The Spectator

Spare a thought for Mrs Brown

Spare a thought for Mrs Brown
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Which young Treasury wonk has which top job? It’s all too exciting, or too depressing or something. But spare a thought, if you have one lying fallow, for poor old Sarah Brown who I suspect has been dreading this moment for years. I saw her a few weeks ago in St James’s park, just wandering around among the flower-beds. She gazed at the famous pigeon-eating pelicans for a while then turned and walked slowly back to the Downing street, dragging her feet as if returning to prison. Ok, I know Sarah Brown should be media-savvy -- she ran a high-profile PR agency until 2001 -- but I get the feeling that far from inoculating her, the years of Hobsbawm/Macaulay schmoozing have instead left her allergic to the press. And even if she was the sort of girl who revelled in reflected limelight, it must be miserable being a PM’s wife: your husband’s enemies despise you by association, and his admirers are jealous of your ‘access’. Poor Sarah Brown -- I can’t think of a job I’d like less.