Wednesday, April 05, 2006
EXCLUSIVE: The Gordon Brown Book That Never Was
There has been much in the papers today about Gordon Brown's forthcoming book of speeches. Indeed, I shall be appearing on Radio 4's World Tonight to pontificate on it! Two points strike me. Firstly, the newspapers have missed the big story here. This book was first announced more than two years ago, but it was going to be a book by GB on his political heroes. The publication of the book kept being put back and back, to the point where it has obviously been abandoned altogether. Bloomsbury, the publishers of the book, obviously won't expect to sell huge numbers of copies of a book of speeches (if they do, they'll be sadly disappointed) but they have an eye on the main chance. Gordon will obviously feel (assuming he actually has feelings) that he owes them one, and come the day he pens his memoirs, Bloomsbury will want to have first refusal. That'd be about May 6th 2010 then. The other point to make is this. Who on earth has heard of a book of speeches receving celebrity endorsements? Apparently J K Rowling (for God's sake!) and nelson Mandela have both written pieces saying how wonderful the Dour One's speeches are. They need to get out more. Doesn't this all display a deep-seated insecurity on behalf of the Chancellor? The need to be loved, to be respected. Margaret Thatcher didn't need any endorsement for her book of speeches, neither, it has to be said, did Tony Blair. I know, I published it. Now here's a challenge. Can anyone actually think of a really memorable speech Gordon Brown has made? If you can, I suspect you will be thinking of the one mentioning the Neo-Endrogynous (spelling?!) Growth Theory. And guess what? That's not even in the book!