'It'll be anarchy': Gordon Brown discussed putting troops on the streets as banking crisis worsened, former spin doctor Damian McBride reveals
Gordon Brown considered putting troops onto the streets and enforcing a curfew as the severity of the banking crisis began to sink in, his former spin doctor has revealed.
Mr Brown's fears came in anticipation of the public becoming aware of just how serious the financial crisis was.
Damian McBride said the then prime minister was preparing for "anarchy" from across the country if banks shut their doors and stopped people from using their bank cards.
His consideration of such drastic measures arrived in the days following the collapse of Northern Rock in 2008, and the night before he announced his public bailout of the banks, fearing a "total meltdown of the financial system of the Western world".
Mr McBride added that it was "extraordinary" to see him "gripped by the danger of what he was about to do".
In an extract of his book, serialised in the Daily Mail, Mr McBride quoted Mr Brown as saying: "You don't understand...If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cashpoints aren't working, and people go to Tesco and their cards aren't being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.
"If you can't buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves. And as soon as people see that on TV, that's the end, because everyone will think that's OK now, that's just what we all have to do.
"It'll be anarchy. That's what could happen tomorrow. I'm serious, I'm serious... We'd have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on the streets, how do we get order back?"
He feared panic from other countries could spread to Britain, exacerbating public unrest further.
But McBride added that Mr Brown was "convinced that decisive action" had to be undertaken immediately and said he later thought his actions were comparable to President John F Kennedy and his advisers during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Cold War.
The former special advisor to Mr Brown was forced to resign in 2009 after revelations of plans to create a smear campaign against Conservative ministers were leaked.
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...