However, this is a little more serious than regular speculation on who’s up and who’s down; the standing of the country is at stake. In the USA they cannot believe that we could be on the brink of removing the most Statesman like of Prime Ministers, since Lady Thatcher. For all his brilliance, Gordon Brown projects an image not a million miles away from those Premiers of the former USSR – a little harsh perhaps, but as with every stereotype, there are elements of truth to it.
Tony Blair is a fantastic politician. This does not mean he has been a fantastic Prime Minister – he hasn’t. Unless of course, your criteria are huge increases in the scope, role, power and cost of Government – in which case, he has yet to be surpassed. Here lies the problem. Gordon Brown actually could increase further the tax take, and spend, as a proportion of the National Economy. After 12 years as part of the public head of Government, we have effectively NO idea about where GB stands on International Diplomacy – on various of the UN Treaties of the last decade (notably Israel). We do not know his view towards the Ministry of Defence (MOD) – is it under funded, or are we at the correct pitch for a World Power, slowly relinquishing it’s status to the emerging Titans of India and China (and an increasingly Internationalised and revitalised Japan, and a slowly outward facing Germany – one could go on)
Our Drama unfolds, and we the British public watch on from the wings, reluctant to let go of a world figure, and yet quietly excited at the hoo ha – how long will this last, once Gordon is safely in place?