Posts Tagged ‘5 days that changed Britain’

The Brown inner circle: from spearhead to shambles, by Dan Hodges

12/08/2010, 12:00:25 PM

On Sunday I had my first opportunity to watch ‘Five Days That Changed Britain’, Nick Robinson’s exposé of the deals, double deals and expressions of sincerity from Nick Clegg that culminated in the establishment of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition. Although the programme wasn’t revelatory, I found it candid, insightful and, to my surprise, moving. There was something genuinely poignant in the picture it drew of Gordon Brown’s growing isolation as the political options narrowed and his enemies closed in.

It reminded me of a little vignette from the morning after the election, when Gordon arrived at Labour HQ to address party workers. After a few brief words of thanks, he prepared to depart for Downing  Street, only to be unceremoniously bundled into a side room by Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, who proceeded to lay out their strategy for a grand alliance to keep the party, (though not necessarily him), in power.

Peter, Alastair and Andrew Adonis featured at length in the transition drama, and were clearly – to the extent that we had a negotiating strategy – its architects. Which goes beyond poignancy, stampedes right past pathos and dives headlong into Shakespearian tragedy. At his darkest hour, with all hope fading, the King calls out for his trusted aides, only to find himself surrounded by the henchman of his bitterest foe. “That one might read the book of fate/And see the revolution of the times”. Or, in Gordon’s case, the Sun and the Mail.


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