I’ve always felt that Gordon was a good guy. He may not be the best thing since sliced bread, and certainly not the most charismatic. But I believe he was, as both Chancellor & PM, and still is essentially a decent man. So why have so many people been so against him? I suggest for a number of reasons …
I think he was badly let down by Tony Blair who should have stood down a lot sooner from being Prime Minister, and made things even worse by announcing it long before he actually did it. This just meant a lot more time for the papers – mainly right wing as we all know – to convince everyone that it was a foregone conclusion Gordon would take over, that there wouldn’t be a choice which would be a bad thing etc. As a consequence there was no proper leadership election – not his fault! – and as a result a lot of the electorate were against him right from the outset. And certain columnists – including supposedly pro Labour – absolutely vilified him.
So he made mistakes, but I think that was in part because he was also badly let down by his spin doctors & advisers. Yes of course he must accept some of the blame for the cock-ups, such as the rumour of a November GE just before things went awry, the 10% tax threshold fiasco, the proposed increase in NI. And all these mistakes were reported loud & clear across the media, so all his critics had a field day. But how come there was never ever, it seems to me, any adequate explanation as to why these measures were being implemented. And where was all the good news about the positive things Labour had done in government?
And the awful own goal when he left his radio mike on was tragic. Yet I wonder just how many at the time pointed out that countless politicians will have made these kind of derogatory remarks in the past and got away with it!
Maybe the tide will turn as a couple of items this week has shown him in a better light. Firstly I have always felt him to be one of the best Chancellor’s this country has ever had. So it was good to see the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire stating in his column that ‘Gordon Brown … was right on the economy’. And an editorial item in yesterday’s Mirror informs that unlike others before him – Blair, Major & Thatcher – he isn’t out to make a packet for himself now he is no longer in the limelight. Instead any extra income he earns will be donated to campaigns & charities that he and his wife care about.