught up in what is fast becoming a classic Brown Premiership style cock up. Good old Incompetent Pete’s department kindly finished off the job Jacqui Smith started by handing out 6,653 illegal immigrants (who the home secretary admitted before Christmas were working in the security industry) national insurance numbers. What a plonker.
Hain has to go
Gordon Brown has said all Hain need do is apologise. Everyone else, including members of the Labour party, think he should go and go now. I just cannot see how he can continue in this role. It is above and beyond the scandals that Darling (though Northern Rock isn’t over by a long shot!) or even Harman faced late last year. This one has all the ingredients for a sacking – sleeze, scandal and incompetence at the job. Hain must go. The question now is how much longer can he last..?