15 November 2017
Not the whole truth: did the suppression of Gordon Brown's faith account for his lacklustre performance as PM?
Last week, I attended a Requiem Mass for my late friend Rodney Bickerstaffe, the trade union leader I had known personally for 40 years. Or thought I did. I had no idea he was a High Anglican until after his death. Much the same feeling is prompted by reading (“undergoing” might be a better word) Gordon Brown’s autobiography, My Life, Our Times, published this month. Was this the same man I’d known, more than slightly, as his first, and officially sanctioned, biographer?
There is nothing in Brown’s book about the scandal surrounding his role in the first disgrace of Peter Mandelson, accompanied by the sacking of his closest ministerial allies, paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson and chief whip Nick Brown. Nothing, either, about the sacrifice of his trusted spin doctor, Charlie Whelan, who fell on his sword to assuage the wrath of Tony Blair. No mention of the role of the Communist Party in securing his safe parliamentary seat in Dunfermline. And definitely nothing about his time as a would-be journalist writing scurrilous columns in a student newspaper.
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