AS COMPARISONS go, Steve Richards has come up with a doozy.
His recent summary of Gordon Brown’s career paints him as not so much “The Comeback Kid” as “The Yo-Yo Kid”. I’ve produced the relevant part below, and it makes intriguing reading, not least for comparing GB with Bruce Forsyth.
Brown is Bruce without the jokes. Here is a brief summary of the Prime Minister’s relationship with the voters and the media. In 1992, he was the star of the Labour Party and widely seen as a future leader. In 1994, he was so unpopular that Tony Blair became leader instead and Brown’s soaring ambition seemed doomed. By 1998, he was seen as a triumphantly dominant, popular and widely respected Chancellor.
In 2001 he was written off as a marginal figure as Blair became a global leader after 11 September. After his 2003 Budget he was hailed as a great reforming Chancellor. By 2004, he was a marginal figure once more, not even invited to cabinet meetings that planned the next election. In 2005, he was so popular that Blair had to affect a rapprochement and bring him back to the heart of the general election campaign.
In 2006, he was so unpopular that polls suggested Labour would fall further behind if he became Prime Minister. When he became Prime Minister, he was so popular he was tempted to call an early election. After deciding not to do so, he became the most unpopular prime minister in history. Now he breathes again.