Date: 06/08/2020
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Gordon Brown tries to be human

Objectionable as Tony Blair was, Gordon Brown is worse. Completely lacking in charisma, he is probably the dullest Prime Minister we have ever had. His dullness created a reputation for prudence, but he is in fact extremely profligate - with taxpayers' money. He is a traditional tax-and-spend Socialist, with no understanding of wealth creation. He calls the tune, while we pay the piper. At least Blair and his greedy wife know about making money as well as spending it.

Like a walking, snarling quango, Brown manages to be both dangerous and dull. For some dull people it is worth trying to be less dull. Not Gordon Brown. He is irredeemably drab and awful, and any attempt to appear "more human" - witness his gruesome smiling on his last, forgettable, visit to the US - is doomed to failure.

All things considered, you really wouldn't want him ringing you up, would you? From The Times:

People who dash off letters to 10 Downing Street should be warned. They may get more than they bargained for.

Complaints, queries and commendations — written about anything from benefits and bus services to the weather — normally receive a polite letter of reply on behalf of the Prime Minister, signed by an official.

But some of them, perhaps as many as two dozen a week, prompt a personal call, and the distinctive gravelly baritone of Gordon Brown.

The listening Prime Minister, as he has promised to be, is taking his pledge very seriously after several maulings in the polls.

Mr Brown, an inveterate reader and writer, is known to take a particular interest in almost everything that goes on in No 10, or comes into it. And sometimes, it was revealed yesterday, he asks the No 10 switchboard to get his correspondents on the phone.

The telephonist will call the number, say they have the Prime Minister on the phone and after the shocked listener has composed himself or herself, Mr Brown will be put through. “It’s Gordon Brown here,” he will say. “I was interested in your letter/e-mail . . .” and a conversation, often of several minutes, will ensue.


His new tactic has been tried and tested by politicians in the past, and can be traced back to Jimmy Carter’s 1976 US presidential campaign.

That is hardly a recommendation. If he calls me, I will say two words guaranteed to get rid of him: Boris Johnson.