James Forsyth

You couldn’t make it up: Blair wins a million bucks while Brown struggles desperately on

You couldn’t make it up: Blair wins a million bucks while Brown struggles desperately on
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The contrasting fortunes of Blair and Brown over the last few years are like something out of a childhood morality tale. Impatient Gordon hurries Tony out of office before he wanted to go. The result: Blair escapes the blame for the financial crisis, leaves office with impressive approval ratings and secures a string of impressive international jobs. Also, by getting out before the crunch hits, Blair makes a small fortune on the international speaking circuit and raises enough money to get several charities growing. Meanwhile, Gordon inherits the crown at pretty much the worst possible time and now finds the Labour party almost certain to go down to a massive defeat and those close to him apparently looking for a face-saving exit for him.

It is hard to imagine that Brown is going to have a host of prestigious jobs offers after he leaves office. He is almost certainly too tainted to go off and run the IMF or become the first non-American to run the World Bank, both options that were reportedly on offer when he was Chancellor.

One wonders what went through Brown’s head as he watched a relaxed, tanned and toned Blair have praised heaped on him by the new US president, who Brown’s team are coming up with increasingly desperate schemes (the latest rumour , reported by Sky, is that the British want a joint Wembley rally) to associate the Prime Minister with. Today, just to rub salt into the wound, Blair picked up a million dollar prize for “exceptional leadership”. How Gordon must envy the man. Blair seems destined to always be the winner and Brown the loser.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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