Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gordon the National Uniter

Gordon Brown certainly brings the nation together. This morning, as one, we clapped our hands over our ears, closed our eyes and chanted loudly 'He's not with me! I never voted for him!' at the spectacle of Brown grovelling to Obama. More than ever, I am convinced I am right- more right than the punditocracy at least - in my insistence that he will be gone by June. Others now seem to agree; this is a very strong piece by Alice Miles in The Times. The cabinet is in disarray - as, indeed, any cabinet would be with Mandelson in it. Something along the lines of Mandelson and Straw working to undermine both Brown and Harman with Darling now slowly but very explicitly peeling off to make his own bid seems to be what is going on. (This is my speculation, I have no special information and this emphatically is not my field.) The more Brown denies any responsibility whatsoever for the present crisis, the more deluded he sounds. People are now massively irritated by this because, even if it were true which it isn't, to keep saying it is so obviously self-serving and beside the point. It now means, in the public imagination, he is placing his own status above that of the unemployed and the impoverished. But don't worry, gone by June.


  1. After a few glasses of wine I cornered Larry Whitty, then general secretary of the Labour Party, at a Westminster bash. Tony Blair was annoying me for some reason -- can't remember what, and I bellowed
    "How can we get rid of that bastard Blair?"
    "You can't remove a sitting Labour prime minister," he replied. "It's constitutionally impossible."
    "How can you be so sure?" I asked with arch Paxmanian scepticism.

    So I would say you can't get rid of Brown. But what do I know? I'm a pundit, and he'll probably be gone by June.

  2. "even if it were true which it isn't"?

    Well it was sad that the players in the game had a riot, and they are certainly responsible for their own actions, but things would have been helped somewhat if the match referee had turned up.

    Steady Eddie George was to be in charge, but Brown thought a post match appraisal involving box ticking was a much better idea, referees where no longer needed.

  3. Banker basher Harriet, slayer of Fred will have my vote, its all in her eyes, mistress Harman for PM I say. Oooh, I can see it all now, Millyband on all fours in the cabinet office, studded dog collar on his neck, Harriet, whip in hand astride him, Mandy in a pink tutu and wearing a Russian dildo dancing round them, Hazel pole dancing in the corner, ah, politics returning to its roots.

    Funny that, a bloke called Whitty writing a constitution.

  4. "Tony Blair was annoying me for some reason"

    that's like saying "the Evil Horned One was annoying me for some reason" or "that car that ran over my foot annoyed me for some reason"

  5. Poor old Gordon.

    Ah god, the whole politics and punditry game, needly shouters, everyone louder than everyone else, grubbing around in the dirt. Nah nah ne nah nah, told you so. Brings you down. Shat on by the Tories, shovelled up by Labour. Hell is one long Guido comment thread.

    Meanwhile people are shooting cricketers. Hurry up, Gaia, fry us alive, we derserve it. Come Armageddon, come Armageddon, come.

    I'm going to listen to some Morrissey, cheer myself up.

  6. Cant we have Fat jacqui pole dancing instead, in a black latex police uniform?

    Hazel Nuts is just too small, people might think we are nation of pedo-pervs, the nations reputation is damaged enough.

  7. I think you are right about June Bryan. That's my feeling too- so many Labour MPs will be faced with unemployment if this goes to a Tory landslide next year. The Alice Miles piece was really good.

  8. All is revealed, the real reason for Useless Eustaces visit, Ted "stand by and watch a young girl drown" Kennedy is receiving a knighthood, you couldn't make it up, could you.

  9. Brit (but also many others before you): Just like apocalypse Armageddon has morphed in meaning and the nature of the morphing I think says a lot about our culture and how it ends up being ruled by fear.

    Apocalypse, as Frank pointed out a few days back, means revelation. The book of that name at the end of the bible is self-defined as 'the revelation of Jesus Christ' (chapter 1, verse 1). In chapter 16, verse 16, there is indeed a gathering of the forces of evil pictured on the mount of Megiddo, outside Jerusalem, which gives us the word Armageddon.

    But then - flip to 19:11 - Jesus turns up and there's no fighting possible at all. For (I at least would emphasize) the blood in which his robe is dipped is first and foremost his own blood. That is the very nature of his kingdom, as revealed throughout the New Testament. Against the full unveiling of which evil will disintegrate. Or as Paul puts it in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 - "when the lawless one is revealed, the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him with his appearing (or apocalypse)".

    That is the origin of the words in western culture. Being what words are, you are free to reinterpret. But it wasn't all fear, not in the beginning. It was love.

  10. You reckon June? I've slaughtered a whole load of goats (sorry elberry) and rummaged through tonnes of entrails, and every portent this side of Mt Olympus is coming up with July. Perhaps my portent reader needs updating to the newer 2.0 version?

  11. Actually it was Morrissey, richard. But thanks for the info.

  12. And what does Morrissey mean by it? Come Armageddon ... come nuclear bomb. And just because I find some coastal town a trifle depressing.

    In popular culture Armageddon is used like this (including of course ironically): a dreadful end caused by a thing like a bomb, a pestilence or a warming too much for humans and much of animal kind to survive. And sometimes with the editorial gloss (as you were perhaps implying too) good riddance.

    In the original, those hoping for the big endtime showdown are the Hitlers and Stalins and those who slavishly follow them. But these characters are depicted not as true human beings but as beasts - the author referring back to Daniel, an earlier apocalyptic book (now a technical term used by scholars to denote a style of literature very common in second-temple Judaism and nearby cultures). These monsters (as we'd still say today - Nietzsche's splendid blond beast has to be another important echo) join together, with all their power (presumably with a whole arsenal of nuclear warheads) and are trounced by a figure seen in chapter 19 as the epitome of true humanity, in all its apparent weakness, and where, to rub the point in, the animal symbol used throughout the book is a lamb. A lamb-king who, far from being bothered by an archetypal battle symbolising the end of all things, is preparing, amidst great rejoicing, to get married.

    So instead of humanity losing its face in a future mushroom cloud we are I think being warned that we are already losing it. (That is I think the original driving force of a John Gray or a James Lovelock, though they may just disagree.) And there is a way back, if we find ourselves able to do a very strange thing. Worship not dumb power (which we find so easy to mock in Gordon Brown, because our system lets us see his weaknesses so clearly) but instead, a meek and humble lamb.

  13. I find it impossible not to hate Brown- he seems to exude a kind of disgusting protestant moralism that is instantly repellent. The whole nation will breathe a sigh of relief when he goes.

  14. I just found a portent reader on Amazon, apparently they're now called a 'kindle'

  15. Memorable lines from your Prime Minister's address to the U.S. Congress:

    "You must separately deconstruct today tomorrow"

    "Let us together build tomorrow today"

    (via Toby Harnden's twitter feed)

  16. Randy, from our perspective the most memorable line is "giving senator Ted a knighthood," totally obscene.

  17. As an American, I agree, Malty.

    (Aside: word verification: "inaptly" LOL!)