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Thursday, March 22, 2007

More on Mr (Mad Bertha) Brown

This political saga is starting to get amusing, even for a humble Canadian Bronte Scholar like myself:

He's the mad Mrs Rochester. That's what the Blairites call Gordon Brown - Mrs R. They are convinced he is a lunatic, ranting and raving in the attic, desperate to burn down the New Labour estate, determined to wreak revenge for being locked up for so long. Yesterday, Andrew Turnbull seemed to prove them right. On the eve of the Budget, the former Cabinet Secretary accused the Chancellor of running riot.

But Mr Brown is no Mrs Rochester. Nor is he like Mr Rochester, although he does have the windswept hair and damaged eye. The Bronte character whom he most resembles is St John Rivers, the zealous clergyman who rescues Jane Eyre from the moor. Mr Brown is a passionate prophet who wants to save the world. He is on a mission to help the poor, educate the ignorant and reform the wicked. He is almost religious in his fervour, believing passionately that he is the only one who truly understands what Britain needs. In the same way that St John spent his life wanting to go to India as a missionary, Mr Brown, since his teens, has wanted to reach Number 10.

From the Opinion column of the Telegraph.

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