Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Making of A Premier


I don't want you to think I'm obsessed with Gordon Brown because I'm not. BUT, I've just found out he's written a book called 'Courage, Eight Portraits'. It's coming out in the first week of June.

This is the publisher's blurb. 'Gordon Brown explores the lives of eight outstanding twentieth-century figures. Starting with Edith Cavell, who nursed the wounded of World War I in Belgium and helped Allied soldiers escape back to England, he goes on to consider the Protestant pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who in 1940 returned to Nazi Germany from New York to lead the Christian opposition against the Nazi regime, and the wealthy businessman Raoul Wallenberg, who left neutral Sweden in 1944 to go to Budapest to try save the lives of Hungarian Jews. All three paid the ultimate price. Telling the stories of America's Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy - who, after his brother's assassination, remade himself as a politician of compassion - and Nelson Mandela, he considers great courage over a long period against daunting odds. And then there is the legacy of Dame Cicely Saunders, who changed the way we care for the dying by founding and leading the Hospice Movement. Finally, he explores the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, who for twenty years, much of that time under house arrest in Rangoon, has led her country's democratic opposition to military dictatorship, and continues to do so today. These eight heroes are very different people, with very different strengths and frailties, but all share an inspirational courage that Gordon Brown celebrates in these fascinating and moving portraits.'

First of all I'm not sure it's a very ‘courageous list’, although any list without Mandela and MLK would be wrong. However, more to the point isn't he Chancellor of the Exchequer? Doesn't he have a full time job? I know how long it takes to research and write something and this, to be done properly, would take him away from his day job. Oh yes, and he tells us he reads to his boys regularly, and is an all round typical father, and has dinner with Kylie. This is either a total ghost write or a sham.

Of course given the timing it's about heralding his premiership. Clearly he wants us to believe that courage is what he stands for. Well from what has been witnessed over the course of recent times he stands for shifty, manoeuvring, absenting himself at the vital moment and generally being a lot more about mouth than trousers. The lengths that Brown's team will go to just to prove he's not the man we all think, and fear, he is are astounding. In America they've made documentaries and written books called the 'Making of A President'. It seems that yet again where they lead we will follow.

2 comments:

r morris said...

Gordon probably wrote this one much the same way as John F. Kennedy wrote 'Profiles in Courage', by lending his name to another's work. I believe it was Theodore Sorenson who actually wrote POC.

Richard Havers said...

Interesting point Rob, I was unaware about that book. I guess Gordon Brown isn't!