Is this just part of the media frenzy?
There’s been a lot on the blogsphere this afternoon about a story that the Independent’s veteran political writer, Bruce Anderson, tells in his column today. This could have an impact.
The stories are seeping out from No. 10. The other day, Gordon Brown was convinced that Dominic Grieve, the shadow Home Secretary, had made such a strong attack on 42-day detention as to impugn his commitment to national security. Although Downing Street advisers trawled and Googled, they could not find the quote. Their boss expressed gratitude for their efforts in the way that a sergeant-major would thank a recruit for a speck of dust on his rifle. Mr Brown then stationed himself at a terminal. For the next four hours, he sat there unavailingly, emanating gloom and rage. The non-psychiatric interpretation of his behaviour is termed “the playing politics with national security syndrome”.
Shortly afterwards, John Prescott was in No. 10, showing around some children. “What’s he doing in this building?” exploded Mr Brown. “Get him out of here.” (He surely cannot regard Mr Prescott as a potential leadership challenger â€“ otherwise, things are truly desperate).
Embarrassed aides explained that, you know, Mr Prescott had been Deputy Prime Minister until last year, and what harm could there be in showing kids around? Gordon Brown’s response was to shut himself in the Cabinet Room for the next two hours, talking to no-one.
It’s very hard to assess this veracity of this account but the fact that it has been published and is being discussed is keeping the issue alive.