Friday, November 30, 2007

Mr Brown takes a tumble

As I observe the repetitive cycle of history, I note that our Queen again relies for comfort and consolation on the men of the Scottish Brown clan. They are men of sobriety and steady as a rock but it may be questioned whether they have the temperament to be trusted with the highest affairs of state.

It is with some difficulty I seek to comprehend Mr Brown's latest travails. I do recall that in the practice of politics the Scots are anything but dour. Who can forget the torches, fireworks and bonfires that greeted my arrival in Edinburgh on that momentous occasion? To this day I do not know - and do not care to know - which generous patrons provided the finance for this spectacle. I can only observe that generous patronage was in those days necessary in order that men of humble means can participate in democracy and government.

But reform is progressive and matters have moved on a little in the last century. The state takes up taxes in order that the Labour members - and indeed all members - can live with integrity. It is right that neither voters nor politicians should be bribed nor that power should be used for personal gain. I hear that the young Welsh firebrand, that erratic Celt, (Mr Lloyd George - ed) caused some difficulty in his latest career in the dispensation of peerages and that the present government has been accused of being subject to the same temptations.

So now it is Mr Brown who is mired in questions about who paid what to whom. It is in the nature of political scandal that it is incomprehensible and a leader cannot protest innocence, however ignorant of matters they may be. It is hard to govern amidst such hullabaloo and it does not bode well for Mr Brown. Our dear Queen would undoubtedly have been concerned at his distress and would, with reluctance, have advised her chief minister to step aside for a period.

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