Well, he has gone, and it seems only like yesterday when Blair became Prime Minister. As I write this, he is up in Sedgefield, telling them he's giving up as MP. Brown is already in place spinning a message that this is a new government and using the word "change" as if he had a large over supply of the word and its sell by date was coming up.
But today it was the curtain closing and the showman leaving the stage. Whatever my criticisms of him, I have to hand it to him that he was a star performer. The content was somewhat dodgy, largely towards the end. The performance started well 10 years ago but then went downhill in 2001.
The new person on the stage is no star performer in the sense Blair was. Brown will be hard pressed to engage in the way Blair did. He does of course have Labour's addiction to spin. Indeed, he has used spin more than most in the Labour top brass. But I am utterly unconvinced by the spin today about a new start, a change of government, and change in direction. It's nothing of the sort. He will change the people, but he will not change the culture of this government.
Nevertheless, Brown is a formidable tactician. He should not be underestimated. He may be a bully, rather dour, unconvincing when he smiles but he is atough operator, Stalin in a suit.
So whilst the Politburo is reshuffled and those who have crossed swords with him are sacked in the name of change, be ready for the political policy fireworks over the next week. And then examine them closely to see if they have as much content as they have headlines.
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