As has become traditional in every general election campaign this decade, Conservatives have sought to blame many issues on the last Labour government, and on Gordon Brown in particular. Critics have argued this is increasingly laughable as we approach ten years since Brown left office, but in fact the fault lies with him for a number of problems we still face as a country today:
- The global financial crash. To this day, people argue the crash was caused by Labour over-spending in government. While this isn’t strictly true, matters weren’t helped by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s light-touch approach to the City, and they certainly weren’t helped by Brown gleefully selling sub-prime mortgages to property buyers across the United States for a joke while serving as Chancellor.
- Decreasing police numbers and increasing terror attacks and violent crime. Many claim Conservatives have been cutting police numbers themselves, but the vast majority of the 21,000 who have left the force since 2010 did so of their own volition, after Brown started prank calling individual stations across the country, demoralising the officers on the other end by saying, ‘You’re an idiot,’ and hanging up. Similarly, he has been calling a number of terror suspects throughout the UK, Islamist and white supremacist alike, saying, ‘[The West]/[The Qur’an] said you’re an idiot,’ and hanging up. Not to mention his newfound hobby of walking the streets of London and handing out knives to teenagers.
- Doctor Who going off a bit in 2011. With nothing to do, Brown started creeping into former showrunner Steven Moffat’s house and distracting him when he was trying to write. Moffat scrambled desperately to complete a coherent Series 6 in spite of this new strain on his time, but in the end it was too much. Instead we got a frenetic and self-referential roller-coaster of style over substance, with a number of important emotional beats skipped over throughout, and far too many glib wisecracks to keep us invested in our main characters as real people. Speaking to the press at the time, Moffat maintained, ‘You don’t understand! Gordon Brown kept climbing on my ceiling and dropping lamps on my head!’ but these remarks were uniformly disbelieved and never printed.
- The contestants allowed on Strictly each year despite having professional training in dance already. Brown travels by night to BBC Broadcasting House once a year, paying for the chance to intervene in the line-up producers hope to book. He routinely inserts artists and entertainers with at least some dance training at the expense of less talented dancers, making for more impressive but less funny television. Dancers he rejected include: Anthony Daniels in character as C-3PO, the remains of Dolly the Sheep, and Gillian Duffy (‘Is that a fucking joke?’ bellowed Brown).
- Drops in educational standards over the last nine years. Not due to underinvestment in schools, but to Brown’s failure to cross his Ts in his letter to the mother of a dead serviceman. ‘If the UK Prime Minister of 2007-2010 doesn’t pay attention to spelling,’ many children born even since Brown left office ask, ‘why should we?’
- The Olympic Opening Ceremony. This actually went very well, but Brown had left office by then, hadn’t he?
- The Olympic Closing Ceremony. BROOOOOOOWN!
- Brexit. Not just his fault for losing in 2010 and enabling this unholy mess in the first place. If Brown hadn’t stopped Tony Blair switching Britain to the Euro, we would have become fully integrated by now and lost a distinct national identity that needed freeing from the European project. If it weren’t for Brown, cars would now drive on the right, English would have been replaced by a weird hybrid of French and German, and the Royals would all have been guillotined (with the exception of Prince Andrew, who would have been retained as a global envoy for his links to the business leaders, pizza chains and wealthy paedophiles the Western economy has been dependent on for the last 70 years).