Jacqui Janes - Counterfactual

Enough - more than enough - has been written about Mrs Janes, Mr Brown and their hugely public spat. But CF can't resist just one more look at this, from a slightly different angle.

Imagine if the story had started in a different way. Imagine a parallel universe, where things panned out ever-so-slightly differently.

Imagine if Jacqui Janes, on receiving that letter, was very moved by the personal touch and decided to ignore the spelling and focus on the sentiment.

Imagine if she had decided that her son had died fighting to defend his nation, and that these thanks from the nation's leader were heartfelt and entirely appropriate.

Imagine if the emotion that dominated within her was one of tearful gratitude.

Much as you may disagree with the above - and CF certainly does - you can see how easily that could happen, in this parallel universe. Jacqui could easily have come down on the other side of the fence.

Had Mrs Janes thought all of that, she would doubtless have told family, friends and neighbours. The story would have spread. Perhaps the local press might have got wind of this tearful gratitude.

Had that happened, the never-sleeping, always-hungry Labour PR sharks would certainly have found out, and leaped on the opportunity, grabbing and spinning for all they were worth.

A Labour-friendly national newspaper - probably the Mirror - would have been fed this, and promptly made it a front page story: 'Gordon's words to Brave Mum'.

The letter would have been shown, evidence of the PM's very personal concern. Other bereaved mums would have been found, trotted out to say how moved they had been by their letters.

Sarah Brown would have tweeted about this 'brave, noble' mother, and how her 'marvellous' husband had 'reached out' to her. A twitter campaign, #godBlessGordon, driven by Labour's tireless astroturfers, would have quickly followed.

A 'phone call would have been arranged - this time recorded at the Downing Street end. The transcript would have been passed to the Mirror, and made a second day of front page news. The bereaved mother's tearful words, and Gordon Brown, his voice cracking with emotion, trying clumsily to comfort her.

Psychologists on numerous television sofas would have reminded us over and over again that Gordon too had lost a child, and that was why he could empathise so very well.

Mrs Janes would have been invited to Downing Street for tea with Sarah Brown, and photographed on the doorstep with her: 'Two brave Mums, united in sorrow'.

CallMeDave and the Tories would have stood mute, teeth clenched with frustration, on the sidelines as the circus rolled on, unable to call this for what it really was, not daring to be seen to be criticising a poor bereaved mum.

Polly Toynbee would have wittered on for thousands of words about the new 'human face' of the beloved Brown, and how perhaps, after all - changing her mind for the 50th time - he was the man to lead the nation into a bright new dawn.

Many of us would have blogged angrily about the cynicism of this, about how the use of a soldier's death for political purposes was totally unacceptable. We would have been wasting our time. The right-wing blogosphere would have been dismissed as 'nasty' and anti-our-boys.

It would, eventually, have been leaked that the unfortunate soldier had actually died owing to lack of equipment, but this would be relegated to page 12, lost in the general positive uproar and relentless spinning of the slick Labour PR machine.

How easily this could have been a nauseating triumph for Labour spin.

How easily Mrs Janes could have been the poster girl for caring new Labour, a platform for Gordon's comeback, had she just made up her mind slightly differently.

And that, Gordon; that, Mandlesnake-crying-on-the-Today-programme; that all you left-leaning, Labour-puffing media puppets, is why you really can't complain when for once the tide goes against you, and you get your nasty interfering little fingers caught in the spin machinery.

Can you?



Longrider said...

My response in this parallel universe would be precisely the same as the current one. Its a non-story being used for political gain and should never be news, because it isn't, and it detracts from the real issues; the reasons and conduct of the conflict, the failure to adequately fund and supply the armed forces et al.

The Sun went for an easy target so as a consequence, it hit the right target for the wrong reason and has managed to increase public sympathy for Gordon Brown. A pretty massive fail, there. But given that it is probably the most toxic rag in British journalism (and I use the word journalism in its loosest possible sense), I can only say that it is a well deserved fail.

Frankly, it's difficult to get a fag paper between politicians and journalists when it comes to venal, self-serving, poisonous shit-wallowing.

One final point (tongue in cheek) you do know what a tu quoque is, don't you? ;)

Stu said...

I think your counterfactual has happened enough times already.

There is of course the other, much more boring, much more common kind of story. The kind where grieving families receive letters from politicians and, regardless of whether they are pleased, offended or indifferent to have received them, they STFU, file the letter away (or frame it, whatever), and go back to their grief, not demanding that we all must listen to their story, because their story is so much more important than that of the other families of the fallen, and their son's name is so much more deserving of being spread around the national conscience than the hundreds of other sons.

I think that kind of story happens most often of all.

Constantly Furious said...

"you do know what a tu quoque is, don't you? ;)"

Know it? This blog lives there. ;-)

Nick von Mises said...

To draw a parallel from relationships:

Alphas get away with everything, betas get away with nothing.

Or as Balzac put it: "When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues"

Gordon is finding everything he does has the glass half empty. A sure sign of his imminent dismissal

Jill said...

"You talkin' to me?"


Anonymous said...

Gordon even brings his own shovel.

Anonymous said...

Yes,Mandy can complain and did so at length on the Today prog this morning.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine if Jacqui Janes, on receiving that letter, was very moved by the personal touch"

Personally, I suspect that the monocular mong and his hapless cohorts had indeed planned this. "Look at Gordon!" they would coo, "he's trying so hard, oh the humanity!"

Fuckweasels. And it went wrong. Cry me a fucking river.

Dippyness. said...

I'm on the cynical side....Maggie always wrote a personal letter to those who died in the Falklands...Conveniently forgotten by Labour lovers...GB does it for Brownie points...#FAIL

Anonymous said...


Fantastic post and everything you have written had Jacqui Janes gone down the different route then by god Labour would had milked this until the cows come home.

The pro Labour trash media would had made Brown out to be some moral high statesman with a kind and sympathetic heart.

Cameron and his party would see all of this hype for what it was but as you rightly say he could not dare say it.

Gordon Brown is a liar, He said he would never use his wife for political reasons yet them guy punted his bit of stuff onto the stage at the Labour conference just before he made his speech.

Oh I ken he would had milked Jacqui Janes words had she come out and thanked Brown, its all about me me me in Gordon's napper.

Gordon Brown is the king when it comes to politicising sensitive issues if the suit his warped agenda.

How long will it be before a staged managed mother comes out and supports Gordon Brown and his letter writing? That's how low Labour are.

nemo_sum said...

There is much in what you say, CF.

I wonder, however, how many more news cycles this non-event will take up and how much 'bad news' is being allowed to slip past us while we are all watching this tawdry little side-show.

A little like X-Factor and Strictly perhaps - panem et circensem?

Captain Haddock said...

Nemo_sum ..

Your quote is rather apt in so far as this government contains sufficient clowns to staff several circuses .. and between them they've stolen enough "bread" to have Rank-Hovis-McDougall worried ..

I'd trust this shower about as far as I can spit through glass ..

caesars wife said...

we have forgotten how things used to be havent we CF ,such is the rotteness of this labour government , innocence and decency have long ago been traded , for non answer and deciet.

An interesting angle CF and reminder of why so many of us feel like we do .

Anorak said...

The Sun does a Gordon Brown:


subrosa said...

I read, on Craig Murray's blog, a comment in which the writer said Ms Janes had been helped by Help for Heroes. They recommended she approach the Sun.

I have no evidence whatsoever to support this but thought it worth mentioning.

@jearle said...

I thought all PMs penned letters like this and, until now, it was seen as a private affair.

Not only is it a non-story, but this blog post is a non-post of hypothetical piled upon hypothetical, and this comment is a non-comment trying to remind us all that we're all mongs but the Sun is a bigger mong than most.

Working Class Hero said...

Yes, the Labour combine has an evil PR machine. But this story isn't about them. It's about the evil PR machine of the Tory combine. Outsourced to the Sun, of course. Good business thinking, there. Pointing out that one side is as bad as another doesn't mitigate the bad.

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