Sunday 30 September 2012

'What gradually emerged with Gordon was that he could not do the job'


Jack Straw in today's paper:
“What gradually emerged with Gordon, which was a shock to his cabinet colleagues and the deepest trauma to him, was that he could not do the job and he has since retreated, and we don't see him. There is, sadly, no connection between an obsessive desire for a post and the ability to do it."  
Actually very often or usually there is such a connection. As Dr Johnson said,

"Providence seldom sends any into the world with an inclination to attempt great things, who have not abilities, likewise, to perform them" 

but Mr Brown's case is one of the exceptions. Historians will wonder why he was so very powerful within the Labour Party for 18 years. The answer is partly to do with Tony Blair's fear of him.

The great majority of British Prime Ministers have been able to do the job passably - the grace of office descends on them - but 
Mr Major was just not up to it. Nor were Sir Anthony Eden and, least of all, Mr. Brown  - the two Prime Ministers of modern times who were heirs apparent for years. Though, in retrospect, Mr Major's period seems a Golden Age, an Arthurian myth, compared with the disaster that followed. He was not a good political leader but his Government did a good job in home affairs though a bad one regarding the Maastricht Treaty, Northern Ireland, Rwanda and Bosnia. (Balfour and Chamberlain, who were also the heirs apparent, were also disasters, though Chamberlain at least might have been a good  Prime Minister in other circumstances.)

1 comment:

  1. I am not interested in recent British history. There is so much nonsense. I abandoned the hope of understanding why you opened your country to so many nations that despise or hate you.
    And I still do not understand why you are generous with dark skinned people but severe with (white) Romanian who are racially and culturally more similar to you.

    Nevertheless, you do fancy the white flesh of the Romanian women (and men)...

    Maybe God understands you. However, I have started learning German... Auf Wiedersehen.