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Laurence Inman’s Blog

WORDS OF ADVICE FOR GORDON BROWN

25-09-2008

Gordon Brown

He’s resident compere at The Retort cabaret – first Sunday of the month at Kings Heath’s Kitchen Garden café – and at the same venue he’s hosting a Folk and comedy evening this Saturday. He’s also found time to offer advice to the PM.

Only one thing seems to be keeping Gordon in Number Ten at the moment, and that is the dread of being an ex-Prime Minister.

Prime Ministers are always a particular type of person; the type of person who wants only to be Prime Minister and who is prepared to do anything to be it.

Once they have achieved their aim they are probably too busy and frightened to enjoy it. Even in their rare and brief moments of reflection they might be forced to acknowledge that it wasn’t really worth all the effort and sacrifice it took to attain it.

Those tiny seconds of enlightenment will also be ruined by the realisation that this is as good as it’s going to get, and that after being Prime Minister there is....nothing.

No more cars to take you everywhere, no more officials to guide you through every minute of the day, no more gaping admirers telling you what a brilliant person you are.

Because of course Prime Ministers are not usually brilliant; they’re just ruthless and lucky. And most of them, once they’re back out on the street, couldn’t run a whelk-stall.

Look at laughing-boy. (Sorry, ‘Mr Blair’.) He goes on a late-night satirical show in America and reveals himself as a humourless, self-important prig.

Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse in their brilliant show on BBC1last Friday night showed him working one day a week for a firm of city financiers. He couldn’t even do the office junior’s job.

We shouldn’t be surprised. After public school, Oxford, a bit of barristering and arse-licking his way up the Labour Party hierarchy, he becomes PM. By then the only thing he’d ever organised was the occasional posh ball at his college.

So he’ll be back now to safer territory; lectures (on what ?) to specially chosen audiences at $100,000 a time and the occasional book, half-hectoring his enemies and half-fantasising on what could or should have been.

Thatcher was the same. Wilson became a joke. Churchill spent his last few sozzled years pottering about pretending he was still a world figure. Major had the right idea – go and watch the cricket.

My advice to Gordon is this: whatever you do, don’t write a book. You might make a few quid, but it will show you up in the end.

I’ll end this week with a quiz. See if you can match the following autobiographies to the PMs who wrote them.

            I am Great,
           How I Became Great,
           I Am Still Great,
           Getting Rid Of Me: The Great Mistake,
          Me: The Legacy,
          Me And God,
          How I Became God,
          The Future: How The Bastards Who Got Rid Of Me Will Regret It,
          My Low-Down On The Bastards,
          Bastards (Vol 1) Bastards (Vol 2)
          Bastards! Bastards! Bastards!
          Why Doesn't Anybody Love Me Any More ?
          Eh ?
          I'm A Great Bloke,
          I Was Right All Along,
          You Can See That Now Can't You, Now It's Too Late
and finally
How To Get On The Telly And Talk Crap.

Answers on a post-card to The Stirrer.

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