Thursday, 29 November 2007

Poor old Bottler: a footnote at best?

Anxious as ever to scatter before you the distilled fruits of my political insights, it strikes me that the calamity of the Brown implosion is as opportune a moment as I will ever have.

In the space of two months, Gordon Brown's premiership – long yearned for by him and as long plotted for; triumphantly acclaimed for its spin-free sagacity when, finally, it was confirmed; hailed even more as it then seemingly effortlessly deployed a combination of calm and far-sightedness in the face of a series of early crises – has descended into catastrophe.

Heroic certainty meets daily reality and disintegrates. It hardly inspires.

Startlingly and suddenly, incompetence and corruption are now elbowing each other for first place.

It's unknowable of course, but I'd say that there was every realistic expectation to think that Brown, to the extent that his premiership will trouble historians at all, will emerge only as footnote, the not-very-funny joker in the political pack. In 50 years, who will know the name of the third-shortest serving prime minister?

It amounts to a political horror-show without precedent, an near instantaneous evaporation of 15 years of painstakingly accumulated electoral advantage by Tony Blair, a charlatan but, unlike Brown, a vote winner.

The transformation of Brown from sage father of the nation to sweaty victim of events has been complete.

Labour's apparently impregnable electoral edifice, elaborately built up since 1992, has disintegrated near over night.

Open-mouthed amazement is about the best I can do.

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