It seemed inevitable that the news his would-be opponent had thrown in the towel would reach Gordon Brown before he returned to London, but he clearly isn’t a man to take the party’s support for granted. Brown knows that it’s not enough to be merely nominated for the leadership; the party needed to take the opportunity to demonstrate its unity and show how proud it is to have bequeathed the country its most effective chancellor.
Here in conversation with Oona King Gordon Brown was anything but dour and grumpy. The format brought out the best in him and he was relaxed yet passionate, earnest but witty. Straight questions received refreshingly straight answers.
The polls may have begun to move in the right direction. But political honeymoons are always short lived and past triumphs quickly forgotten. The UK suffered economic recession in the 1970s, ’80s and early-90s, but since 1997 we’ve known nothing but growth (a trick no previous government has pulled off). Yet Labour rarely receives credit for this or many other achievements, like the 1,106 new schools, 27,000 new or improved classrooms and 1,260 new children’s centres that have been built in the last ten years.
Brown’s is an impressive vision of Britain as a world beacon for social justice, enabled by the sound economic management he’s already proved delivers stability and prosperity. But just as Brown hasn’t taken Labour’s support for granted, Labour must not take the country for granted.