The Guardian editorial gave
a somewhat dusty verdict on Brown's foray into 'bloke television'.
The interview was the negation of much that Mr Brown has said in the past, requiring him to shine more of a spotlight on his family than he has done before. It embodied and marked the latest victory of entertainment over politics. It was personally embarrassing for Mr Brown. It demeaned his office. A prime minister should not have to answer intimate questions from a pipsqueak.
I thought this was harsh. Maybe citizens were better off not knowing about Pitt the Younger's port addiction or Gladstone's habit of wandering the streets of London seeking to rehabilittate prostitutes (and then punishing himself when he felt desire for them), but modern voters in our 24-7 media dominated world, need and want to know the type of people who govern them. That seems quite reasonable to me and necessary information in a democracy. The media makes our rulers more than just someone who governs- he or she is also someone to whom we look for leadership and skill in avoiding dangers to our well being. Thedy are also someone with whom we have a close, albeit one-sided 'relationship'
Readers of this blog will know I have no great liking or respect for Gordon and would like to have seen someone else in charge as we enter the election campaign. I also thought parts of the interview were a bit embarrassing- the dwelling on his dead child and cutaways to Sarah in particular- and I tend to think if 'pipsqueak' is an appropriate description of Piers one wonders what Gordon is doing apparently having him as a friend. But I found the sections on Brown as a young man- his prodigious ability, his awful accident and enforced recuperative purdah- were moving and revealing.
I thought he came out of it much more sympathetically than I had expected. He is a shy and private man but is capable of warmth and charm and I had not fully realised that before. Will it win him any votes? Yes, I think a few, and they could be crucial votes so, on balance it was worth doing.