Well, the big interview came and went. It was entirely bonkers from start to finish, but then any party political broadcast for Nude Labour these days would have to be.
Equally bonkers was the ITV network being allowed to run it at all this close to the election….an obvious issue fortuitously avoided, given that the Mandy-Campbell axis hasn’t as yet fired the Monocular One’s starting gun. But there is the spirit and letter of the law and all that – and this was an hour’s free peak airtime for Labour.
Also obviously mainly bonkers was the audience, which applauded wildly purely because Brown dismissed the ‘one eyed Scottish idiot’ remark as ”Well, that’s Jeremy Clarkson, and he’s a Conservative”. Smart of Gordo to remember Jezzer’s name, but why applaud the dismissal of a perfectly accurate empirical observation?
At the same time, however, the PM showed the world how bonkers he is by feeling that the most telling thing about Clarkson might be the likelihood of him voting Conservative. He may well vote UKIP for all I know (although I doubt it): but therein lies the deranged politician, seeing every thought and action as political. Karl Marx had the same idea.
The controlling Brownbeard Sarah sat in the audience, trying not to keep one wet eye on the camera watching her watching the camera, and failing. Sarah clocked the camera in a way that suggested she had the power to look through and assess the viewers’ reactions at home. She looked very bonkers indeed.
Anyone believing the Brownshirt’s fantasy description of this chilly lady would have to be bonkers to switch votes based on it. So we must all thank God that a good 80% of Morgan’s audience will either get the date wrong, or be watching a Neighbours omnibus, on election day.
Piers himself showed at last how fame has gone to his head – which used to be empty, but is now filled with grandiose self-importance. Thus he too is bonkers, as indeed he must be to have hoped he’d get away with some of the rehearsed stuff during this sixty-minute demonstration of syrup-ladling .
It started with Morgan calling him ‘Mr Brown’ and Mr Brown answering ‘Call me Gordon’. They’ve known each other for ten years, for crying out loud.
Next came a cringe-making attempt to reposition the PM as a sex-God. “Look at that picture Prime Minister” trilled the celeb-follower, “you’re the Jagger in that shot”. No Piers, he was the dork with long hair.
Another faded library shot showed The Student Agitator managing to remain upright. “This is real D’Arcy stuff, Gordon” Morgan lied. “Not really” Brown replied. It was one of only two occasions all evening when the Prime Minister told the truth.
The University hell-raiser-cum-babe-magnet is tosh from start to finish: Brown was nothing of the sort. His contemporaries mostly describe him as a socialist anorak and precociously intelligent bloke who could bore for Scotland about being radical – and who was usually found in the kitchen at parties wittering on about Keir Hardie. As for the totty, Bryan Appleyard wrote of Gordon Brown in 2006:
‘….from the beginning, his relations with women have displayed a reluctance to be too involved, engaged and, therefore, exposed. All his biographers agree that his girlfriends were just expected to be there as required. The relationships had to slot into the few spaces left between his political commitments’
Interestingly, the other moment of truth was, without question, when Brown talked about the death of his daughter. My feeling was that the ‘buckets of tears’ accounts I’d heard in advance were exaggerated. The guy looked what he was: for all his faults, a grieving Dad. But a grieving Dad with an iota of common decency wouldn’t have gone on a low-brow chat show to garner votes over the dead body of his child. And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is why Gordon really is truly and irredeemably bonkers.
On and on it went. The Blair victory in ‘94 (“I got over it pretty quickly”), the ousting of Blair (“It had to be Tony’s decision, I left it up to him”) and then of course an interview with the Great Betrayer himself (“Gordon’s at his best when he’s being authentic”) – quite right, Tony – and as he’s never authentic…..(insert favourite insult here).
Aah, the putrid pong of spin, lies and deception being offered up by the deranged of a Sunday night. Produced and directed – naturally – by Alistair Campbell.
This too makes sense: after his panic attack on Marr a week ago, Chemical Ali is inadvertently going public with his bonkers problem. It’s been on the cards for some time: of late Campbell’s been doing interviews saying he likes Gordon, has ‘issues’ with media superficiality, and that too many politicians are counterfeit. To see a grown man with no memory of his past is a sad thing indeed. Still, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.
Slog subscribers saw this piece first. Most of what they see via email is exclusive to them. To subscribe go to Join Up right now.