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Blair reveals Gordon Brown’s pension reform threats


Gordon Brown attempted to derail Lord Turner’s pension reforms by threatening to bring down Tony Blair over the loans for peerages scandal, according to Blair’s memoir.

In A Journey, published this morning, Blair writes that Brown told him to shelve Turner’s pension reform proposals or he would call for an inquiry into the loans scandal.

Blair says: “A hugely wide-ranging consultation…got as close to consensus as it is possible to get without yielding on the essential principles of reform. But bits of support peeled off on various different aspects. The Conservatives were not fully behind it, and the Treasury reaction was fierce”.

Recounting a meeting the morning the proposals were to get the go ahead, Blair writes: “He began the conversation not by talking of pensions, but by saying how damaging the loans thing was; that there might have to be an NEC inquiry; and he might have to call for one.”

He adds: “The temperature, already below freezing point, went arctic when he then said: Well it depends on this afternoon’s meeting. If I would agree to shelve the Turner proposals, he would not do it. But if I persisted, he would.”

An hour after the meeting in which Blair told Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton that the reforms were to go ahead Jack Dromey made his statement calling for an inquiry. 

Blair says: “I really don’t know for a fact that Gordon put Jack up to it. Gordon denied ever speaking to him.”

He adds:“(Brown) was in favour of rebalancing rich and poor in provision of the basic state pension. I was totally opposed to that. I felt the public at large would consider the basic state pension as their ‘dividend’ or ‘entitlement’ for their national insurance contributions.”

Blair still believes the reforms led by Turner “will, in the end, form the basis of the next generation’s pensions provision”.


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What a truly odious creature to be in charge of the UK’s finances.

  2. We all know they are nasty, pathetic, manipulating little sh##s, but I still feel sick reading this!

  3. Total unadulterated scum of the earth.

  4. Yup. More politics of envy and spite.

  5. I passed a sign in a farmer’s field the other day, which is due to open a new business complex and it said “Opening delayed- still clearing up the BROWN mess’. I think that applies to all of us. GB now in ‘repair mode’. Al last, I can smell the paint as the decorators start work- a sign of recovery!!! hopefully..

  6. Does anyone think the nation is now a safer place?

  7. Presumably this is the same Lord Turner who’s currently chairman of the FSA? So he’s done us no more favours on the pensions front than he has on the regulatory front. Not that we’re actually asking for any favours on the regulatory front. A bit of simple balance and justice would suffice. Precious litle sign of either of those though, is there?

  8. All the time Brown was milking the funded private pensions cow to billions of pounds, whilst making sure the unfunded Government pensions were the best for the Civil Service especially MP’s and Ministers.
    They make me sick.

  9. The biggest pair of crooks ever to enter politics. The only other person that come close to them is two s**gs Johnny.

  10. As more and more revelations are revealed we can’t help but realise that Brown was the most deserving recipient of the glorious come uppance he got at the General Election. Did the UK ever have a more devious, self serving, disloyal and odious politician at the country’s helm than Brown? I think not.

  11. At this stage I would only say we got what we voted for…………….then I remember we never voted for Brown!

  12. Between them Blair and Brown brought the country to its knees.
    And to think that they both enjoy the protection of the statute of limitations !
    (no doubt both believe this to be fair and reasonable)
    Unless of course crimes were committed?

  13. Mind you, I wouldn’t want Blair to get off too lightly. According to his memoirs he wanted to sack Brown for mismanaging the economy but was worried about the harm he’d do to the Labour party from the backbenches. Bless.

    If he had any principles he would have sacked him for the good of the country, and forgotten the internal politics.

  14. re Graham Douglas’s question – erm, let’s see – devious, self serving, disloyal (to anyone but himself), odious – Tony Blair perhaps?

    Mind you, I don’t blame Gordon and Tony – I blame the dolts who voted for a Labour government in 1997 (or any year for that matter)

  15. We are now being shown why this new millennium that started with so much hope has turned into such misery for so many. Mainly due we now see to the Punch and Judy show that was going on daily in Downing Street!
    TB didn’t hesitate sending our heroe to their deaths in a pathetic war that he called yet didn’t have the balls to sack his sad and pathetic neighbour who has done so much damage in short time.

  16. If you recall the 1997 election, the public were sick of the Tories. There was a lack of leadership and a resulting mess created by the then Blues, much like Labour now.

    Whether one likes it or not, Tony Blair (who did make the mistake on Iraq, but then again who would have said no if they were in power) will go down as the best prime minister this country has seen for a long long time.

  17. What ever Harry (4:34 ) is on, can I have some please.

  18. More Labour games coming out, the more you here the more we realise the good of the nation has been the last thing on Labours agenda. It was all one big game thank god in a democracy the voter gets to play the trump card.

  19. Gordon Brown will be remembered as the greatest thief the world has ever seen with his budget in 97 and Tony Blair reminded me of Arthur Daley from the Minder, before he was elected and was even worse after. The 2 biggest disasters the country have ever seen and have overseen the downfall of one of our greatest industries, Insurance.

  20. Totally agree with Iain @ 7:05 on 1st Sept. If Harry @ 4:34 thinks Blair was the best PM, he must be a poor deluded soul ! It is our economy that has gone down, not simply just the politicians reputations. Blair started to bring this country to its knees and like a hostage being executed, it was Brown who held the pistol to our heads. Between them they were the epitome of the appalling Labour administration that was heaped on us over the years. However only one of them was stupidly voted in and he must have seen that the time was right to get the hell out of it !

  21. I was advised by a major bank in 1994, that in years to come, there won’t be such a thing as an IFA.Because most advice to the general public would come from the Banks. Perhaps larger branded IFAs will survive, who knows. There does seem to be a crippling agenda out there. So, i’m beginning to wonder, does it really matter what political party is in Power. I’ve never felt this before, but I feel I’m fighting for survival.

  22. Despite a massive surplus in the NI Fund of more
    than 40 billion and receipts of over 100 billion annually, Brown kept the basic state pension at
    below 100 pounds a week, while contributions
    equal 23% of the UK wage roll.

    What a legacy to leave the country!

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