If I were George Osborne I would count myself an extremely lucky man. OK, I’d still have to go before Lord Justice Leveson this afternoon and answer some awkward questions but I would do so safe in the knowledge that I’d be following the political freak show which is a rare public appearance of Gordon Brown and that it will be he, and not myself, who will dominate the media coverage in the evening.
Just like the majority of people able to look at the current financial crisis without ideological prejudice, I consider Gordon Brown to be responsible for a great many poor decisions, in his roles as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, which have left the UK in a worse position than might have been otherwise expected as the world entered the Global Economic Crisis.
But now I’m starting to feel sorry for him. He is the perfect illustration of what can happen to a politician after long pursuit and final attainment of the ring of power and on the few occasions I’ve seen him since he was ousted as PM, his Gollum-like delusion, has started to make me pity him.
Don’t get me wrong, that pity does not extend to forgiveness. He sold the country’s Gold off for peanuts at the bottom of the market, he failed to properly regulate the market, he built his boom on ponzi- economics fueled by personal debt, which he encouraged, he brought the UK economy to a precarious state, and when he left office he bequeathed this country an unsustainable structural deficit. In the final two years of his premiership, after Lehmans, he made no attempt to cut spending, even on some of the more extravagant schemes.
But I am starting to pity him. He even makes Rebekah Brooks look good, and that is an extremely difficult thing to do.
I suspect this appearance at the Leveson Inquiry will be the last we see of him in public. After this he’ll crawl off somewhere quiet muttering and blabbering about how he lost his ‘precious’.