Alex Massie

Gordon Brown is Not My Leader, Whatever Labour MPs Think

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Tom Harris didn't much care for Dan Hannan's speech setting about Gordon Brown. Fair enough, as a Labour MP you wouldn't expect him to find it a hoot. But then he says this:

What was truly repugnant about his speech was the total absence of any sense of patriotism. Some Tories on the extreme right of the party share the problem of some Republicans in the States: they don’t regard the head of government to be the nation’s leader unless he or she is also a member of their little party.

Gordon Brown isn’t just Labour’s prime minister; he’s Britain’s prime minister, and for any UK politician to launch such a disgraceful, personal attack on his country’s leader — in a foreign country — is nothing short of disgraceful.

But Gordon Brown is merely MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons. That's not enough to insulate him from criticism, at home or abroad. And nor should it be. Indeed, one of the advantages of monarchy is that it puts politicians in their proper place and, in theory at any rate, prevents the growth of the kind of spawling, imperial presidencies we see in some countries that were foolish enough to abandon the monarchical principle. That is, France and the United States of America...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articlePoliticslabour party