Friday, June 05, 2009
Kettle think it's like Ibsen's A Doll's House, Sylvester prefers Romeo and Juliet. Toynbee seems to think it's more like Air France Flight 447. I've always gone for Macbeth (and used the same headline twice). That's Hazel Blears on the left. Meanwhile, we await Brown's new 'cabinet' - Balls, Cooper and, er, some blokes he met in a pub in 1983. A friend emailed me just after Purnell did the decent thing and killed his boss. He called me a 'genius' for forecasting all this in January. He's right, of course, but it wasn't my genius at work on this occasion, it was a heady combination of wishful thinking, clairvoyance and an absolute conviction that Brown wasn't up to the job. I've only met him once. I can't remember when, where and why, but I do remember him coming across the room bearing his cyborg smile and an extended hand which I took reluctantly. Many years later I did a lot of research for a piece on Brown - when he was Chancellor - that never materialised. Not being a Westminster hack I had not previously been exposed to the stuff that came out. I was shocked, very. Even then it was clear that the man had been an unremitting catastrophe for Labour, also that he was a very bad politician indeed - no, as it were, balls and none of Blair's instinctive grasp of the rhythm of events. Intellectually, I was voraciously unimpressed. He just reads stuff, he doesn't process it. This is not personal - he may, for all I know, be a nice bloke, though that seems improbable after the McBride affair - it's professional. He made the wrong career choice. I voted Tory yesterday, not out of conviction but because I think it essential that the anti-Brown landslide be as large as possible and marginal or tactical voting would not achieve that. Purnell's right, he must go for the good of the country and, as that sweet, misunderstood woman Lady Macbeth put it, 'If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly.'
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:08 am