There is little doubt that Gordon Brown was eager to take on the role of prime minister from Blair, in fact, this was highly publicised in British media at the time. When Blair finally relinquished his role as PM, he must have seemed honourable to Brown, to give up such a role. With hindsight, it is not hard to assume that following the controversial actions in Iraq, Blair didn’t necessarily commit the greatest showmanship this country has ever seen, nor did he simply bow into the pressure he was receiving from Brown to honour his word and not carry out his end term. In fact, it is easier to see this as a calculated move. In the wake of controversy, it seems he wanted to bury the controversy of military action with a tug of war with his chancellor, finally giving in. He must have known the impact of removing the “iron chancellor” from his post, knowing there would be huge financial difficulties ahead, in the form of a recession, following the breakdown of Lehman Brothers building society.
If we transgressed through the times, back to when Gordon brown was running for labour leadership against Blair, had Brown won the election in 1994 following Neil Kinnock’s sudden death, he would have shared the same successes Blair had, and would have been glorified. In fact, had it not been for the Iraq invasion, and the infamous “I’ll be with you, whatever”, Blair may have been glorified for years to come as a great prime minister, and not a warmonger. However, his defining action in politics remains his military pursuits, and Browns’ an era of financial ruin. Brown may have been remembered as a broody in his distinctive grey tweed suits. For a leader who was never voted in, never had a mandate, he had his share of successes in office. His leadership, however, was always shadowed with the recession.
Brown is said to have a personal charm that is rarely picked up by the media and the cameras, but he knows how to speak to those who have suffered, with a great deal of humility and empathy. Despite losing the following lection, he still had everyone talking. He marked the end of his 32-year career as an MEP and decided to focus on his constituency. His speech was personal, spoken in the church where his father preached, the Old Kirk, and stood beside his wife and two sons, who were relatively shielded from the public nature of politics. After a long career in parliament, this validated his extremely private nature, showing only what he wanted to be shown in his career: his political side.
Blair as the true marvel, having won three elections. Even without the Iraq war he would have been remembered, only as a successful, charismatic, visionary; the face of New Labour. Nevertheless, his golden legacy is forever tainted with Iraq’s plight. The great twist in their decade-long rivalry is that on paper, Browns legacy is stronger. It is Brown, after all, who left office as the saviour of the Great British Pound and the stability of the UK and the global economy.
He restored faith in labours economic plans. In 1992, voters saw Labour as a risky choice to manage twirl money. However, by 2001, Blair and Brown emphasized the divide between ‘labour investments’ and ‘Tory Cuts’, all in all, faith was restored.
Several Cabinet ministers came to resent Brown’s dominance in the Treasury but there was no stage when his critics even so much thought to ridicule his economic policy. He was so revered in his position, even his criticisers left it to Brown, who became Labour’s longest serving Chancellor. Certainly, Brown would have reacted if Blair or any minister had interfered in his domain, but they chose not to do so. So, trusted he was, he earned himself the nickname ‘iron chancellor’.
Without a shred of a doubt, I know (such is my faith in regards to him) that Gordon Brown was the prime minister nobody gave a shred of a chance to. Him stepping down was the passing of an era. It was inevitable that I would feel deeply sad that he would leave British Politics, but was happy in the knowledge that he brought true moral integrity to public life when confidence had hit an all-time low. Anyone who says all Brown did was bail out banks and screw the economy, needs to come have a word with me… he managed to set a national minimum wage, tax credits for pensioners and the poor working class and made phenomenal investments onto the NHS and the education system, and at the same time be battling vicious Tory opposition and rebellious Blairites.
While his time in office is marred with the ‘Brown Recession’, it needs to be stated that when he left office, the NHS was in a much fitter shape and the economy was going up. Then blaming brown on this recession, just so the quota of picking a scapegoat was ticked, when in fact, it was the city types who bankroll the Tories that caused the banking collapse. Without a doubt, Brown was the one who saved us from a complete collapse of the baking system by bailing them out.
The day Brown left 10 downing street and subsequently as an MP, the UK missed out on one of the most morally appreciative, gentle and talented politicians that the U.K just didn’t give a fair chance to. It was only when the wrath of Nick Clegg’s U-turns and Cameron’s twisting words came about, that people realised what a gem this PM was.