Okay, so I caught my second wind tonight, although how long it's going to last is anyone's guess, and the most alarming news item of the day has been that Gordon Brown has been phoning members of the public who have written to him.
This is genuinely
scary stuff. For those of you on the other side of the village pond, I invite you to entertain a scenario where you get really pissed off with something The Monkey King has done and you write to the White House about it, and a couple of weeks later the phone rings (although probably not quite as early as it would if Gordon were calling you) and there's Dubya on the other end of the line. What do you get? Maybe thirty seconds, a minute if you're lucky, to get your ducks in a row before the leader of your country's on the other end of the line and you have to make your pitch. I defy anyone to do anything but babble like a maniac in a situation like that.
It almost tempts me to write to Number Ten, but Gordon is a famous early-riser, if indeed he sleeps at all, and I'm not usually functional before about three in the afternoon, so in lifestyle terms alone a great gulf separates us and Gordon and I will have to remain forever out of touch. There's a whiff of desperation about this story. More than a whiff. Gordon is in real trouble, mortal trouble, and he's sanctioning public relations stuff which probably feels like weasels tearing his flesh in order to seem cuddly and approachable. Which he is not.
I don't know what he has left in his ganderbag for the next election, but in my own personal opinion Gordon is going to have to pull off a bona fide miracle to win next time. I mean, a miracle on the order of raising the dead or curing lepers or making the lame walk. The man is doomed, and he knows it, and he has no idea how to turn things around. This must be one of the most remarkable reversals in British political history, and it's sort of fun to watch, until you remember how high the stakes are.