the handover again

A couple of further, fairly unconnected, thoughts on yesterday’s change of occupant in Number 10.

  • It was interesting that in his first speech as PM, Gordon Brown spoke about “the opportunity to serve”. If I was going to take a wildly optimistic perspective on this, could it possibly be that that is really the attitude he takes to holding office? No small part of Tony Blair’s insufferability in the last few years has been his tendency to talk about “leading” the country rather than the traditional talk of elected representatives in terms of serving – as if he’d never realised his role was at the end of the day just to work for us.
  • But on the other hand, I’ve just seen this depressing report from the Laodiceans on Gordon Brown’s record of voting with the pro-abortion lobby. SPUC says Brown’s goverment “may be as anti-life as that of Mr Tony Blair,” a nasty reminder that he may also follow along in Blair’s lines in a variety of other undesirable ways as well (the EU and civil liberties to name just two difficult areas).
  • Tony Blair said in his speech in the Commons that this was it, “the end.” After a while it sunk in through the tear-jerking rhetoric that in fact, this is not the end of anything very much in particular – he himself is gone from his place at the dispatch box, but other than that, life goes on.
  • He also said in his speech that he was “truly sorry” for the deaths in Iraq. But when I was wee, my mum’s challenge for patently insincere apologies was always, Well, you don’t look it. If the deaths of all those service personnel, not to mention Iraqis, was really weighing on his mind and conscience, his grand farewell tour might have been expected to be somewhat more subdued, surely. More on this very point here.

6 thoughts on “the handover again

  1. did you like the standing ovation? and i’m sure that food thing you’ve posted above this is a caterpillar-related premonition. that’s why you didn’t have the brittany pancake isn’t it?

    anyway … have just been reading interesting (well, not really) discussion on TES about Gordon Brown’s facial tic. V annoying. Whilst you were in the church, I was watching Andrew Marr interview Gordon Brown while I snuffled with the cold (maybe because I don’t visit the local RC …) and noted his mannerism. I had been aware of this before but had forgotten. However, is it just bad luck or a sign of more worrying mental problems … as also seen in appointing Jacqui Smith? I think we should be told.

    And, yes, this blog layout is much nicer than the previous one!


  2. The standing ovation was one last cheap attempt to “make history” – which it did, obviously, but not because he deserved it.

    I’m *sure* that your cold had nothng to do with not visiting the local RC :P His facial tics don’t bother me too much, altho i don’t know if he still does that amazing thing with his jaw, which used to be truly mesmerising to watch. Jacqui Smith is a *very* bad omen – I really am regretting that i succumbed to this much optimism :(

    You didn’t find any more pieces of caterpillar over the weekend i trust?


  3. nope – no caterpillars, but had a tooth removed at the dentist. someone hates my mouth this week – and i got a full blown cold, blugh.

    oh – and if your saw/heard PMQs with gordon today – yep, he wants ID cards! Vote Cameron!


  4. Sadly, yes.

    Henry Porter says:

    [The Tories need] a policy that is fashioned from a forensic analysis of Labour’s attack on liberty and its construction of the surveillance state. Gordon Brown has sat through the cabinet meetings and he raised not a whisper of complaint about it all. That wasn’t because of his respect for the collective responsibilities of cabinet government, but because he agreed with it, as his support for ID cards and his conjecture about 90 days’ detention without trial indicate.

    If only he’d given Jack Straw back the job of Home Secretary :(

    Still not exactly sure what the *point* of Cameron is tho ?


  5. Maybe Gordon votes as he does because he believes that legal abortion is a good thing. I’m guessing that a huge majority of the British public would agree with him on that. It’s hard to fault a democratic politician for being in tune with the voting public, even if you personally disagree with him.


  6. Thanks for all your comments Mark, wherever you’ve popped up from.

    I’d be interested to know if you also think it’s ‘hard to fault’ government officials whose policies undermine freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial, when these policies are ‘in tune with the voting public’? (I take it you mean ‘democratically elected politician’ – sometimes it can be hard to believe that some New Labour politicians are actually democratic.)


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