Gordon Brown is mad. There is nothing ground breaking in that statement, almost every commentator has dropped enough hints. Like some Soviet-era leader from the times before his appearances become increasingly rare and more suggestive of a person not in full control of his capabilities. “Psychologically flawed” we know is an old comment on the Prime Minister, “insecure”, “self-conscious”, “angry” comes from leaked emails today alone.
Is it as unfair to bring up personal flaws in this matter as it was to focus on, say, Susan Boyle? Media pressure, the constant need to keep up stories and maintain the mood in the headlines, abhors unity. But the important point is Brown’s place as our Prime Minister; we cannot be lead by a troubled man surrounding himself with the evidence of his ‘reverse Midas’ touch.
Today is the democratic version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Across Europe, except the Dutch who like to do things differently, the votes in the European Parliament elections will be counted from tonight. The Dutch results show a high vote for the controversial Party For Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid), their leader banned from the UK, their policies extreme on matters of immigration.
I cannot feel comfortable about the British results. The far-right BNP are very likely to win a seat, such short-term reactions which fill me with dread and not too little fear. There is nothing good, no edifying characteristic, to come from the British National Party, whose members cannot defend with any seriousness or validity their horrific and prejudiced views. Of course mainstream political parties have failed in their responsibilities, of course attitudes towards mainstream political parties is the most negative that I have known. Building up our reputation is the highest of all priorities – that means getting on the streets, dealing with people on their level, not prescription politics but community action. All that needs to be done to combat the apathy and understandable distrust of politicians.
Tonight, all over Europe, the votes will decide the future of countries in a way barely explained one inch over the last few years never mind the “election period”. It upsets me that the BNP will be given some form of legitimacy on a European level. Whatever hard work needs to be done to combat them needs to be started, and started now.