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Tuesday, March 28, 2006
EXCLUSIVE: Gordon Brown Tours the Tearoom - What Can it All Mean?
As I sit here in the Virgin lounge at Washington Dulles Airport I am delighted to receive a call from a Labour MP friend of mine with some hot gossip. Apparently an hour ago Gordon Brown toured the House of Commons tea-room, grinning from ear to ear and hugging various MPs. I already feel rather queasy. So what's remarkable about that, you ask? Well, it's the first time in many years that Labour MPs can recall seeing GB in the tea-room. His regal procession through the vast ranks of Labour MPs was described to me as being like "Robert Maxwell, but without the charm." Harold Macmillan once said that when you see the Prime Minister in the tea-room it's a sign of panic. I think we all know what it means when Gordon is seen there. If I were Tony Blair I'd be afraid. Very afraid.
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"What Can it All Mean?"
Perhaps he fancied a cuppa?
Brown showed up late to the winding-up debate for the several days of Budget debate tonight; Osborne was making his speech when he showed up amid Tory MPs pointing and shouting about it.
I bet he wished he hadn't, as Des Browne the Chief Sec to the Treasury who winded-up for the Government was completely out-of-depth and all over the place.
Surely the Great British public will see behind that awful rictus grin (how many hours aday does he spend anxiously practising that ghastly grimace). His teeth have been whitened (probably in Hungary where it's much cheaper) and he's taken to washing and combing his hair. Mid-life crisis or what?
He's been doing the regular cheery meet'n'greet throughout Parliament - whether MPs or plentya constituency parties - for the past two years or so now, whether tearoom-ing or not... And managing to send his new people away with the sensation "You know what, he wasn't nearly as cold as I thought, in fact he was quite the chatty gentleman, a real charmer, etc etc etc ..." and so forth...
All in all, I don't think his ambitions for the top job are a new development, anyway...
I've heard he learnt Blair's leaving date very recently. Was that why he was so cheery?
Possibly he'd just learnt Blair's leaving date?
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