How does someone as powerless, irrelevant and dishonest as Gordon Brown manage to insinuate himself into the most important debate in Scottish politics? He’s always there. He has no standing. He has no authority. He has no expertise – unless it’s the art of self-promotion. He has absolutely nothing interesting to say. So how the hell does he get to be so tediously present?
Another day. Another chapter in the never-ending story of Gordon Brown’s lumbering ‘interventions’ in the constitutional debate. Evidently, British Nationalists consider him one of their ‘big beasts’. Or do they? Maybe they find him as grindingly tiresome as the rest of us. Maybe his Tory chums are just as keen to be rid of him. Maybe Brown is foisted on them by the British media in the same was as he’s shoved in our faces.
It’s easy to understand why those striving to preserve the Union at any cost to the people of Scotland might want any help they can get. But how desperate would you have to be to resort to Gordon Brown? He’s not a great orator. He’s not a great political thinker. He has little in the way of personality. In fact, he’s a charisma sink. So charmless that he’s into negative territory and acts like a kind of black hole sucking into the pit of his sullen mediocrity any attractiveness or interestingness that approaches.
He’s nobody’s idea of an elder statesman. Although that is clearly how he wants to be perceived. Only the media are taken in by his performance. It is impossible to distinguish between parasite and host in that relationship. Does Brown get his name in the papers because he’s important? Or does he acquire a veneer of significance by being in the papers?
The only thing that is at all ‘special’ about Gordon Brown is his willingness to lie for the Union. Obviously, he’s far from unique in this regard. British Nationalists are not generally trustworthy people. They can’t afford to be forthright about their ideology lest its anti-democratic nature become apparent to more people. Which brings us back to the question – why Gordon Brown?
I reckon he’s learned to play to his strengths. Or his Tory chums have seen the usefulness of his insipidity. It is precisely because he is so bland that he can be given the ‘flavour’ of any given day. A lack of scruples is essential, of course. But it his powerlessness that is what the British Nationalists most value. That and the fact that his only talent is the ability to talk as if what he says actually matters. He does portentous rather well. I don’t know whether his being a son of the manse has anything to do with it, but it’s very easy to imagine him standing in a lofty pulpit – the better to let God get close to him – denouncing and castigating and condemning and issuing dire warnings of an eternity of attending his sermons but with a hot metal spike up your arse and the occasional promise of all the milk and honey and jam that can be crammed into an elusive tomorrow.
The dire warnings bit they can get from any number of economic forecasters. What BritNats value about Brown is his ability and willingness to make huge promises that he has absolutely no authority to make or power to implement and do so quite convincingly. They tolerate Brown in their inner circles and higher echelons because this helps ensure that his ‘interventions’ are associated with them while being totally deniable. They encourage the media to hang on his every word because they cannot be held responsible for what he says.
It must be something like that. Or perhaps there is just no answer to the question, why is Gordon Brown? I’m discounting the one about him being brown because he’s full of shit. Although….