Observing Gordon Brown is a bit like watching Arsenal trying to score the winning goal; there’s an awful lot of delicate, artful approach play. Movements and attacks are the culmination of hours and hours of intricate choregraphy and setup. The attack is oriented around a supremely talented individual up front. The opposition are backpedalling, not sure what’s coming next, a goal seems inevitable. But at the crucial moment, the ball is overplayed; everyone’s spent so long positioning and working out the little moves nobody is in the right position to strike; not sure what to do, the team over pass it amongst themselves, the moment of certain goal fizzles away, and when the shot does come in it’s weak and ponderous. Supporters everywhere hurl howls of frustration at the team, crying “why didn’t you just lump it in, you bastards?”
Tony Blair has to be thankful that Gordon Brown is more like Thierry Henry rather than Frank Lampard. Too many times he’s been on the ropes – after his defeat over the anti-terror laws, the disastrous showing in the 2006 local elections, and now this latest leadership crisis. Blair has somehow managed to wriggle through yet again – a vague commitment to quit within the next 12 months that’s on no worse terms than the May 31st deadline that was leaked to The Sun; he’s fobbed of Gordon with yet another “deal” that he’ll likely bend or break like all the others, and he even got a snotty “I apologise for the naughty members of my party – I won’t name names but they know who they are, and I want them to know how disappointed I am” in for good measure.
All political careers end in failure, and Blair’s is destined to do the same, but he’s going to fail on his own terms, make no mistake.