Those, according to the BBC report I’ve just watched, are the words of Mr Blair’s ghost, words that will follow Prime Minister Brown around his new house. I don’t normally talk about political issues here, but on the occasion of our country assigning a new PM, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to mark it. Gordon Brown certainly has a lot of work ahead of him – we may not have all agreed with Tony’s policies or decisions, but there is no denying that he was the most successful Labour leader ever, and that’s some trophy.
Already our new Prime Minister has expressed desires to make drastic changes to our government, shaking everything up, doing things differently, taking on the challenges and fixing all our problems. That in itself causes me some concern. I remember distinctly when I was running for Vice President of the University of Essex Christian Union, and in the grilling session before the vote I was asked what I would do as VP – I didn’t know, so just said hesitantly that I had some changes up my sleeve. To my surprise, some people were slightly taken aback at the thought of their CU being changed beyond recognition, and I realised that what people wanted wasn’t radical change but a gradual smoothing over of the cracks. Now, I realise that Prime Minister of a country is significantly different to VP of a CU, but Gordon Brown’s words still prompted me to doubt. On the one hand he does have to come across as assertive and proactive, but I want to trust that he will achieve his goals without sacrificing the good parts of our way of life.
In fact, trust is one of the big issues I think he will have to tackle. Regardless of his policies, he has to assure the public that he knows what he is doing and that he is a real person. For my liking he just doesn’t look friendly enough. I know ‘friendly’ isn’t really something that our Prime Ministers have had until Tony Blair (I wouldn’t call Margaret Thatcher or John Major the sort of people I’d like to invite round for dinner), but to my mind Tony’s smile and humanity were more encouraging to me than any of his policies. Some may call that a shallow view of politics, and they’re probably right, but Gordon Brown isn’t going to be able to win over the public with a smile and a joke – he’s going to have to work really hard if he plans to stick around. His eyes are too narrow, his hair too grey. Who knows what hides behind that facade?
It doesn’t help that when watching Gordon Brown’s speech as he addressed the public for the first time as Prime Minister I couldn’t help but think of The Master from Doctor Who, who made a similar speech a couple fo weeks ago – he had the advantage of a smile that people trusted, and yet he still brought destruction on the earth. The Master promised healing to a sick country, Gordon Brown promised to fix the NHS. “And now let the work of change begin” – was that the Master or the PM? Could have been either… Do you trust your new Prime Minister? I certainly don’t remember voting him in…