Sunday, February 7, 2010

A cynic he may be, but Brown doesn't emote on cue

Looking around my old haunt today, I notice that many of the Conservative posters are spreading poison about the revelation that Gordon Brown wept during the recording of the forthcoming TV interview with Piers Morgan, talking about it in terms of Labour 'tactics'. One of the usual suspects rather risibly tries to read some significance into the fact that the 'top rated comment' on the issue on the Daily Mail website accuses Brown of exploiting his grief for electoral gain. Now, I wonder who was doing the rating?

I think Conservative supporters have got to be very, very careful about how they come at this. It's only a few short months since the near-impossible happened and Gordon Brown actually came out well from the controversy over his mis-spellings in a letter to the grieving mother of a military casualty, due to the sympathy provoked by the hysterical over-reaction in the Tory-supporting media. The way I read this is that Brown's decision to do an interview covering personal matters plainly was a tactical decision. It would also clearly have been agreed in advance that the death of his newborn daughter would not be off-limits, and that again would have been carefully weighed up. Tory supporters really can have no complaints about either of these points, given the way that David Cameron has brought his own son's illness and subsequent death into the public sphere, partly to underscore his personal commitment to the NHS - and any questioning of Cameron's sincerity would have certainly been greeted with outrage.

While I yield to no-one in my appreciation of Brown's many objectionable qualities, the one cynical thing he doesn't - or can't - do is emote on cue, in the way a Blair or Clinton could, and repeatedly did. He isn't an actor (at least not one of any quality), which paradoxically has been one of his biggest problems all along.


  1. Ezio Auditore da Firenze, making a serious point. A serious man, for serious times.February 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I don't think Brown is an 'actor' by any means, and I think whatever emotion he shows in the interview is genuine.

    However, it's the fact that he's even doing the interview, knowing that his daughter's death is going to come up, knowing that he's going to get emotional and knowing that it's going to make him look 'human', that I find objectionable.

    And I would do if it was Brown, Salmond, Clegg or Dave in this situation

  2. I know what you're saying, Ezio. It was the point of consistency I was really getting at as far as the Conservative supporters are concerned, because Cameron and Brown really are two sides of the same coin on these matters.

    Also, because of the very fact that the tears were likely to have been genuine, there's a danger those Tory supporters are going to look mean-spirited and it will backfire horribly on them.

  3. Ah, I see what you're getting at and I have to agree!

    I think the horrible, sneering nature of most Tories is being buried at the moment beneath the nice, happy, chubby, airbrushed face of their leader.

    But it's still there and it will come back to haunt them.

  4. I think that politicians' private lives shouldn't be used in public (unless of course they are criminal private lives). Their personal affairs should be kept personal.

    Clearly when David lost his lad we were all gutted for him and his wife, and the same when Gordon and Sarah lost their daughter. Regardless of people's politics it would take a hard man not to feel deeply for a parent who has lost a loved child.

    The question is, should anyone ever propose to ask about that kind of thing in an interview, and should anyone ever agree to answer these questions.

    I saw, by hazard the other day, an interview Peter Andre did with Sky in which they talked about some child he was adopting or had adopted, and there was some possibility his ex-wife would want the child with her in this week’s marriage. The ghastly crone who was interviewing him pushed him on the subject till he cried.

    I'm the last person to have any sympathy about anything with the likes of Peter Andre, but my heart went out to him for that interview. I felt terribly sorry for him, and angry with the woman who was interviewing.

    So, it was a long story to say James, I agree that anyone who uses this interview with Brown for political point scoring will be on thin ice which he/she may well fall through.... and drown. And it will serve them right. Glug, glug, glug... (That’s the sound of them drowning, in case you thought I’d lost the plot....)

  5. Tris, yes, I didn't see the Peter Andre interview, but I heard about the question he was asked, and it's little wonder he reacted the way he did.