What’s going on with Gordon?

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, ...
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For those of us who like to subject the comings and goings of the referendum to the kind of analysis that the British media studiously avoids, Gordon Brown represents something of a problem. There is always this nagging feeling that there must surely be something more to his utterances than is immediately apparent. One is always left groping for the sub-text and puzzling over his motives.

Perhaps we shouldn’t bother. Maybe we should just take it at face value. Maybe there is no deeper meaning,

After straying out of radar range of the British nationalist line by saying that David Cameron should go head-to-head with Alex Salmond, Brown now appears to be suggesting that powers over education in Scotland should be handed over to Westminster. Why would anyone say that? It is a notion so outlandish; so contrary to Scotland’s mood; so downright weird, that we naturally assume he must know something we don’t know. Or that there is some subtle nuance here that escapes us. Or that he has some profound Machiavellian purpose in mind.

It may be none of these. Brown may actually be just as daft as he sounds.

Gordon Brown’s PR people have put a huge effort into rehabilitating their man. They have worked hard to transform his public image from a dull, boorish, humourless failure who hasn’t had an original thought since he completed toilet training into a wise, erudite, eloquent, elder statesman bestriding global politics like a haloed colossus. The spin-alchemists’ remit was to take the worthless base metal of Gordon Brown and transmute it into something akin to the gold of a Tony Blair.

Credit where it’s due, they’ve achieved wonders – largely thanks to a curiously compliant British media that seemed more than willing to collude in a bit of dubious myth-building. Brown ain’t no golden colossus, that’s for sure, but they’ve managed to shoe-horn him into a niche on the highly lucrative international speaking circuit. He still has all the charisma of landfill – but he gets money and, more importantly, attention.

It’s just hard to understand why.

Doubtless those PR people would spin the elusiveness of Brown’s character, personality, skills, abilities and personal qualities so as to portray him as some kind of enigma. I’m increasingly convinced that he is, in fact, a cipher. That he is every bit as shallow and vacuous as he appears.

What’s going on with Gordon? Apart from some inept self-aggrandisement and pathetic attention-seeking, not much. Not much at all.

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