The PMs Answer to the Pill question.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Sep 30, 2009.

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  1. This has been reported as the actual words used by several net sources.

    " Andrew Marr
    If you were an American president, we would know all about your medical history. You were asked in the States about your eyesight, and I think the reason you were asked is because people were wondering whether that would be a reason for standing down at some point. Let me ask you about something else everybody has been talking about – a lot of people … use prescription painkillers and pills to help them get through. Are you one of those?

    Gordon Brown
    No. I think this is the sort of questioning that is …

    Andrew Marr
    It's a fair question, I think.

    Gordon Brown
    … is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics. I have had very serious problems with my eye. I lost my eyesight playing rugby. I had three major operations and they could not save my sight. I then had exactly the same thing happen to my second eye … and every year, of course, I have to check, as I did only a few days ago, that my eyesight is good and there has been absolutely no deterioration in my eyesight, and I think people should be absolutely clear that although …

    Andrew Marr
    What about my other question?

    Gordon Brown
    I answered your other question. Although I have problems with my eyes and it has been very difficult over the years, I think people understand that you can do a job and you can work hard. And I think it would be a terrible indictment of our political system if you thought that because someone had this medical issue they couldn't do the job. So, Andrew, I think these questions … of course you might be right to ask them, but … I feel that I have done everything to show people that I can do the job even with the handicap that I've had as a result of a rugby injury."

    In the past I have seen the PM asked a direct question in Parliament and then answer another subject altogether.
  2. A politician being evasive and dodging out of answering a direct question?
    Whatever next?

    To be fair it is something that annoys the hell out of me both at PMQs and in other areas - Harriet Harman on Question Time last week proved herself a master of evasion even when asked a 'yes or no' question.

    Do you remember the Jeremy Paxman grilling of Michael Howard? 'Did you threaten to overule him' Twleve times in succession. I would love to see Gordon Brown subjected to that kind of interview pressure quite simply because I very much doubt that he would have the self-control not to completely explode at the interviewer
  3. "everybody has been talking about"? If that was the basis of his question, then he had no right to ask it. Very few people had been talking about it outside some rightist nutters on the interwebs.
  4. The author of the rumours has admitted that it was initially speculation based on some things that he had been told. However Gordon's tempers and intrasingence are legendary and do suggest some underlying mental health issues.
  5. Regardless of whether the question should have been asked, why did he not answer it? If he has no other health problems other than his eyesight, why did he not clearly say so?

    Actually I do not see any reason why such a question should not be asked. If a health problem affects a Prime Minister's ability to do his job then the public has the right to know that, especially when a General Election is on the horizon.

    British politicians have a rather unfortunate habit of forgetting who they are serving, who are paying their wages, and who they are ultimately responsible to.
  6. And now the left leaning BBC are talking about it too. Anyway, what was wrong with Cyclops just saying 'NO', rather than skirting round the issue?
  7. "If you were an American president, we would know all about your medical history."

  8. In the past candidates or those with potential for Party Leadership have stepped down when it looked likely that their health could compromise their ability to do the job of PM should that become likely (most recently Heseltine who had heart problems).

    Why shouldnt the British People be aware when their PM has some mental issues and is taking drugs to get through it. After all our PM has his finger on the Nuclear trigger. Lets face it, we have seen some bizarre You Tube film this year where Brown appeared to be Hyper while making some form of political announcement. Even Blears commented on it.
  9. Definition: somebody who doesn't agree with my loony leftist policies.

    He had every right to ask it - you wouldn't object if it was Cameron being asked the question and he was hooked!
  10. I am no fan of Brown, but this is surely a 'medical in confidence' issue. Therefore there is no 'right' to know what medication he may or may not be taking.
  11. I do agree with you flipflop, Marr was out of order as there was so much else for him to ask.
  12. Disagree. If someone is running the country we are entitled to know whether they suffering from any illness, or taking any medication, which might impair their ability to perform their job. Which, given that in Gordo's case, this may involve pressing the big red button marked 'end of the world', seems eminently sensible.

    David Owen (ex Lab and Lib MP) has written a very interesting book, and several articles on the subect:

  13. Unfortunately medical in confidence doesn't really apply here. We, the great unwashed, are his employers and, as such, we are entitled to know any material facts that may affect his ability to govern us. Don't forget that he also had the opportunity to dispel any malicious rumours with regards to his health which he singularly failed to take. He may feel that he is not obliged to answer such questions and not answer on principle that he doesn't need to answer or give credence to such questions but, as HM The Queen found out to her cost over not flying the Palace flag at half mast after Diana, failure to address an issue can be read in a multitude of different ways and mostly not in a good way.
  14. I'm amazed that Ronald Regan isn't mentioned but not surprised that George Dubbya wasn't as he didn't have a big enough brain for a mental health problem to have any significance.
  15. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    The mental health of the PM is of interest to us all - the UK is the only nuclear power which has, at some stage in its firing process, a single point of decision. Almost the entire chain is dual-key - except for the start. The first decision is made by the PM alone. If he is not of sound mind it is of concern to the entire world, not just the UK electorate.

    Meanwhile, as pointed out elsewhere, it seems OK for the Daily Mirror to make continued accusations against Cameron that he is a 'druggie', but entirely unfair to make the same about the PM. Here we see the hypocrisy and double-standards at the heart of socialism, as usual.

    And, of course, it is clear – if you read the conversation at the top of the thread – that the PM did not deny the use of tranquilisers. He simply avoided the question – so it still needs to be asked, and asked clearly, every time he is interviewed, until he answers.