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Guido’s silly rumours on Brown’s mental health


9:05 am - June 17th 2010

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contribution by Mental Nurse

If you’ve been wondering why Gordon Brown hasn’t been seen in public much lately, blogger Guido Fawkes has an explanation.

In a post entitled, “The Former Prime Mentalist” he cites rumours that “Gordon Brown has been spending stints in a London hospital. For psychological reasons.

He later updated the post, stating, “Usually reliable sources have pointed Guido toward the Royal Edinburgh Hospital rather than a London hospital.” Over on my blog, Mental Nurse, some of our readers know the Royal Edinburgh well, because they’ve been patients on its psychiatric wards.

They’ve pointed out a few flaws in Guido’s story.

First, as DeeDee Ramona says, Gordon Brown is in the wrong catchment area for the Royal Edinburgh.

Emmie, who has also been a patient at the Royal Ed, points out that it’s really not the place for a hush-hush hospitalisation of a major public figure such as Gordon Brown.

Perhaps even more relevantly though, as DeeDee suggests, it is bloody hard to hide in the Royal Ed. And I have tried. There aren’t private wards. Sector wards there have only one or two single rooms, which are generally bagged and coveted by longer stay patients, (all other bedspaces on those wards are still shared room or dorm-style), nothing at all on the sector wards there is ensuite…so just logistically it is very hard to keep any kind of low profile.

You’ll be queing over the shower for a start.. Having been detained on 3 of the 5 sector wards there I have investigated this more thouroughly than I’d have liked too!

Unfortunately for Guido, Gordon Brown turned up in public yesterday (June 16th), and not queueing for the showers in the Royal Edinburgh.

He was visiting a school in Cowdenbeath. Paul Staines notices this, but doesn’t retracted his rumour.

So, given that Brown lost the election just over a month ago, he’s had a month to spiral into a mental health crisis, be admitted to the Royal Edinburgh without anyone noticing him hanging around the communal wards, be discharged or sent on leave, and then appear back in public looking absolutely fine.

So, either Brown’s had a impressively-fast recovery, or Paul Staines and his “usually reliable sources” are talking out of their collective arses.

Even if Brown did have a mental health problem, that doesn’t necessarily make him unsuited to political office. Winston Churchill famously suffered from depression (his “black dog”, as he called it).

Mark Harper MP has recently been nominated for Mind Champion of the Year for his campaign to lift the prohibition on people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act from standing for Parliament.

For all the sneering by P. Staines, it was the mentalists themselves who spotted the gaping holes in his story.

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Reader comments


This is a deeply unfair article and the author should be ashamed.

By continuing to invent infantile bullshit about Gordon Brown, Guido is merely using his platform as a fiercely independent, apolitical libertarian to hold the new Tory-led administration to account, just like he said he would.

Brown has been at Westminster once – to sign in and make sure he gets paid.

Ill or not, he is quite the pathetic sore loser.

@2

Yeah – God forbid he spend some time in his constituency (you know, doing his job?) after over a decade in London.

“Mark Harper MP has recently been nominated for Mind Champion of the Year for his campaign to lift the prohibition on people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act from standing for Parliament.”

Cue (possibly apocryphal) story about an MP who had been in a mental hospital and then discharged. During one debate the Hon Member said:

“Some members of this House are sane but I’m the only one with a piece of paper to prove it”.

5. Shatterface

[deleted]

The job of an MP is to debate and scrutinise legislation and (ideally!) hold the executive to account.

Not to act as a glorified social worker.

And are you suggesting the MP’s who turn up are not doing their jobs??

There’s an outpatients clinic attached to Royal Edinburgh so it would make perfect sense if he was depressed, anxious or a mixture of these symptoms to go there. You don’t need to have lost the plot to get a bit of help from a psychiatrist.

Shatterface/5: I think it’s a shame that the Election Compact on Mental Health wasn’t widely publicised during the election and considered as useful guidance for non-election political activity as well. It wasn’t a perfect document, but it was several levels above the usual behaviour of both the left and the right.

Paul Staines in unsubstantiated bollocks shock.

#6

No, the job of an MP is partly to be a glorified social worker.

And that’s a good thing. Partly because it gives them an insight they wouldn’t otherwise have which impacts on how they do the job you identify. Partly because some people who don’t have much power need someone who is both accountable to them and who has clout who they can go to when professionals of one stripe or another screw them over. And being part of the body that makes laws tends to lend considerable clout.

11. toryboysnevergrowup

If we were to employ Guido’s standards I would think that we had more than enough to diagnose a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when it comes to Guido – to say nothing of a certain drink problem.

“They’ve pointed out a few flaws in Guido’s story.”

Why bother? It’s like complaining to the council about something written in a public toilet and demanding a right of reply.

Ugh, must you give the stinking faecal matter and cockrottage that is Paul Staines even more publicity? He’s lower than the most verminous of tabloid churnalists and deserves to be treated with nothing but contempt.

14. Aileen Kane

“talking out of their collective arses” sums up Guido’s piece . Idle minds and all that……..perhaps concentrating a bit more on the axe that’s being brought down on projects to promote employment? The lunatics may well be taking over the asylum, but none of them are called Gordon.

Oh, ~*~reliable sources~*~! How could anyone ever doubt those?

In my capacity as someone who actually does suffer with mental health problems, Mr Staines’ obvious use of mental illness as an insult is offensive to me. But then, I don’t doubt that he thinks offending the likes of me is “a job well done”, as if it achieves anything somehow. Also, if Mr. Brown is ill, that’s no business of his or anyone else’s. An atmosphere in which the mentally ill are treated like shit is not one in which the mentally ill are able to become more productive members of society.

“Ill or not, he is quite the pathetic sore loser.”

cjcjc Still lying abouit his tory support. It is quite strange that a man who lies so much keeps coming on here to tell us what to think.

Cjcj is a liar.

Why bother to give Staines the time of day?

He’s making it up. End of.

Remember, this is the prat who is so terminally clueless that he put 500 quid on David Laws *not* resigning. To say that he is overrated is roughly equivalent to saying that when it rains, the wet stuff moves in a downward direction.

As Tone might have said, let’s, hey, y’know, move on!

pure bigoted shit, as mentioned above, why are you giving staines any coverage at all ?

19. Nick Cohen is a Tory

I think this story is why the Tories, like Staines and cjcjc are such shits. Talk about kicking a guy when they are down. Cjcjc if he is ill and clinical depresion is an illness. That should be the private business of Brown and his family. Also cjcjc we all have sickness in the workplace, may be even, you journo shit.
I hear Nick cohen is part of this story and the story is part of a nasty campaign run by the tory wanker, cohen.

Kicking a man when he is down is the tory way.

“Remember, this is the prat who is so terminally clueless that he put 500 quid on David Laws *not* resigning.”

Your economic conservatives sure know how to manage money.

Having suffered from mental health problems myself in the past, I’d say that no one could have fought an election campaign with the unremitting energy that Gordon Brown showed if he’d been mentally ill. Medication can help you function at a basic level, but you need huge reserves of mental as well as physical stamina to cope as Brown did. In his public speeches, he was always in command of his material. But he certainly looked physically exhausted at the end of the campaign – no surprise considering he’s nearly 60 and his schedule was punishing. If his doctor has ordered him to have a damn good rest, then that just seems like common sense to me. If he’s sent him to hospital, well, sometimes you have to be firm with workaholics who won’t admit they need to take it easy.

But none of us knows, and that’s why Guido Fawkes’s comments are so pitiable. I’m surprised that he, who has had problems with alcohol abuse, teeters onto such dangerous ground, considering all the mental issues frequently associated with alcohol dependency. Projection, I think the shrinks call it, when you decry in others deficiencies you hate in yourself. Learn to love yourself, Guido!

P.S. Brown has also said that he won’t endorse any candidate for the Labour leadership. He may well be steering clear of Westminster to avoid all the lobbying, accusations of plotting etc. Imagine the fun Guido would have making up stories about ‘Brown’s schemes behind the Westminster scenes to install a puppet’ etc. etc.

Neil – If Gordon Brown were to attend an Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic, it would not be at the Royal Edinburgh. Want to know why? Because Brown’s home is across the Firth of Forth in North Queensferry and is part of the county of Fife.

The Royal Edinburgh caters for patients resident in Edinburgh and the surrounding area on the south side of the Firth of Forth only. It does not, to my knowledge, have any private practice attached to it, and so the only way to be seen as a patient there is to be referred from within its catchment area. North of the Firth would see you referred to Dunfermline or Kirkcaldy.

Incidentally, the Royal Edinburgh is an excellent hospital with a strong international reputation. But in any case, Brown would almost certainly go somewhere private with the facilities to keep the media at bay and not have all the other patients and visitors gawking.

Let’s be honest, Staines has always come across as the school bully’s enabler – you know, the little shit that gave the bully ideas and thus maintained a symbiotic relationship that allowed him to act out his petty grievances vicariously through the bully.

And since when has his audience ever given a tinker’s cuss about Scottish geography? To most of them it’s enough to “know” that it’s the bit north of Hadrian’s Wall that hard-working Englishmen are propping up with their taxes.

I don’t know that all Tories are bullies, but it would appear that a lot of bullies find the Tory mindset a welcoming home.

26. Vicarious Phil

The Guido story aside, it is somewhat unfortunate that the man who was PM only a few weeks ago has been quite so conspicuous by his absence.

Guido’s style is crass but Brown has rather invited this stuff with the way he’s behaved in the last decade. That he walked away from the party leadership because he lost the election and did not stick around until a new leader is chosen doesn’t reflect well on him.

The primary school visit being covered by TV was a handy opportunity to counter questions about his absence, without really answering them.

27. Nick Cohen is a Tory

“Guido’s style is crass but Brown has rather invited this stuff with the way he’s behaved in the last decade. That he walked away from the party leadership because he lost the election and did not stick around until a new leader is chosen doesn’t reflect well on him.”

If he is ill he cannot attend functions, Don’t you Tories, understand that.
mental illness is not just a matter of pulling yourself together.
Also it can effect you at times of great stress. Like losing an election and blaming yourself.
None of you insenstive right wing trolls seem to grasp that point.

This reminds me of when Mo Mowlam had Tumour and the Mail and other Tory rags kept saying that she looked like a male lorry driver, when it was obvious she was underging treatment.

As for the story, I have feeling it was leaked for two reasons.
1. Part of a campaign to stop Balls, by guilt by association.
2. Right wing bloggers, posters, journalist (there are so many of them) love kicking a man a when they are down. The can’t take their bile out on the government but need an old target.
Journalist are scum

insensitive right wing trolls

Hahaha – you strike me as a delicate flower yourself.

Kick the worst Chancellor / PM in living memory while he’s down?
You bet.
You may recall that he was not averse to the odd bit of bullying himself.
How typical that he could dish it out but can’t take it.

Still I’m sure you’ll be paying your respects in a sensitive way at Lady Thatcher’s funeral when it happens, won’t you?

@28

Different kettle of fish entirely. Any mistakes Brown made were well-intended mistakes – Thatcher wrought her destruction out of meanness and spite. So no – in fact I’d cheerfully *CENSORED* on the grave.

30. Nick Cohen is a Tory

When Mrs T does die, if she ever does.
I will not celebrate, nor would I expect a state funeral.
See members of Tory hitler jugend like yourselves standing up saluting, masturbating at the thought of your heroine closing down mines or driving tanks is not my sort of entertainment.
Also if you can delight in any individual going through the anguish of mental illness just because you don’t approve of his politics then you are suited to be a Tory and journalist.
Anyone , who has not commited a crime, who suffers from mental illness has my sympathy whatever their politics but then I am a delicate flower and proud ot it.
Not a right wing journalistisc piece of scum

How old are you?
Twelve?

32. Nick Cohen is a Tory

No eleven, cjcjc,
But even eleven year old kids have more empathy and emotional intelligence than you

@28. cjcjc

If you want to kick someone while they’re down, then that’s your business, but shouldn’t it be about something that’s actually true rather than made-up blogdrivel from Guido’s “usually reliable sources”?

Annabel@22 has hit the nail on the head perfectly. If Brown had been in the prodromal stages of a mental health crisis just before he lost the election, it would have been highly unlikely that he’d have been able to endure the physically and mentally gruelling nature of a general election campaign.

34. Charlieman

@26 Vicarious Phil: “The Guido story aside, it is somewhat unfortunate that the man who was PM only a few weeks ago has been quite so conspicuous by his absence.”

I am a million miles away from being a fan of Gordon Brown.

I presume that he is trying to manage his political retirement with personal grace and respect to his successor. In a few years time, he will reinvent himself as an academic or gentleman of letters. At that time, perhaps, he may feel able to talk about the past and future of UK politics.

Meanwhile, I wish him well.

@29

I wanna know what that “censored” is, the mind boggles! 😉

“I presume that he is trying to manage his political retirement with personal grace and respect to his successor.”

Hahaha – his career to date has not been known for its grace.
Ask T Blair…and everyone else.

You may also have spotted that he has not retired.
We are still paying him 70k, plus expenses of course, and he was miraculously able to drag himself to SW1 to sign in for that.

Of course I am not kicking him in any real sense at all.

Nor is G Fawkes.

Unless he reads this blog.
Which, despite its uncontested influence, I doubt.

“In a few years time, he will reinvent himself as a ………. gentleman of letters.”

A small point from the frontlines of this writing biz.

I once had a long conversation with a (OK, I’ve had long conversations with many of them….this was one specific one) journo who commissions comment pieces. Comment Editor/Op/Ed commissioner, that sort of thing.

I was whinging about the quality of one of Geo.Brown’s pieces. It really was awful….no, I don’t mean in the politics, I mean the language, the rhetoric, just the simple ability to use the language to persuade people.

Yah, yah, I know…pot kettle. But I’ve done ghostwriting for politicians…..and I know damn well that the PM of the country has some excellent ghostwriters. Heck, I even know one that Geo. Brown employed (no, not me!).

What really rather shocked me was that this comment page editor was convinced that Geo.Brown wrote his own stuff. These pieces we’ve seen in the papers, these aren’t what filters out through a committee….this is actually the man’s writing itself.

As someone who has at least some knowledge of this world, his career as a Gent of Letters is going to be short. As an ex-PM he’ll get somewhere, of course. But the truth is, the man cannot write.

And yes, I am aware of the arrogance with which I, a mere blogger, am pronouncing on this. But there are times when even the arrogant are correct.

39. Ryhs Williams

Perhaps Brown should get ghost writers who write in the style of different famous authors.
Brown on the last election in the style of Disreali
But with all this superficial appearance of triumph, the career of Cameron was by no means so prosperous as it appeared. The Conservative party in the south of England was very strong. The oligarchy of the High Street were in general conservatives. The party boasted of several considerable manufactories and financiers. Their masters, sleek sectarians of all denominations, who under the pretence of anti-labour meetings, bible societies, blogs, and missions “to the heathen”, were in fact always sapping the foundations of that church which was the only barrier against their barbarising creeds and customs again inundating the land, were all of course, supporters of the master Cameron, and full of what they called “gratitude” to Lady Thatcher

@ 4, Tim, your story might well be apocryphal, since it is also a joke in one of the original St Trinians films, given by Alastair Sim, in drag

@41. It’s also almost certainly apocryphal because Section 141 means that anyone who’s been detained under the Mental Health Act cannot run as an MP and and if a serving MP is detained, they have to resign from Parliament.

And there’s really no such thing as a certificate of sanity anyway.

Isn’t this all a bit rich considering that Damian McBride, Dolly Draper and the labour/liberal support were quite okay with them slurring the mental health issues of the Tories wives? All under Gordon’s command?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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