Coffee House

Was Jeremy Browne shut out of the tight Home Office ship?

18 October 2013

There’s a lot of interest in Jeremy Browne’s revelation in the Times this morning that senior Tories have already been trying to persuade the sacked Lib Dem Home Office minister to defect. Browne bats this away by showing that he really is a true Lib Dem with the only evidence that his fellow yellows will accept. ‘Not many people have delivered more leaflets than me,’ he protests. It’s also worth asking why Lib Dems are quite so obsessed with shopping trolleys: Browne uses the same image that Clegg used to criticise Theresa May this spring.

But what’s just as interesting is what Browne has to say about his struggles in the Home Office. On those controversial ‘go home’ vans, he says:

‘I wasn’t told about the vans. I wasn’t copied into the paper that was circulated in the Home Office. Now whether that was due to a deliberate political decision or was an administrative oversight, who knows?’

This is a politer way of saying what Browne often bitterly remarked to colleagues in private: Theresa May runs such a tight ship at the Home Office that anyone she sees posing a risk to her mission generally gets shut out. I hear that Browne frequently complained to colleagues about not receiving memos or briefings when he was in May’s department. Which means that his replacement Norman Baker is going to have to be very ‘assiduous’, as May described him this week, in ensuring that the same fate doesn’t befall him.

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  • chudsmania

    The only thing i can say about Jeremy Browne is that his constituency office is far from glam. Dark and pokey is a fair description. Plus point is its right beside a pub !

  • Agrippina

    Unclear as to why anyone should feel sorry for illegals. Just send them back, they have had a good run, they knew they had no right to remain here, so never sought or failed when they tried to legalise their status.

    They have taken jobs meant for Brits by working in the black economy, enjoyed education, health and other services they were not entitled too. Some have repaid that generosity by joining the criminal fraternity. They then claim they have a right to ‘family life’ here. Whosoever set up home with them should go and live with them in their country.

    A big fuss in France because some roma illegals from Kosovo were sent home and the daughter away on a field trip was met by the police and sent on her way to join her family. In the alternative they could have gone home when they were first told to leave.

    How do you think this country will look in 20yrs time with uncontrolled immigration, no housing and no where left to build. Schools with 40 or more kids in the class speaking 20 or more languages with no attachment to the UK.

  • Colonel Mustard

    It was amusing on QT when the sanctimonious American hippie rebel without a cause Bonnie Greer shook her head sadly and slowly at the mention of illegal immigrants being told to go home. Like telemachus she once described the English as a “mongrel nation”. Concern about the survival of English society, culture and rights is apparently xenophobia. She should acquaint herself with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    “Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such”

    Article 8
    1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be
    subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

    2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and
    redress for:
    (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them
    of their integrity as distinct people (the English), or of their cultural values
    or ethnic identities;
    (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim
    or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
    (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
    (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite
    racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.

    Of course the United Nations, the EU and the British Government do not believe the English are an indigenous people with any such rights which just makes what is happening to them even more outrageous.

    • Tom M

      Seems the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples being recognised and identified as “different” is at odds with the current meaning of racism then.

  • keith

    it would seem that the liberal party that Cameron is running would be a fit place for mr Browne to join, he does not appear to be happy amongst the rabid left wingers that surround Clegg and is far to nice apparently to go over to the dark side with Count milliband, whatever the future holds for this paragon of virtue in British politics i feel we should all wish him the best, whoever he chooses to jump into bed with, no pun intended

  • AtMyDeskToday

    I’m surprised that he’s surprised (to be shut out of correspondence). In any business organisation if you let it be known, and openly demonstrate, that you’re not with the program, then expect to be not shut out, but fired. End result as expected in this case. This is news?

  • Peter Stroud

    Planting Norman Baker in any government department shows that Cleggy has a keen sense of humour.

    • itdoesntaddup

      I think we can expect a few more conspiracy theories…

      • ButcombeMan

        Not my theory, just reported to me.

        Clegg supposedly had a twofold purpose in replacing Browne that Cameron was not prepared to interfere with.

        Clegg is worried about his own position, sees Browne as potential (Orange Book) rival to him. Browne prancing round the world on the drugs review was getting positively received and getting a lot of exposure. Officials accompanying Browne giving impression he was not going to do much in the way of legalising drugs. Further when drugs report complete, Browne due to get more public exposure and because of the subject, vast positive coverage

        Baker tends towards liberalising nutter wing of LlibDems on drug policy, Clegg wanted to appease that flank by throwing them red meat. Baker who is regarded as flaky on everything, NOT a rival for Clegg and will try to do that.

        So Browne sacrificed . Baker is irrelevant, whatever he says May will ignore anyway.

        Cameron does not really care either way, humors Clegg.

        LibDem legalising /liberalising drug policy in a ditch with wheel off as Portugal, country they want to copy, has just announced most horrendous increase in drugs use, especially heroin and is in middle of overturning its lax decriminalisation policy it has gone further than any other county in banning “legal highs” and the “Headshops” that sell them.

        So LibDem drugs policy, with Portugal no longer a model, the policy Clegg would like to get in next coalition agreement (with anyone) is holed below waterline.

        Browne ought to be very angry but not regarded as clever enough to do much about it.

  • James Strong

    If Jeremy Browne was the type to think that there is anything controversial about giving people in this country ILLEGALLY the chance to leave before being arrested, then I would not have copied him in all memos either.

    • monty61

      For me Jeremy Browne epitomises the archetypal not-very-bright child of a well-to-do family who is eased with money to a level of education far beyond what’s possible for those without.

      My wife gets these in her university seminars, usually they speak at great length in lower-than-genuine, plummy/boomy voices, not saying very much of any import. (A bit like Browne’s last Question Time appearance).

  • Hello

    It struck me as being quite funny that no one at all has concluded that Norman Baker was promoted on his own merit. Poor chap.

    • neotelemachus

      If Norman Baker’s position was based on his own merit, he would be washing my car now as I type this.

      • Bert3000

        If Theresa May’s position were based on her own merit, she’d be making tea for the person washing your car.

        • neotelemachus

          Stop posting your nonsense here and get back to shining my shoes pleb.

      • Russell

        I wouldn’t risk letting him wash my car!

  • neotelemachus

    The more I hear about the excellent Mrs May and her methods, the more I warm to her. Just because Jeremy Browne appears to be a nice chap, it does not mean he is fit to join the Conservatives. Better to have someone of like(ish) mind in the enemy camp than another oxygen thief in our own.

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