Gordon Brown had always been a political titan. He was a booming orator and had a shrewd mind for policy. If not for being outmanoeuvred by Tony Blair back in ’94, he would have been the man to lead Labour to victory in 1997.
Assuming power from Blair in ’07, Brown was de facto coronated, with negligible internal opposition. Crying foul at the apparent democratic deficit and perhaps under the misconception that the UK is a presidential system, then opposition leader David Cameron began to call for a general election, and he did so loudly and often.
Should an election have been called in 2007 Labour would have routed the Conservatives, and David Cameron’s tenure as Tory leader would have come to an end. Privately Cameron was aware of this, and sources indicate he was terrified at the prospect of a general election, and his calling for it was merely a political bluff.
Yet imagine Cameron’s surprise that when Brown assumed office he devolved from an astute political operator to an unconfident shambles. Vince Cable summed it up perfectly when he talked of Brown’s metamorphosis from “Stalin to Mr. Bean”. Week after week in the boxing match that is PMQ’s, Brown knocked himself out, and when the election was finally called in 2010, 13 years of Labour government came to an end.
Yet Brown has had something of a renaissance in recent years. Over the issue of Scottish independence he’s re-emerged as an articulate figure of authority. Perhaps if not for his interventions Scotland may well have broke away from the union in 2014.
Unique in nature Brown has gone from a butterfly, to a caterpillar, and back to a butterfly once more. He’s continued to deliver strong performances, recently intervening again over Scotland, and doing so in Prime -Ministerial style. Unlike Blair, Brown’s post PM career has not been marked by self-enrichment by questionable means, and consequently enjoys a reputation unbismerched.
If in 2007 he was the man he is now in 2017, Labour could very well still be the governing party. Since Labour is in need of a new leader, perhaps Gordon could make a come back. After all Arthur Henderson had three goes at the job, let’s give Gordon two.