>Laying bare the year of… Gordon Brown

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Gordon BrownImage via Wikipedia

Do you remember when people liked Gordon Brown? When he was the substance to Tony Blair’s shine? Well…that wasn’t 2010. No, 2010 was the year Gordon finally was forced into an election. You could almost hear the ‘ITS TIME, TO FACE, THE MUSIC’ X-Factor voice.

The year started looking like there would be an electoral wipeout for the Labour Party, and by May 6th the only thing that people knew about the election is that Labour had lost it. However, they had somehow not done as badly as people thought they would, and were just about still in play in the coalition negotiations. Brown though doesn’t get much credit for this. Between agreeing with Nick and bigot-gate he was hardly a campaign asset to his party, and the Dark Lords Campbell and Mandelson deserve much more credit than him for keeping the whole show on the road.

It is of course down to Mandelson that Brown was holding the position anyway. Right at the start of the year former cabinet Ministers Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon had tried to force a leadership election. Brown was apoplectic. Various current ministers were frogmarched to the nearest TV camera to declare their unwavering support for their inglorious leader. For comedy value Jack Straw turned up to meet with Brown “looking like the damned grim reaper”. Hours later though is was all over when David Miliband finally came out to give his support too.

In his book, “22 Days in May”, David Laws describes Brown as lecturing, not listening, to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as they tried to see if they could do business. Brown’s bullying reputation was already established, courtesy of former Labour Party General Secretary Peter Watt’s book earlier in the year. Mandelson and Blair have since finished of the last remaining bits of the Brown’s reputation to such devastating effect in their own tomes that one almost feels sorry for him.

Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander eventually had the guts to do what no Labour MP could, and forced Brown to resign as a condition on. Having pined for the top role in politics for so long, the 2010 tide was too strong for Brown to push back. Brown has only been seen in parliament twice since standing down. He will be as happy to see the back of 2010 as he was to the back of Blair.

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