Andrew Rawnsley offers an uncompromising picture of Gordon Brown. Rawnsley argues that Brown will have to change his bruiser approach to politics if he is to succeed in the Prime Ministerial role he so covets but what of our own process?
(You may need to use the refresh button to get the link to work). He argues that Brown is:
“…an untrendy figure in one crucial respect which is vital to understanding what he would be like as a Prime Minister. Politics, for him, is still an ideological business. With the more fluid personalities of David Cameron and Tony Blair, you get light and shade. Gordon Brown is a man of black and white. As a debater, he claims every point and concedes none. As a colleague, you are either 1,000 per cent his ally or you are his unforgivable enemy. As an enemy, he will not rest until you have been pounded into dust. As a strategist, he works on the basis that politics is about dividing lines.”
The public seem well aware of Brown’s style but this has not dented his popularity so far:
“When asked to think of politicians as vehicles, focus groups describe him as a tank”
Brown is largely an unknown quantity in terms of Ulster politics and our interminable process. The Treasury, his fiefdom, has maintained its usual sceptical eye over packages for Northern Ireland as anywhere else nor has Brown particularly attempted to associate himself with the process. Although Brown’s proposals for further constitutional reform and celebrating Britishness should be opportunities for Unionism.
Has Brown formed his opinions about here? Who will/does he view as black and white? The process has been overseen by politicians with a reputation for conciliatory and deal-making approaches to politics (Blair, Ahern, Major, Reynolds), is a “tank” required to bring the process to a conclusion?