James Forsyth

Brown’s rage at Blair’s victory

Brown's rage at Blair's victory
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Tales of Gordon Brown’s temper are not uncommon in Westminster. Some, I am sure, have grown in the telling. But this one from Tom Bower, who wrote a prescient biography of Brown, has the ring of truth about it:

“Witnesses to Brown's reaction to defeat for the Labour's leadership in 1994 mentioned his volcanic temper, with him kicking a television set broadcasting ITV's report of Blair's victory. Senior Treasury officials after 1997 reported his volatile moods – smashing computers on to the floor or kicking furniture – when the spotlight shone on his weaknesses.”

I’m reluctant to read too much into Brown’s fits of temper, there are people who are effective at their jobs who occasionally lose it. But it seems telling that Brown having decided not to run against Blair still kicked the TV when he heard that Blair had won. One can’t help but reflect that if Brown had run against Blair and been defeated, as he almost certainly would have been, the last 15 years would have turned out a lot better.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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