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.