Monday, 17 December 2007

Brown: dead meat

It's worth stepping back a moment to take stock of the great Brown implosion.

Without question, it has been the most spectacular political collapse of modern times.

Three months ago, the Brown bounce an apparently palpable success, the Tories looked dead and buried, on the verge of Ed Balls's Dracula-like desire to exterminate them.

The Bottler himself, teeth fixed, shoes gleaming, new suits bought, ties carefully chosen, appeared the epitome of everything he boasted he was: wise, calm, informed, far sighted.

Blair, the prancing jackanapes, was history. Brown, 'the most successful chancellor' we had ever had, had come into his rightful inheritance. Stability, sobriety and gravitas loomed.

The ensuing disaster has no precedent.

We have been treated to a master-class in the pyschologically flawed.

Everything that was ever feared about Brown has come to pass not so much with a vengeance, more with a series of self-inflicted nuclear explosions.

Northern Rock, uncounted illegal immigrants, HMRC's limitless incompetence and his own party's apparent inability to resist a bung may not be entirely his fault. But the on-again, off-again election and the laughably unnecessary refusal to turn up in Lisbon to sign the EU Treaty incontestably are.

Combined with an apparent economic meltdown in the immediate future, which will surely detonate his portentous claims to economic competence, they have left him reeling, the victims of events he is clearly unable to understand let alone to shape.

But they pale in comparison with what has properly emerged as his most obvious shortcoming. The man who long boasted that only he – he of the great brain and the proper seriousness – could be trusted to run the country has been exposed as a fraud.

Not just a bully, not just a coward, not just a man trapped in a grim Scottish childhood which he has no less grimly attempted to suggest makes him uniquely fitted to lend us all his wisdom when, in reality, a serious course of psychoanalysis suggests itself. Rather, overwhelmingly, he has been shown up as a kind of precocious five-year-old in a badly fitting overcoat who we all, initially impressed by his use of long words and evident seriousness, were stunned into an alarmed silence by.

Until, inevitably, it became clear that he was just a five year old, one, moreover, unusually prone to tantrums to get his own way.

Those who mourn the emasculation of political life in 21st-century Britain can at least console themselves with two thoughts.

It has taken less than six months to expose Brown for the fraud that he is.

And that his great sulk when, inevitably he is ousted, will entertain us all for years.


Umbongo said...

"his great sulk when, inevitably he is ousted, will entertain us all for years."

How odd - or maybe not so odd - that the great sulkers of late 20th century politics were/are both traitors and world-class (to use a favourite - and in these cases apposite - Labour adjective) liars: Heath and Brown.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I was going to speculate on whether the Great Brown Sulk will rival Heath's but Umbongo beat me to it.

Something else the two have in common is refusing to admit that they are friends of Dorothy.

Newmania said...

That was brilliantly put DB although fairly well ploughed furrow. To me the Brown bounce was hanging from Sky hooks and all we have seen is a return to business as usual. I think the very flimsiness of the reason ,a botched election run up, shows how much people were waiting to pull him down again.