Farewell to a tubthumping, Bronte anti-hero

G BrownWell that’s it then… Gordon Brown – the great political beast himself – is finally lumbering out to pasture. Ah! the memories – dodgy encounters with chippy old women, romantic dalliances with Romanian princesses, the 10p tax debacle, the Granita deal, the Mumsnet biscuit debate, the temper, the tantrums… From Son of the Manse to Iron Chancellor to Saviour of the Union it’s a story that perhaps looks more exciting on paper than it was in real life. Who can forget his hopeful attempt to sex up his image by likening himself to the brooding Heathcliff? If he had to be a Bronte anti-hero though surely he was more of a Mr Rochester
To run with the Bronte/Austen theme, I see him as a curmudgeonly – ‘dour’ as we Scots say – foster uncle. You know he’s highly intelligent and he was possibly a bit of a lad back in the day, but you really hate the way he makes you read The Rights of Man before letting you go out, and oh – that temper… But you remember that time you fell in with the wrong crowd, they were threatening you with all kinds of cyber-bullying and were just about to empty your bank account…  But Uncle Gordon saved the day – coming on like a tub-thumping mix of Keir Hardie, Martin Luther King and Atticus Finch with a touch of Liam Neeson – seeing the bullies off. You felt you could forgive him for everything – including stopping your 10p in the pound pocket money…
So thanks for the memories, Uncle Gordon. You weren’t perfect but you’re a lot better than evil Uncle Tony who continues to hang around the local tearoom scamming the regulars. And unlike him you look so much happier at grass roots rather than at the top of the greasy pole. You’re not leaving the village just yet so I’m sure we can count on you to give those bad lads a good kicking if they come sniffing around again. Cheers… and gaun yersel!

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