THIS pops up on the screen as I sit up in bed with the telly tuned to ITV pending the Piers Morgan interview with Gordon Brown. I think it’s the trailer for the interview. Hmm. Not sure about the ‘pure.’ But emotional? Entertaining? I’ll say. But no – turns out it’s for the next edition of Skating on Thin Ice. Oops, no: Dancing on Ice. Now I’m watching it – the interview not Dancing – and it’s totally excruciating.
There’s something about Gordon Brown that I can’t help liking. Or was something about him. It was his awkwardness, his refusal to be ‘spun,’ his dour, down-to-earth Scottishness. His total inability to make any kind of effort to make people like him. I think he’s a good man. Maybe he is. But what on earth is he doing, sitting in front of a squawking, sycophantic, hand-picked audience, shrieking with laughter at his every joke. No, not even a joke; just a vaguley human-sounding admission about his wife (the adoring Sarah who Twitters endlessly about his gorgeousness) or his children or his political rivals.
Oh good grief: and here’s Peter Mandelson saying how good politicians can’t be anything other than they really are or the public will see through them. It doesn’t get more ironic, or more creepy, than this. And they wonder why people are cynical about politics and why there’ll be such a low turn-out at the general election. Well, just watch Gordon being interviewed by Piers. If this doesn’t turn your stomach nothing will. And one more thing: why do they take us for such fools? Do they really think we’re so stupid we can’t see through this ghastly, cynical, cringe-making charade?
It gets worse: just before the ad break here comes the clip, the “teaser”, for what’s coming up in part 3: Gordon on the verge of tears talking about the death of his premature baby daughter, Jennifer Jane. How can they do it? How can Gordon Brown, of all people, do it? Keep your silence, keep your privacy, maintain at least some shred of dignity. But no – it’s too late. The damage is done. We just know there’s an election looming, and nothing, it seems, is off limits. Even dying children. It’s just unbearable. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to vote again.