Ever since I started writing this blog, I’ve had the date October 6th* in my mind – 5 years on from the election that never was, undoubtedly the worst day of my working life, and a disastrous day for the Labour Party and for Gordon Brown in particular. It’s not the pain of remembering that day that’s been on my mind, but how to write about it without simply giving ‘my side’ of a story that’s already been told more ways than Rashomon; and without telling people things they already know from reading the various contemporary newspaper accounts and subsequent biographies.
Most of all, I’ve wanted to avoid – in a way that others frankly haven’t – talking about this issue just in order to settle scores or stir bad blood. For example, I used to dream of confronting Spencer Livermore over the bare-faced lies he told Steve Richards about events on October 6th 2007, but the benefit of a few years’ perspective has taken the heat out of those feelings, and made me feel: “What’s the point?”. So what I’ve tried to do below – rather than a blow-by-blow account – is simply give some personal reflections on ten key moments and memories from the run-up to that day, the day itself, and the aftermath. Apologies in advance for the length of this blog.
The Wisdom of White
Many people have argued that at the first hint of newspaper speculation – fuelled by the ever-increasing poll leads of July, August and September – we should have announced that there would under no circumstances be an early election. The truth is that Gordon’s pollsters were telling him this was a unique opportunity: his personal ratings and the Labour poll lead were beyond anything they’d expected, and the strong feeling was that they would never be this good again.
If you’ll forgive the football metaphor, it’s like an away team finding themselves 3-0 up after 10 minutes at Old Trafford. Sit back and defend, and you allow United back into the game. The best option is to keep attacking, get the crowd on United’s back, keep their defence in disarray, and see if you can get another couple of goals. So once the speculation started, the instinct wasn’t to rule out an election, but to keep attacking.
And much as the media later blamed GB and his team for all that, they too were players rather than observers. It suited them because it was an exciting story, but more than that, every journalist had a personal view on whether we should or shouldn’t ‘go for it’. Some on the right thought Cameron was an empty suit and wanted an early election to get rid of him. Some on the left thought we needed longer to win back voters who’d left over Iraq. Some just had skiing holidays booked, and would get their diaries out and say: “I don’t mind what you do, but not before November.”
There was only one journalist I spoke to through that entire period – The Guardian’s Michael White – whose view was simply: “You will regret this speculation. Either way you go, the speculation is bad for you, and you’ve got to stop it. Announce what you’re doing now and stick to it.” He talked about how Jim Callaghan had misjudged things in 1978, and how we risked doing the same. He was spot on.
“Build up the Young Guys”
Following Gordon’s speech at the start of the Labour conference, we watched the early evening news in his hotel suite in Bournemouth. The previous year in Manchester, I watched the post-speech smile fall from his face as I told him about Cherie Blair’s ‘That’s a lie’ outburst, but a year later, he was beaming. However, I told him we were going to have a problem filling up the rest of the week with anything other than election frenzy – with every news outlet wanting to be the first to make it official, and reading huge amounts into every word emerging from those in the know.
He narrowed his eyes: “Build up the Young Guys. Turn it into a beauty contest about who’ll take over from me. Don’t for God’s sake say I won’t serve a full term, but say ‘Brown doesn’t want to go on forever. Brown will start putting the next generation into all the senior posts, and one of them will become leader.’ Then Cameron can’t use youth against me. We’ll say: ‘They’ve got one young guy in charge, and that guy Osborne, but Labour’s got all the best young talent coming through.’”
I asked him who he wanted me to talk up as potential future leaders when I briefed this out to the media. His eyes narrowed again, and he reeled off surnames like a football manager naming his First XI: “Purnell. Miliband. Kelly. Burnham. Cooper. Balls. Miliband.” I replied: “You’ve already said Miliband” GB: “Both of them.” Me: “Really? You want me to say Ed Miliband?” He looked surprised: “You need to watch Ed Miliband, he’s the one to watch.”
With my Treasury background, I’d found it hard enough to get used to the two Eds being MPs, let alone one of them leading the party. He carried on: “You know you’ll have to choose between them one day. Who will you back?” “I’m closer to Ed Miliband”, I said. “Don’t base it on who you’re close to”, he said, “base it on who you believe in.” That relaxed, confident conversation convinced me first that we were definitely going for the early election; and second, that GB was already planning to hand over to ‘the next generation’ for a post-Olympics election in 2012.
Two hours later, I was back in GB’s suite with the mood totally transformed by The Times’ splash accusing him of plagiarising speeches by John Kerry and others, an occupational hazard when you had the great US consultant Bob Shrum writing for both men. He was fuming over the suggestion that he’d ripped off his ‘moral compass’ language from John Kerry, mainly because he’d first used it in his father’s funeral eulogy. There was no calming him, and he wasted 24 hours defending his integrity rather than thinking about handling the election announcement, a pattern that would repeat itself in 2009 when The Telegraph broke the expenses scandal with a story about his cleaning bills.
Not One Solitary Seat
Following the Labour conference, the Tories began briefing that even to cut Labour’s majority would be a victory for the Cameron modernisation project, and that the real issue would be whether GB could hold onto those South East marginals that had stayed with Labour in 2005. If not, Blair’s ‘New Labour Coalition’ was dead, and the Tories would win next time round. They knew as well as we did that voters in those marginals were the ones who’d been most hostile to GB before he took over in 2007 (mainly because of taxes) and therefore least impressed by the presentational contrast he offered to Tony Blair, which was going down so well in the rest of the country.
It was when voices from the left started saying the same thing that things became tricky. Martin Kettle wrote a highly critical Guardian column about GB’s prevarication, calling the prospect of an early election an act of “opportunism and no little vanity”. Many left-wing journalists argued in private that if Labour lost even one seat as a result of that ‘vanity’, GB would have to resign. I brought this up at a meeting of the ‘inner circle’, and said surely any working majority for Labour that took us through to a post-Olympics election in 2012 was a triumph compared to where we’d been a year ago? The others round the table looked at me coldly and Ian Austin said: “They’re right – he’d have to resign”.
It seems madness now, but that remained the consensus right up until October 5th when the final decision was made. And this is where the polls were indeed crucial. Every poll that we ever looked at in those weeks – private or public – said that Labour would win a clear majority. When journalists and the Tories later mocked GB, saying: “So you’re saying you didn’t look at the polls, realise you were going to lose, and cancel the election?” he was telling the truth. But the same polls, especially after the Tory conference, said he was going to shed at least a dozen South East (and Midlands) marginals. And once the consensus took hold that a slimmer majority would be a resignation-worthy outcome, that became reason enough not to go for it.
[This is an amended section of my original article after it was pointed out that my memory of this Jonathan Freedland article was entirely wrong!]
However, that all seemed a long way off on the weekend of Tory conference (29/30 September), when the inner circle gathered at Chequers for yet another strategy discussion. For most of us, it was our first time there, and Gordon started the day with a tour of the glorious old building. In a way only he could have got away with, Ed Miliband mimicked a Jewish patriarch being shown round his successful grandson’s house: “Nice place you’ve got here, Gordon, nice bit of real estate”.
We sat around the grand dining-table, and Gordon opened things up by saying: “Right, I want to go round and flush out all the reasons why we shouldn’t go for it”. There was silence, eventually broken by Ed Balls: “Well just to play devil’s advocate…..” One after another, those round the table offered desultory arguments against an early election. Douglas: “Voter registration’s going to be a problem – lots of students will be disenfranchised” Ed Miliband: “It’ll be dark before and after work – lots of people will just stay home rather than vote in the dark.”
Gordon called a halt to the discussion, and moved on to all the reasons we should go for it, receiving a much more enthusiastic response. I made my one contribution to the discussion. “Well, from a media perspective, I think we’ve got to think about the reaction if we decide not to go for it now – they’ll absolutely slaughter us.” One of the MPs looked down the table at me and said: “Hold on, the worst possible reason to go for it is what happens if we don’t.” There was a murmur of assent. I remember immediately thinking: “Isn’t that the best possible reason to go for it?”, but I didn’t say it out loud and the moment passed.
Location is Everything
One of the cardinal rules of political PR is to make sure you’re in direct contact with the person writing the story. That may sound obvious, but too many spindoctors rely on emails or press releases or getting a story on the newswires, when the art of spin is about talking a journalist through your message and the context, preferably face to face so you can be sure they’re actually listening.
One of the worst things a politician can do is make an announcement on a regional visit or a trip overseas when the story will be written out of London: a recipe either to be ignored or – to use a technical term – shit-bagged. In August 2006, George Osborne went to Japan, and announced that he wanted to build one of their magnetic-levitating train lines back in Britain.
I absolutely destroyed him that day: the history of accidents and fires on mag-levs; the fact it wouldn’t have time to get up to top speed on the route Osborne was proposing. I was told by one journalist that Osborne texted him and said: “What’s going on with this story? Why is everyone so down on it?” He said he replied: “You’ve just met the Dog” (Mad Dog – rather than McPoison – was my lobby nickname).
When Osborne made his announcement on Inheritance Tax** at the Tory conference, to be paid for by a new levy on non-doms, it was another chance for me to destroy him, and on my specialist subject too. The sums didn’t come close to adding up, and I was confident it would become another example of a panicky Tory party scoring own goals. But the story was being reported out of Blackpool, by journalists with Tory spindoctors and the cheers of the conference hall in their ears. I couldn’t get a hearing.
The same was true when GB flew to Iraq on 2nd October – on the advice of civil servants who wanted to get a visit in before election purdah began. When the Tories wheeled out John Major to complain about the ‘cynical timing’, a story that should have been covered by the journalists with GB in Iraq became a story written out of Blackpool, with predictable results.
Those two events didn’t feel to me like game-changers in themselves – at least at the time – but they did shift the media momentum, and hardened the poll deficit in those crucial South East marginals. They created the climate for GB to wobble when the moment of decision came.
Never Play Poker With Ed Balls
After GB’s return from Iraq, the mood had discernibly shifted. People who had previously been arch proponents of the early election had started to play devil’s advocate more frequently and enthusiastically. It didn’t help that some of the MPs GB was listening to were clearly thinking about their own majorities and whether they personally would survive. GB’s pollsters were also – to cover their backs – starting to paint worst case scenarios, all of which ended up with GB resigning after a drastic reduction in Labour’s majority.
Throughout that wobbly week, the only strong dissenting voice belonged to Ed Balls. His mantra was that – whatever the polls said now – Labour would wipe the floor with the Tories during the election campaign. “These guys are amateurs”, he would say of Cameron and Osborne, “They’ve never fought a general election before – they don’t know what it takes. We’ll just say: ‘Are you really going to trust this pair to run the country? Are you going to take that risk?’”
It was amazing to me that – of all the MPs involved in the decision-making process – only Ed Balls (and to some extent Tom Watson) had any confidence that Labour could increase its lead over the course of a campaign, and was willing to gamble on that outcome. But as I wrote the other day, and as he demonstrated again in 2010 with his call on the economy, Balls has always been good at calculating the odds and knowing when to bet.***
The Last Words
By Friday 5th October, with Balls away in Yorkshire, the inner circle gathered in Alistair Campbell’s old office facing out onto Downing Street, heard the latest unchanged poll findings from marginal constituencies, and sat waiting for Gordon to announce the inevitable.
You’d have forgiven him for lashing out in almost every direction round the room, and he was clearly angry at those who’d urged him along at every stage and were now counselling caution, but he was grimly quiet. Finally he said: “Right, well, does anyone have anything they want to say?”, like the lawyer of a condemned man hoping someone in the courtroom will produce an alibi. Heads bowed. There was silence.
Finally, Bob Shrum cleared his throat. Bob had been in the dog-house since the party conference plagiarism episode, so I admired him for speaking up. “Well, if the worst comes to the worst, and you only get 3 more years, there’s a lot you can do in 3 years. Jack Kennedy only had 3 years.” Gordon didn’t look up, didn’t look back, and walked out of the room. And that was that.
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa
The media handling of the announcement on the Saturday was nothing short of a catastrophe, and made an already disastrous news story into a total clusterf**k. That is all my fault, although – like a bad workman – I’m going to plead some sub-optimal equipment.
First, there was Gordon. His mood was such that even doing one pre-recorded TV interview with Andrew Marr seemed a massive risk. Asking him to do a press conference or a whole round of interviews could have led to a public meltdown which would probably have forced his resignation and an election anyway. Think his post-Mrs Duffy interview with Jeremy Vine times 1,000.
Second, there was the timing. Every Sunday paper was doing a minimum of 4 pages of coverage on the impending election decision, with polls and “will he, won’t he….should he, shouldn’t he” columns. The announcement on the Saturday was going to come as a complete surprise to them, and – depending when it broke – might have meant pages or sections having to be pulped, columns having to be re-written, and so on.
The long-term damage that would have done to No10’s relationship with the Sunday papers would have been huge – potentially irrecoverable – and if there’s one thing I’d always sought to avoid in my job, it was the Sunday papers turning hostile to GB. The Sundays have the resources, the journalists, the columnists, the readership, the competitive impulse, and the influence over the Sunday broadcast media to kill you politically. What’s more, it’s too debilitating for a senior politician and their team to spend every weekend fire-fighting when they should be re-charging for the week ahead.
So this was how it was supposed to work. I arranged with Andrew Marr’s producer, Barney Jones, on the Friday that Andrew would come in the following afternoon and do the pre-record, so Gordon could explain his decision in his own words, and try and look relaxed about it. Nobody in the BBC would be told this was happening until after it had been done, but extracts would be released to all outlets for the Saturday early evening news.
In the meantime, on Saturday morning, I’d tip off the political editors of all the Sundays that an announcement was coming, on the understanding that this go no further than their editor, news editor and lead columnist so they could re-shape their pages, coverage and columns. You might think that is impossibly naive, but those kind of caveated tip-offs are given all the time to newspapers and they tend to respect them, for the obvious reason that they want the same kind of consideration next time round.
Given the Sundays also had to explain at great length how and why the decision had been taken, I also did what I did best, giving them ‘the colour’: who was in the room when; who said what; which room we were in; what GB had for breakfast. That gave me the licence to spin the line that GB’s mood had been moving against an election for some time, even before the Tory conference and the shift in the polls; there were worries about voter registration, people having to vote in the dark, etc. The desultory devil’s advocate lines from Chequers became serious and influential concerns.
Anyway, that was how it was supposed to work. As far as I’ve pieced it together since, one of the Sundays tipped off Andy Coulson, he tipped off the broadcasters, and all hell broke loose. By the time, Marr arrived to do the interview, every camera in the world was outside Downing Street and Adam Boulton, Nick Robinson and co. were spitting tacks down their microphones outside. It created a sense of utter chaos and shambles around what was already a deeply-damaging story, although I’ll maintain to this day that we were right to avoid permanently p***ing off the Sunday papers.
I’ve no doubt that – like LAPD Officer Karl Hettinger, who surrendered his weapon to two thieves in the Onion Field incident in 1963, and saw his partner shot – my bungling of that day will be taught to young PR professionals for years to come as an example of how not to do things. But the more interesting question to ask them is: how would you have handled it?
Discovering that ‘You’ meant ‘Me’
If you work for someone as driven as Gordon Brown, you accept to some extent that your life will be subsumed to theirs. I was literally at his beck and call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 years. It didn’t matter if I was on holiday, cooking Christmas lunch, at a funeral, or – most grievous of all – watching Arsenal, I’d be expected to drop everything to take his calls, or indeed the media’s if there was a story I had to deal with. And I was fine with that. I had no political ambitions, no personal agenda of my own, and my life was about protecting and promoting Gordon, and – by extension, at least as far as I was concerned – the best interests of the Labour party and the country.
For that reason, I got used – over the years – to hearing a journalist use the word ‘you’ and assuming they meant Gordon. “What are you saying about this?” “How are you reacting?” “What are you thinking about conference?” meant Gordon, and I was merely a conduit for his words and views. So on a daily basis, I’d work out what issue we might have to deal with, I’d talk it through with Gordon, he’d give me ‘the line’, and if I agreed it worked, that would become my script.
On fraught days like the cancelled election, or Alistair Darling’s “We’re all doomed” interview with Decca Aitkenhead, or the exposure of David Abrahams’ dodgy donations, Gordon would be absolutely clear with me and his civil service spokesman what our line was, what the story he wanted written was, and our job – however difficult – was to try and deliver it.
If I’d ever rung a journalist and said: “This is Gordon’s position blah blah blah……but by the way, here’s what I personally think” and said the complete opposite – “It’s all Douglas Alexander’s fault” or “Alistair Darling needs to be sacked” or “David Triesman’s in the frame for this one”, not only would I have been failing to get the story Gordon wanted and incurring his wrath in the process, but the journalist concerned would have stopped regarding me as a reliable conduit for Gordon’s views.
So when two journalists rang me on Sunday 7th October, and said “There’s a lot of flak coming your way” and “People are sticking the boot into you quite hard”, it took me a while to realise ‘you’ didn’t mean Gordon; it meant ‘me’. “Me?” I kept saying, “Me? What have I done?” “Well, accusations that you’re briefing against various people for being responsible, but some people are saying that all the media speculation was your fault, and that you’re as responsible as anyone.” “Me? Are you serious? Who’s saying that?” “Well obviously I can’t say, but how do you want to respond?”
Looking back, I had the worst possible reaction – I didn’t care. I just thought: “Sod ‘em. Idiots. They can say what they like.” The trouble is if you think like that – if you don’t protest the first time you’re falsely accused of friendly fire – then: (a) people think you’re guilty; (b) the real guilty party knows they can do what they like and you’ll get the blame; (c) you start getting the blame for everything no matter how far-fetched; and (d) worst of all, you start to think “I’m as well hung for a sheep as a lamb”, and the accusations start to become self-fulfilling, not least when you’re under attack yourself.
The Steel in Ed Miliband’s Soul
But as apathetic as I might have been to most of that flak, I’ll always remember that Sunday sadly as the day I fell out with Ed Miliband. I’d known Ed for 8 years. I worked with him on tax policy issues as a civil servant, and when I became Head of Communications at the Treasury in 2003, we’d travelled the world together with Gordon.
Where Ed Balls was a Gladstone – intimidatingly bright, powerful and demanding to work for, Ed Miliband was indeed a Disraeli – his catchphrase was ‘You’re a genius’, he’d wear his intelligence behind a self-deprecating veneer, he’d apologise for making you work late and thank you profusely and genuinely for the work you’d done.
When he called me that Sunday, I told him what a joke it was that I was being accused of briefing against him and others. “But where’s it all coming from, Damian?” he said. “They’ve got all these details of the meetings we had; that must have come from you.” “Of course that stuff’s from me”, I said, “that’s just the colour – that’s harmless, but they’re accusing me of doing the lines blaming you and Douglas and Spencer for the whole thing.” “Well where’s all that coming from, Damian?”
His voice and tone reminded me eerily of Hal the computer in the film 2001. “I don’t know, but it’s not from me – I’d never brief against you.” “I don’t believe you, Damian” he said, “I think you’re lying.” It felt like an ice cold razor had been dragged down my spine. “Ed, for God’s sake, don’t say that. I’d never brief against you.” “That’s the trouble, Damian, I don’t believe that’s true. I think you’re lying.” “Stop saying that, Ed. You can’t accuse me of lying. I’m not going to have that.” “I can’t help it, Damian, I think you’re a liar.” “If you keep saying that, you know we’re finished, I’m not having that.” “I don’t care, Damian, I think we are finished.”
The call ended. I wandered round the Holloway Road in a daze, went into The Hercules pub and downed 3 pints in 10 minutes, then walked down to The Emirates and watched Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-2 to go top of the league. And again, buoyed by booze and Arsenal’s late winner, I had the worst possible reaction to my fallout with Ed Miliband – sod him.
Three years later, after Steve Richards’ biography and radio series on Gordon’s premiership appeared and repeated the accusation that I’d been responsible for the anti-Ed and anti-Douglas briefings that day, I was called up by a Labour MP – not someone who’d been prominently involved in the ‘should we, shouldn’t we’ discussions – who said: “I just want to say sorry, you’re getting it in the neck again for the briefings that day, and it was me who did them, and I’m sorry for that.”
By that stage I didn’t care. In some ways, I’d just had a dose of my own Treasury medicine: I’d been Admiral Bynged – a convenient person to blame, and it wasn’t the guilt that mattered, it was the perception that someone close to Gordon (and to Ed Balls) had tried to pin the blame on Ed Miliband and Douglas, allowing them to get some distance from the sinking ship in No10 and some victim status with Labour MPs.
But – with the benefit of perspective – I have to admire the steeliness in Ed Miliband. It wouldn’t have been easy to tell someone who’d worked loyally for him for 8 years that he was finished with them, and do so in such cold-blooded tones. We saw it again in 2010 when he sacked Nick Brown as Chief Whip. That’s not a man who’d struggle with the difficult personnel decisions you face as Prime Minister, and arguably, that’s not a man who – if he rather than Gordon had been leader in 2007 – would have wobbled when the moment of decision came.
You might expect the mood in Downing Street the following week to have been dark, but strangely – almost like a hospital ward – there was a determined cheerfulness amongst the staff, and GB (typically when he blamed himself for a screw-up) was sweetness and light to everyone. It was only over the coming weeks when – with the media in a feeding frenzy, PMQs becoming a weekly humiliation, and a run of terrible ill-fortune or incompetent government depending on your perspective (climaxing in HMRC’s loss of the child benefit discs) – that the gloom really set in.
At that stage, much as the current administration must be feeling, it felt that everything that could go wrong was going wrong, GB had lost all credibility with the media and in Parliament, and it was hard to see what would turn it round. And GB himself was deeply wounded: his hard-won reputation for iron will, decisiveness, competence and strategic genius gone overnight.
But I’d like to think that he learned from the experience, and when he had his version of Kennedy’s ’13 Days’ – with the world facing the complete collapse of the banking system and the descent into economic meltdown and anarchy that would have resulted, and every other world leader not just wobbling but panicking – it was Gordon who knew what they all had to do, and had the iron will and decisiveness to persuade them.
If he had gone for the election in 2007 and been forced to resign afterwards with Labour’s majority reduced, he wouldn’t have been there the following year to steer Britain and the world through that crisis. So who’s to say it wasn’t the right decision after all?
* October 6th previously marked my favourite political anniversary – the day that betting duty was abolished in 2001 and replaced with a gross profits tax on bookmakers – a reform which saved the British high-street bookmaking industry and stopped betting in this country disappearing exclusively online and offshore. I was the lead official in the Treasury’s tax policy team, although the credit for driving through the reforms sits with my then boss, Alex Gibbs. We managed to bring forward implementation by 3 months from January, and I drafted a press notice which – to save the tabloids a job – included the Top 10 bets that punters would be able to have tax-free between October and Christmas as a result of the earlier start-date: Sol Campbell to score for Arsenal on his return to Spurs; Robbie Williams to get the Christmas No1, etc. The Treasury press office loved it and it was all set to go, but when GB was asked to sign off his quote, the old Presbyterian in him was furious: “What are you doing encouraging gambling? This is the Treasury, not bloody Las Vegas!” The original press notice was scrapped and something that was potentially a very popular announcement with punters was reduced to a bland technical note: GB’s moral compass at work!
** Famously, GB had two options before his last Budget in 2007: one to cut the basic rate of income tax by abolishing the 10p rate; the other to cut Inheritance Tax by allowing married couples to combine their tax-free allowance. This was where the starter process that I’ve described before could actually work against good decision-making. The income tax proposal was relatively straightforward, whereas every time we looked at the IHT proposal, we came up with new reasons why it might not work: what about recently-widowed individuals, what about war widows, how far back could you go if you wanted to make it retrospective, and how much more would it cost. We ended up convincing ourselves that there was too much risk of it unravelling on the day, whereas the income tax proposal was an easier sell. It was the wrong call and October 2007 might have turned out very differently if we’d made the right one.
*** I myself was very confident (and frankly a bit excited) about the potential election campaign, having not been involved in one before. One of my most treasured pieces of memorabilia is the ‘treatment’ I wrote for a potential Party Political Broadcast in 2007, which reads as follows (with apologies to The Day Today, which inspired it, and to PR professionals who do this stuff for a living):
“We open with a milkman on his early morning rounds in a wealthy suburban street listening to Classic FM playing ‘I vow to thee my country’. He waves cheerily at a postman walking the other way. The postman starts whistling ‘I vow to thee’.
A Mum takes a parcel from him at her door, and keeps la-la-ing the tune in a lovely melodious voice as she and Dad get the kids ready for school, and climb into the family Range Rover. Dad gets out at the station, humming the tune, and gets on board a gleaming, new train with other commuters.
An orchestra and male voice choir (humming) take up the tune in the background, as we cut to real footage of trains arriving at stations in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh, suited commuters pouring off the trains to go to work.
The orchestra and choir soaring now, as we cut in quick time across the bright skylines of Britain’s cities, then to construction sites, university students walking and cycling, a gleaming new classroom in a primary school, a hospital room with a doctor and nurse showing a smiling elderly patient a gleaming piece of new equipment, two police officers walking through a crowded shopping centre, etc.
The orchestra and choir slowing and quietening now as we get to the end of the day: smart young city types laughing in a wine bar; a barmaid pulling a pint of beer in a village pub and laughing with the chaps at the bar; a mum and dad taking excited kids into the new Wembley all lit up in front of them; teenagers dancing and shouting at a concert at the 02.
The orchestra and choir going almost silent, replaced by just a single, vaguely familiar baritone voice humming the tune. Households across the country are going to bed: an elderly woman turns the heat up before getting into bed; the Mum we saw earlier looks in on her sleeping kids; the Nurse we saw earlier checks that the elderly patient is asleep in the now dark hospital.
We cut to an old building with all the lights off apart from one window. We move at worm’s eye level through a familiar black door, then up carpeted stairs, down a long corridor, deep red carpets, with one room lit up at the end, and the faint humming of the closing bars of ‘I vow to thee’ growing louder as we move towards the light.
We pan round the door, a sideways shot of Gordon Brown sat at his desk, his red box in front of him, going through papers and signing documents, humming to himself. He finishes the last bar, looks down at the camera, smiles and says: “Good Night”.
Dissolve to black. Captions come up in turn: “He’s working”, “You’re working”, “Britain’s working”, “Don’t let the Tories ruin it”.”
It might just have worked!
- organic-bamford likes this
- glennspiro-taichi likes this
- personalview-comment likes this
- charitable-giving likes this
- hedgefunds-eim likes this
- markholyoake-photography likes this
- elegantweddinginvites likes this
- carrierbagsuk1 likes this
- artlover05 likes this
- chichicomvn likes this
- myhandmadejewelry likes this
- nutrang likes this
- addicting-games-free likes this
- rohypnol-effects reblogged this from dpmcbride
- responsive-web-design reblogged this from dpmcbride
- free-nude-chat likes this
- game-site-not-blocked-by-school likes this
- news-2012 likes this
- diasyrmus likes this
- andyjameshicks likes this
- jamieali likes this
- virgopix likes this
- sumlivich likes this
- inthetardislibrary reblogged this from dpmcbride
- lespritdelescaliermonami likes this
- yerlibird reblogged this from dpmcbride and added:
- dpmcbride posted this