The smell of burning toast

The latest Brown cock-up du jour is a gift to right-wing nutters like Simon Heffer. Here he is, this morning, in full spate:

Some of us remember not merely the submersion of the Major government under its tide of lies, peculation, rent-boys and mistresses, but also the Poulson affair of the early 1970s. That, too, like this present funding crisis and the Northern Rock debacle, had its roots in the North East, which since then has become the heartland of Labour’s client state. Poulson and his comrade-in-arms T Dan Smith bribed local councillors and officials to get lucrative building contracts. I am sure that this sort of thing has no bearing on the business interests of the real donor of £558,000 to the Labour Party, said to be David Abrahams, alias David Martin, aged 53/63? What are we to make of the decision by the Highways Agency at a time when the Transport Department was run by Mr Brown’s blue-eyed boy, Douglas Alexander, to waive objections to a development scheme that stood to earn Mr Abrahams/Martin £60 million?

It might seem that Labour has netted a one per cent rake-off of Mr Abrahams’/Martin’s earnings on this scheme. I am sure that this couldn’t be true. But it smells to high heaven, does it not? What is Mr Abrahams’/Martin’s link to Harriet Harman? Why did he feel he had to fund her successful deputy leadership campaign surreptitiously? Is it at all a coincidence that her husband, Jack Dromey, is the party’s treasurer? Is her position compromised by this association with a man with interchangeable names, who uses others to shell out huge amounts of money on his behalf, who was deselected when he stood as a Labour candidate because he invented a wife and child, and who appears not even to have a fixed date of birth? Is that the sort of man Mr Brown wants funding Labour, or his deputy leader wants funding her? Is this the sleaze-free, whiter-than-white image that Labour smugly boasted would prevail once the wicked, venal Tories were ousted? Is that a pig I just saw flying past the window?

Tut, tut. He was doing ok until that last sentence. One mustn’t over-egg literary puddings.

What’s interesting, though, is how bad Brown is at handling this stuff compared to Blair.