Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Was Gordon Thinking?

In a New Statesman interview, Gordon Brown compared himself to Heathcliff. The Telegraph reports the owner of the Bronte Paronsage Museum in Yorkshire saying...
"Heathcliff is a man prone to domestic violence, kidnapping, possibly murder, and digging up his dead lover. He is moody and unkind to animals. Is this really a good role model for a prime minister?"

I leave readers to draw their own conclusions, but can one think of a more idiotic comparison for a politician to make?

Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green.
You had a temper like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy.
How could you leave me,
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.

Bad dreams in the night
You told me I was going to lose the fight,
Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering
Wuthering Heights.


Anonymous said...

Trust you to quote Kate Bush! :-)

Anonymous said...

Goodness, why not Sir Percy Blakeney:

'they seek him here, they seek him there, is he in heaven, is he in hell? that demn (sic) elusive Pimpernel!'

and let's not forget Sir Percy was tall, handsome, witty, and endlessly inventive - virtually indistinguishable from Misery Broon.

AnyoneButBrown said...

To be frank I'm utterly bored with this hapless, useless Prime Minister. I couldn't give a rats ass what he says and thinks nor which literary characters he compares himself with.
Sadly it's exactly 700 days until Thursday 10th June 2010 when he is due to be kicked out of No.10 and my life. About 699 days too many!

mandango said...

Hansard 4th July

"Is the Prime Minister really going to go ahead with this deeply unpopular tax when families are struggling with the cost of living, or can he give us another of his trademark U-turns?

The Prime Minister: If the right hon. Gentleman looks in detail at the proposal, he will see that the majority of drivers will benefit from it."

Daily Telegraph 10th July

"More than 9 million motorists face road tax increases of up to £245 under the Government's "green" car tax plans, the Treasury has admitted.
Nearly half of all drivers will be hit with significant rises in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), while fewer than one in five will see any benefit from the reforms, according to official data."

Anonymous said...

What is Boris thinking?

Isn't the minimum wage a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

Surely Heath Robinson?

Anonymous said...

Another quote taken out of context I'm afraid. Brown was TOLD he was compared to Heathcliff, and asked to comment on it.

Keep spinning though Iain, you might only lose your prospective seat by 10,000 to the Lib Dems at the next election!

Anonymous said...

Maybe he thinks it will make him popular with all those Cliff fans?

Well? Over to you, Mr. Dale!

(It does have a track called "Misunderstood Man". Yer think so, Mr. Brown? We understand you quite well enough....)

Anonymous said...

I think he's lovely. Much nicer than that Flashman bully with the fat face.

Anonymous said...

More like Roger Quaife I think

Anonymous said...

From the archieves of a school/university drama society.

GLOUCESTER: Gordon Brown.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Warner on the Mirrorgraph Blogs has hit it on the head... Gordy presumably resides at Dithering Heights

Newmania said...

The Palm for this sort of thing Jonathan Friedland for spotting that the great Awk has the .... 'jealousy of Othello, the ambition of Macbeth and the indecision of Hamlet.'

Playing the “Which Shakespearian character is Brown ? “ I came up with this:

I think I good make a good case for Iago. I was thinking of his off hand loathing of Cassio Cassio ( Blair ) has a "daily beauty" in him that makes Iago ugly. The inchoate rage of Caliban is obvious just add mobile phones, but I am inclined not to grant the brooder tragic status, even of a diabolical kind.
So I choose Dogberry , Bottom or better still Malvolio of 12th Night , a character too ridiculous for evil who hilariously mis-prises his attractions . He wears , you will recall , yellow garters crossed and leers like a goon having been tricked into believing these to be irresistible to Olivia .Critics have said that Malvolio's treatment borders on cruel and I admit Brown is now so pathetic it is becoming hard to watch… Achilles, whose sulking in his tent and homosexual obsession with his servant, is played for laughs in Troilus and Cressida may have a claim but overall Malvolio still does it for me .

If we move onto novels its must be Edward Casaubon of Middlemarch
“In George Eliot's Middlemarch, Edward Casaubon spends his life in a futile attempt to find a comprehensive explanatory framework for the whole of mythology. He is writing a book which he calls the Key to all Mythologies. This is intended to show that all the mythologies of the world are corrupt fragments of an ancient corpus of knowledge, to which he alone has the key. Poor Mr Casaubon is, of course, deluded....”

The slow and then crushing realisation that the older melancholic obsessive is actually a pitiful fool are an affecting part of Dorthea`s arc. The poor poor Labour Party must now be feeling all her sense of waste .....

Anonymous said...

"-and digging up his dead lover. "

So far as is known he hasn't actually murdered Blair -yet.

strapworld said...


I prefer Jonah!

Anonymous said...

Ukulele Orchestra of GB (Gordon Brown?)Wuthering Heights featuring Heathcliff

Anonymous said...

Can't remember that Heathcliff. Wasn't he deeply charismatic and Irresistible ?

Sounds about right.

Letters From A Tory said...

So, let's be clear about this - over the past week, Gordon Brown has told us to eat less food, he told us to drive hydrogen cars, he planted a tree in Japan, and now he's comparing himself to fictional literary characters.

He has seriously lost the plot.

Anonymous said...

YES!---"There aren't enough airports.............etc,etc*
Harpic HoC yesterday.

FonyBlair said...

"Off-A-Cliff" would be more appropriate!

Anonymous said...

And for those of you who remember the musical version of the story...

Anonymous said...

Broon as Heathcliff???....Ye Gods the end is nigh quicker than we thought..........Bring on the Harperson I say........

( just on me way to join the queue at Terminal 5)

Anonymous said...

I think Captain Ahab is a far better comparison...replace the whale with the UK and the Pequod with the Labour party and it's Brown all over.

Anonymous said...

Ah memories. I can see KB wafting round the TOTP stage. For some reason I recall she had ten O-levels, probably because I was aiming for the same back then.

Heathcliff certainly had personality flaws, but for Gordon I'd suggest that Hannibal Lecter, Dr Szell (Marathon Man) or Norman Bates would be nearer the mark for Dithering Heights.

(These are all film villains, indicating why I failed English Lit.)

Anonymous said...

The question is just too easy!

Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler, King Alfred, King Arthur, the Terminator ....

Where would you stop?

Anonymous said...

"I leave readers to draw their own conclusions, but can one think of a more idiotic comparison for a politician to make?"

Brown has probably never read the book. He must have been comparing himself with Heathcliff as portrayed by Laurence Olivier in the film.

Man in a Shed said...

He's trying to shake of the Mrs Rochester tag ...

Paul Burgin said...

Well if we get enough votes from Kate Bush fans as a result, it's a comment worth making ;)

Anonymous said...

Agree with JD- you could have chosen a Bronte quote to illustrate your point (which is, nevertheless, well-made). How about the description of him gnashing his teeth and dashing his head against a tree?

Lola said...

Gordon? Thinking? No? Surely not?

Philipa said...

One of the best films made of Wuthering Heights had Lawrence Olivier in the role of Heathcliff, maybe that is what sparked the idea - Olivier was bisexual (ok mostly homosexual but a wife was convenient for image and offspring)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ...

Wikipedia quotes - "Heathcliff is often regarded as an archetype of the tortured Romantic Byronic hero whose all-consuming passions are powerful enough to destroy both himself and those around him. "

Yep ...

Anonymous said...

Boy, we have one delusory son of a b***h in charge, don't we!

At least I know I'm boring - my wife keeps telling me the truth.

Anonymous said...


No, Hound of the Baskervilles.

Alan Douglas said...

I'd say a rare moment of insight and honesty from the Bruin!

How often has he disinterred the mouldering corpse of socialism for us ?

Alan Douglas

Unknown said...

Perhaps he meant Heathcliff the cat? From wikipedia: "Heathcliff as seen in the strip is predisposed to annoying the manager of the fish store, tipping over garbage cans, annoying the milkman, and pursuing female cats."

Anonymous said...

Heathcliff ? ... Heathcliff ???

More like Nero ... muttering about food wastage whilst the economy approaches (relative) meltdown.

Mr. Gordon "no more boom and bust" Brown is nothing more than a sad failure, both as Chancellor and PM.

Chris Paul said...

Sir Percy might well be the model for Cameron who could easily trump Brown and Heathcliff with a claim to know:

"what it's like to be poor and excluded"

Liz said...

Cameron just called him Heathcliff in the house during the G8 debate. I have a feeling that this is one of those things that Brown is going to start finding very irritating very soon...

Anonymous said...

Heathcliffe was certainly psychologically flawed. I an only assume the Bogeyman was trying to appeal to female voters by comparing himself to a romantic hero. Trust him to pick the wrong one!

Richard Nabavi said...

I wonder if he has actually read Wuthering Heights? I've always thought it a very disturbing novel, with an undercurrent that women are attracted by violent men. Heathcliff is certainly not a role model for a modern Prime Minister!

Trust Brown to give journalists even more ammunition to use to ridicule him.

Anonymous said...

Actually Kate Bush looks more like Gordon Brown everyday. Why not cancel the aircraft carriers and spend the money on the NHS as every pound spent there creates more jobs. Or are we still buying votes?
freedom to prosper

Brian said...

Couldn't he just compare himself to Nellie the Elephant and go?
When will a Labour MP have the courage of Leo Amery in the Norwegian Campaign debate and say in the House "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go"?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

From the Daily Mail:

On a more personal issue, Mr Brown admitted biting his nails is his most unappealing habit.

'I've tried to stop biting my nails - they're pretty good,' he said, before glancing down at his hands. 'OK,' he then added. 'They're not.'

Gordon, as ever, lying. This is much less appealing.

Anonymous said...

Did he mean Dithering heights? Martin

Anonymous said...

As George Osborne said to Broon today in parliament as he accused Broon lying his way into yet another 10p tax fiasco with his punitive road tax scheme:

"Do we have to wait for Heathcliff to come down from Dithering heights yet again?"

Brilliant, George!

Anonymous said...

Kate Bush hadn't read Wuthering Heights, either, had she, when she wrote that?

Anonymous said...

In a New Statesman interview the PM was told: "Some women say you remind them of Heathcliff." He replied: "Maybe an older Heathcliff, a wiser Heathcliff."

Iain, what would your reply have been if it was suggested to you that you reminded some people of Heathcliff?

Anonymous said...

Alexander Portnoy?

Ralph said...


the full interview can be read here:


Anonymous said...

Billy Liar... or was that Blair? Brown doesn't seem to be much better.

Anonymous said...

Heathcliff was sulky, moody and prone to wild rages. He had a huge chip on his shoulder, saw himself as totally hard done by and trusted absolutely nobody, making the lives of those around him absolute hell. Sounds right to me!

Jeff said...

I'm sorry Iain, but your post is factually incorrect.

Gordon did not compare himself to Heathcliff, the interviewer did.

Gordon merely said if he was to be compared to the character he would have to be seen as a wiser and older variety.

I can understand you wanting to stick the boot into GB every chance you get but play fair, please.

Anonymous said...

Gordon think?

Shurely shome mishtake.

The one-eyed fat prat is trying to make himself look good and failing miserably as usual.

Anonymous said...

Marquee Mark

Might i suggest Melancholy Man by the Moody Blues as appropiate for McBroon, the brooding, introspective, clunking GIT.

It's about the right era as well.

Old BE said...

I see the Labour trolls are out in their usual boring force. They ask that B.ruin's detractors "play fair", I ask whether Mr Cameron ever said "hug a hoodie".

Labour members should face up to the fact that nobody (including members of his cabinet) thinks that Gordon is a good Prime Minster and, worse, nobody thinks he can turn things round. Best for the country to have a new one.

Anonymous said...

This is a stupid post even by your standards Iain (and I make this comment as someone who has never voted labour). Brown was asked a question, and responded with what was a joke in the context of an interview. Unsurprisingly, you've spun this into something it clearly wasn't. The quote is below:

"Is he a romantic? I ask. "Ask Sarah," he chuckles. Some women say you remind them of Heathcliff, I suggest. Brown is, after all, brooding and intense. "Absolutely correct," he jokes. "Well, maybe an older Heathcliff, a wiser Heathcliff."

Anonymous said...

Jeff claims that Brown did not compare himself to Heathcliff.

Rubbish, Jeff!

BBC News online states Gordon said:

"It is "absolutely correct" to compare him to Heathcliff - the brooding, romantic anti-hero of Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights. "

"In a New Statesman interview the prime minister was told: "Some women say you remind them of Heathcliff."

He replied: "Maybe an older Heathcliff, a wiser Heathcliff."

He said unlike Heathcliff, he did not "generally" lose his temper. But Bronte expert."

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the commenters weaseling away the point of this post with 'Gordon didn't say it himself, he was just responding to the interviewer' took a rather...different....tack over the McGrath affair...?

Anonymous said...

Phone call 3am

Heathcliff, it's me, it's Tony, are you having fun now
Ho Ho Ho

Anonymous said...


"Might i suggest Melancholy Man by the Moody Blues as appropiate for McBroon, the brooding, introspective, clunking GIT."

Well he certainly isn't "This Charming Man"! Maybe after his stint with the economy, he could be Grace Jones' "Demolition Man"....

Newmania said...

DITHERING HEIGHTS.....Thankyou Flo...superb

Not a sheep said...

I am more concerned by the BBC's acceptance of government lies. The BBC are triumphantly reporting, in response to accusations that Gordon Brown claimed "The majority of drivers will benefit from this proposal", the following:

"However Downing Street pointed out that Mr Brown had told MPs at question time on 14 May that "the majority of motorists will benefit or pay no more in vehicle excise duty as a result"

Indeed he did, in May; However on 4 June he said "If the right hon. Gentleman looks in detail at the proposal, he will see that the majority of drivers will benefit from it". For lazy BBC people you can see this in Hansard (4 Jun 2008 : Column 765).

So now that we see that Gordon Brown did indeed mislead the House of Commons, I ask again - should he not be called to apologise to the House? And should not the BBC with all its resources be able to find out this sort of information.

Anonymous said...

One in Kate Bush is worth two in the hand.

Anonymous said...

Gordon! It's me, your Prudence, I've come home (with all these chickens too, coming back to roost)

Anonymous said...

One for Dave at next week's PMQs.

"Has the Prime Minister read Wuthering Heights?" This of course is asked after quoting the second verse of the swong

Ooh, it gets dark! It gets lonely,
On the other side from you.
I pine a lot. I find the lot
Falls through without you.
I'm coming back, love,
Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream,
My only master.

Roger Thornhill said...

Anon 11:58 "Why not cancel the aircraft carriers and spend the money on the NHS as every pound spent there creates more jobs. Or are we still buying votes?"

As if "creating" jobs in the NHS is not buying votes!

Jobs will be created by the building of the aircraft carrier - what do you think the money goes on? Welding guns don't earn a wage, but the bloke who uses it does and those who supply them do to. Jobs for suppliers and the builders.

At the end of the day you get a massive capital ship, not polyclinics nobody asked for and nobody wanted.

Anonymous said...

Why Dave moaning about Gordon Brown conning him by saying that the majority of people will be better off - they will be because they don't pay car tax and hence will have more tax splashed on them.

Dave is simply not cynical enough.

It worries me that he will have the wool pulled over his eyes by the French who use this kind of word play all the time during negotiations.

I have one bit of advce for Dave if it sounds too god to be true then it probably is.


Gordon is a lying f*cking con-man, you need to man-up Dave.

Anonymous said...

BBC news online:

"It seems as if he [Brown] is floundering and is grabbing onto a strong, granite-jawed character that someone's suggested to him," says psychologist Angela Mansi, of Westminster Business School.

"People like to identify themselves with a character when they lack a sense of their core identity. This is happening more and more as we give too much away about ourselves and try too hard to please others"

Anonymous said...

"In a New Statesman interview, Gordon Brown compared himself to Heathcliff..."

No, he didn't. He was asked to compare. The two words that are missing are "he [Brown]" jokes fom all the Westminster usuals

Blackacre said...

Good coup for the Staggers - just what they need after a difficult few months

Anonymous said...

Now the evil Heathcliff is trying to forment civil war in Nigeria by offering to deploy the British Navy to defend a govt that came to power through a dodgy, violent election (just like Mugabe).

Anonymous said...

Richard Nabavi said...

"an undercurrent that women are attracted by violent men."

I noticed that when I read it. Of course, it does have the advantage of being true, albeit that women tend not to mention it to delicate chaps. Fortunately, I am able, on request, to help them meet their needs.

Anonymous said...

it's me heathcliff

Tom Hagen said...

Where as James Purnell thinks himself as Steve McQueen!