So, Gordon Brown's hard-bitten fingernails were finally prised from the floorboards of No 10 Downing Street on 11th May 2010—a date that should, quite possibly, be declared a national holiday. People could organise street parties, burn effigies of Gordon and generally have a massive celebration. Apart, of course, from those 8 million or so arseholes who voted Labour on the 6th.
Your humble Devil has expended many thousands of words on the failings of our loathsome (but thankfully erstwhile) Prime Minster, and there seems little point in attempting to waste more time on this unpleasant little man—not least because The Nameless Libertarian has done so most elegantly. I cite a few choice cuts, though I recommend that you read it all.
Ordinarily, I'd try to avoid kicking a man when he's down. But when that man happens to be Gordon Brown, I'm afraid I'll have to make an exception.
There's no nice way to say this, but it needs to be said nonetheless. Gordon Brown was a failure as Prime Minister. Every single test he met, he failed at. His departure from Number 10 yesterday wasn't some tragic curtailment of an otherwise flourishing career - it was the inevitable end of a premiership that, in retrospect, should never have happened.
Furthermore, Brown's legacy of abysmal failure began long before he set foot in Downing Street. He set himself up for a fall while still Chancellor, with his talk of ending "boom and bust" that turned out to be nothing but hot air. It is true that he was perhaps the most effective opposition to the odious Tony Blair within the Labour party, but that was not out of ideological difference or political conviction, but rather about naked lust for power.
Gordon Brown's economic policies stand as a rebuke to those that state that government spending gets you out of recession. Government spending can help in a financial downturn, but throwing money at the problem doesn't make it go away, and actually creates another problem - a massive government deficit that will force cuts in future government spending. Some argued that Brown knew he was going to lose the next General Election, and so he was involved in a scorched earth policy to screw his replacement in Number 10. His economic policy was so bad that this idea actually seems credible.
Brown was the cowardly, unelected Prime Minister who when he did face an election, was soundly rejected by the people he purported to represent. And even then he didn't go. No, he tried to stay on, and when that was no longer possible, he went on scheming to keep himself in Number 10 for as long as possible and his party in power despite the verdict of the electorate. The arrogance and the unthinking sense of entitlement was with Brown to the very end of his time as a political leader.
The cancer has been painfully removed from the Labour party, but it now falls to them to find their way again. The scars will be deep, and difficult to heal - particularly given the party's atrocious behaviour after it was defeated at the polls. It needs to see Gordon Brown not as the brave and courageous leader that unthinking acolytes and lazy hacks are now trying to make him out to be: instead, he must be seen as he actually was - an arrogant, cowardly, bullying failure.
There'll be occasions moving forward, when the next Labour leader falters or when the coalition struggles, when people might be tempted to look back on Brown favourably, through those rose-tinted glasses that always seem to make leaders more popular once they are out of power and no longer a threat. Those people should remind themselves that Gordon Brown was the worst Prime Minister we've had since World War Two - unable to govern, unable to get the legitimacy to govern, and without even the most basic charm to aid him.
The only substantial aspect of Brown's career that TNL doesn't really mention is the myth that this maniac managed to build up—the myth that he was some kind of one-man academic powerhouse. He was not.
It is recorded, for instance, that Brown went to university "at the same early age of 16". This is far from being uncommon in the Scottish school system: I knew a good few people at Edinburgh University who were 16: they were not particularly intelligent, they had merely taken Highers whilst eschewing Sixth Form Studies or a Gap Year. Personally, I always felt rather sorry for such people: not being able to drink legally whilst at university would, ironically, be enough to drive anyone to drink.
At university, he read History—not Economics, as many seem to think—and seems to have learned precious little from that. Brown then spent ten years gaining his PhD; once again, the subject was nothing to do with economics: no, his PhD thesis was entitled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918–29. From that point on, Brown's career was punctuated by a number of mediocre jobs until his election to Parliament in 1983.
I feel that I must stress this once more: Gordon Brown was not tremendously clever, and he had absolutely no training—and, it appears, almost no knowledge—at all of economics. And the result is his near-criminal ruination of the public finances.
Gordon Brown was an integral part of the NuLabour project—a hideous chimaera that has wrecked the education system, throttled social mobility, swept away centuries-old civil liberties, enslaved the British people in a near-police state, accelerated the fracturing of society, pulverised the national finances and expanded the state to unprecedented levels.
Gordon Brown may no longer be in power, but w will be paying for the consequences of his actions for decades to come. So, I urge you all to postpone the national holiday, take the trestle tables back indoors and put the bunting back in the understairs cupboard.
Let's save the celebration for when Gordon Brown finally dies.