Saturday, April 14, 2007

Brown on Celebrity, preaching to the converted

There is an interesting article in The Guardian today featuring Gordon Brown's comments on celebrity in politics and how he thinks the time of celebrity if over and it is now the time for serious politics.

He is of course preaching to the converted in the Guardian, and with a bit of luck he will shore up his leadership bid. As a Conservative the last thing I want is for Labour to stumble on someone electable. Mind you I am not sure they have any one more electable than Brown but I don't want to find out!

There are some interesting quotes in the article though. Like this one:
Asked about the contrast between his writing and the prime minister doing Catherine Tate impersonations on Red Nose day, he replies: "I think we're moving from this period when, if you like, celebrity matters, when people have become famous for being famous. I think you can see that in other countries too - people are moving away from that to what lies behind the character and the personality."
Well, even if that was the case, the fact is that many can see what lies behind the character and personality and I don't think they like it. There was after all the Robbing the poor to give to the rich budget, and the great pensions Smash and grab. I get the feeling that know when Gordon Brown speaks people check their wallets to see how much he has stolen. Then there is the fact that when anything tricky comes up, he is just not there, like Macavity.

In short the voters can already see what lies behind Gordon Brown, and they don't like it.


Anonymous said...

The Tony Blair appearance with Catherine Tate was generally popular with the public; it got a lot of hits on YouTube and most people felt the PM carried it off.

Although a lot of people will agree with the general point about the cult of celebrity, to single out the Blair/Tate stunt just looks like sour grapes. Especially, after Gordon Brown's gaffe thinking Jermaine Jackson was a woman.

Benedict White said...

Charlotte Cordday, I'd have to agree. the Tony Blair Catherine Tate thing for Comic relief was a master stroke. It does show how well TB can carry things off.

Generally I think people don't like celebrity in politics but they do like Charisma, something I don't think Brown has. There is also some doubt about whether what TB does is celebrity politics or just charismatic.

Much as I find TB insincere and irritating I know many find him convincing.

GB's big mistake is mistaking charisma for celebrity, and dourness for seriousness.

What we actually want is when a politician says we are getting a tax cut, we actually get one.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown's such an original thinker. He says people are "famous for being famous" as though he had just minted the phrase. Anyone who has read any showbiz biographies knows that people first started using this phrase about Zsa Zsa Gabor has it has been employed relentlessly, to describe nonentities, ever since.

Gordon Brown has never had an original thought or original phrase in his head, and even if he had, he would have been too timid to use it. I devoutly hope no one stands against him for the Labour leadership.

Anonymous said...

I thought Blair's appearance with "Catherine Tate" if that is what her name is, showed this moron up as the attention-seeker we all know he is. Blair's a wannabee. I thought he looked utterly absurd and greedy for the limelight. He always was a carnival barker.

Benedict White said...

Verity, yes it has been aroud for a while, and in fact many people have been famous for just being famous ever since there was any concept of celebrity.

I also hope Brown gets the job unchalleneged.

Benedict White said...

Verity at 3.31, I am not sure I can agree with you about that one. I don't care for TB much and as I said I find him insincere, however many many people thought he did that one rather well.

Anonymous said...

BW said: " however many many people thought he did that one rather well."

Many people voted for him. Many people voted for Trot caravanner Margaret Beckett. Many people voted for Gordon Brown. Many people voted for Jack Straw.

Many people are morons.

Contrast Blair's yobbish performance with the elegant, humourous delivery of George Bush at the Foreign Correspondents' Society. Tony Blair has never seen a line he couldn't overact.