Saturday, 11 October 2008

Editorial for: Could this be Gordon Brown’s golden hour?

The thought that has haunted me since I wrote the article “Could this be Gordon Brown’s golden hour” is: Are we seeing the Law of Attraction at work?

The Law of Attraction (LoA) claims that thoughts attract things. It states that we manifest in our lives whatever it is we believe to be possible and real, including the things we least want to manifest - things we fear.

Mr Brown’s arrival on the scene has been followed by a Wuthering Heights-like crisis that he is having to weather. A man who publicly identifies himself with the solemn, shunned figure of Heathcliff is then actively rejected by Britain (Catherine) only to be put in a position where, after her death (economic meltdown), he takes charge of her child (us).

So did the crisis attract Gordon Brown or did Gordon Brown attract the crisis? We could similarly ask: did Churchill attract World War II, or did the War attract Churchill? It would seem more likely that the destinies of these men and of Britain were interwoven. And in saying this, we reach beyond the LoA, which focuses on the present, and reach towards the Indian theory of Karma, which has a long-term view: we have many lives and reap the results of our actions both immediately and across those lives.

The LoA, to my knowledge, has nothing in it to suggest it is not in alignment with the theory of Karma, and if it is in alignment, would counteract a criticism that has been levelled against the LoA. Namely, that it cannot explain how something bad, such as abuse or physical maiming, could happen to a child or young animal, for there is no way such young creatures could have thought up and believed in these kinds of catastrophes.

Whatever the truth, it is without doubt interesting that a situation which has shown up the fragility (futility?) of materialistic pragmatism – the value system by which many of us live our lives– has also thrown up a scenario of non-materialistic spiritual or occult interest:

* Events have colluded to give Mr Brown what he desires – the opportunity to show this increasingly dissolute country a more grounded, less materialistic approach to life and to the future;
* And, on the other side, this possession-obsessed country with its growing disapproval and also fear of material frugality and steady stoicism has attracted to its helm during an economic downturn a leader that lauds those qualities.

Whether the country has attracted the perfect leader at the perfect time, or whether its fear has attracted its least desired outcome; and whether Mr Brown’s desire is akin to a divine will that will save the country, or a perverse righteousness that will leave us wading through a quagmire - or to return to the Wuthering Heights metaphor: a prisoner in a cold and friendless mansion, only time will tell.
Could this be Gordon Brown’s golden hour?

How oddly appropriate that just as a heavy-set, self-claimed destiny-burdened Prime Minister takes up the reins, the country falls into a depression. When crises can make (or break) leaders, even more appropriate it is that this former treasurer is faced with specifically a financial challenge. It all seems so perfectly planned.

A man who has been inundated with criticism since the beginning of his term for being dour and uncharismatic is now faced with the kind of serious challenge he has always claimed his kind of personality was made for. Could ‘Boring Gordon’ be re-christened ‘Golden Brown’?

Although I was a supporter of Mr Brown at the beginning of his term – I identify with his inability to play personality politics and I sympathise with his inclination to avoid indulgence in such superficialities – I have occasionally had my faith shaken by his apparent lack of youthful vision and enthusiasm.

It is at such a stage of low faith that this latest crisis has struck and it is clear: this is perfect Brownian weather. Will this, again self-claimed, Heathcliff lead us through the wild, cold moors of financial gloom and let us into his safe, albeit none too cosy, mansion?

This kind of desperate scenario is what he claims he was made for. If so, it could be his making. If his stoicism, his sensible and old-fashioned attitude towards life enables, in the immediate term effective damage management and for the long-term balance and stability, it could be his golden hour.

Ultimately we may find ourselves grateful for his solid, grounded presence and approach – as, inversely, we were led into bitter disappointment by Tony Blair’s charismatic but ultimately suspect approach to the biggest crisis of his reign, 9/11