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Just finished Alistair Darling\’s book – Back from the Brink. The picture it paints of life at the top in Downing Street is oddly… well… small. They\’re like people in a soap opera, all in the same street, getting into feuds with each other, meeting each other at summits and G7s and G20s and getting into fights at parties.
The feuding he describes is mental: what possessed Gordon Brown to run things the way he did? He was regularly talking to people one to one but practically nothing was discussed openly at Cabinet meetings. He would then come to some conclusion based on the last person who spoke to him and stick to it stubbornly, getting distinctly ugly when crossed. Darling is generous about his capacity for \”heavy lifting\” and persuading finance ministers to act on the massive financial crisis of 2008 – but then he throws it all away in time for the Election.
Brown comes over as a typical second-in-command who simply cannot lead. It\’s also blatantly obvious that the man conspicuously lacks Tony Blair\’s ability to flannel and charm Lady Luck onto his side. Napoleon would never have given Gordon Brown a job. He\’s unlucky.

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