Getty Images from The Independent
I'm on my tod today. Barney has accepted the job as advisor to the British Liberal Democrat leader Nick 'Foghorn Clegghorn' Glegg. Barney has a key to the back door of No. 10 Downy Street and has cut a deal to exchange it for a prime concession in the House of Commons where he will install his 451st Goblet of Fire vodka bar. Believe me, the parliament is going to need the calibre of stiff drink that Barney can make in the coming months.
The question Why has decamped to Los Alamos National Laboratory where scientists are dealing with the Peaches Geldof situation. Once the IBM Roadrunner supercomputer has compiled the considerable data, the question Why will step in to assess the environmental impact. Hopefully a sustainable solution can be found.
Now, back to London and the demise of Gordon 'Scrooge McDuck' Brown. Kind-hearted journalists are feigning shock. I suppose they thought he might do a Rambo. Anything seemed possible. Some are calling his plight Shakespearean. It did look like it might all go a bit Macbeth there for a while. Defeated, cornered, power-crazed. What could he be capable of? He just never, ever got it. Never looked in the mirror and saw what was really there - a stage manager, not a star. This is what comes of Oprah-style 'live your best life' self-belief. A little more critical self-examination and a little less can-do air pumping would do most politicians a world of good.
Polly Toynbee in one's adored Guardian put it like this.
He had to go. He did it well. But there was no other way. Let's not pretend this is an elegant departure of his own volition in the interests of the country. Gordon Brown lost an election that might have been won outright had he only departed sooner. No good grace now can erase the catastrophic mistake the man has made in so over-reaching his political skills and talents. Should there be pity and generosity for him now in his leaving? For all those years he plotted, planned, schemed and wrought havoc on his party in his single-minded determination to seize the crown he was not equipped to wear – though he had gifts and virtues too. But there will be time enough on many a long winter evening to ponder the dark and strange character of Gordon Brown when he is gone.
I put it like this back in December 2006,
Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown is possibly the worst candidate for a prime minister in history. He can’t speak in public without looking like he forgot to go to the toilet and poll after poll confirms that the great bulk of people neither like nor trust him. He is the very antithesis of a statesman. Even his own colleagues think he’s a plonker. Yet, he insists on ascending to a job for which he is plainly unsuitable, for no other reason than he just wants it. This misplaced sense of deservability means that he is absolutely prepared to put his own interests above that of a whole country. It may be impossible for us common folk to conceive of the arrogance which feeds that type of megalomaniacal ambition but it is real.
I'm not staking a claim to clairvoyance here, just underscoring what was so damned obvious all along.
Now we edge towards the denouement peeking through the slits in our hands. But wait. After all this heartache, is McDuck playing one hell of an exit scene? Will he lift himself beyond his means to pull out a stonker of a performance like Katherine Hepburn in Stage Door? The calla lilies are in bloom again! Is all that hubris about to be redeemed by a selfless, suicidal act of gallantry? It's Bruce Willis in Armageddon when he stays behind and blows up the asteroid! You were right Lembit, there really is an asteroid! It's called the Tory Party! If only Barney would call!