“Britain’s got talent”, but do we really want a Prime Minister to match and mirror this?!!

February 16, 2010

Piers Morgan and Gordon Brown

The incongruous sight of Gordon Brown being wheeled out before a TV studio audience, to be dissected by Piers Morgan on ITV on Sunday, bordered on the painful.

Piers Morgan, former Fleet Street tabloid hack, and more recently judge on ITV’s “Britain’s got talent”, interrogated the Prime Minister with a series of puerile, inane questions that would have Michael Parkinson turning in his grave, if he were dead!! The arch interviewer may be alive, but clearly the art of the TV interview is dead and buried!!

As Gordon Brown cringed, squirmed and became increasingly more uncomfortable in the face of Piers Morgan’s questioning, I was reminded of the Victorians’ penchant for the freak show. Centuries earlier the Roman Emperor would preside over “Rome’s got talent” at The Colliseum in order to appease public opinion and boost his popularity amongst the plebeians – however he wasn’t expected to participate in the games! Are we to see Gordon Brown fire eating, doing a dance routine or joining The Magic Circle in the build up to the General Election?!!

Gordon Brown is a genuine, self effacing, serious minded man of political integrity confronted by a shallow media who are hell bent on reducing everything to it’s lowest common denominator. Do we really want the Premier to resemble Katie Price in a “Hello” or “OK” magazine interview?

Tony Blair had a natural flair, flamboyance and charm that lended itself to a media personae – Gordon Brown does not possess these attributes. His instincts are to get on with the job in an unfussy, low key way; and that is what is right for him. He has been done a disservice by his advisors, who have encouraged him to join the media circus in this unedifying way. Piers Morgan professes to be a friend, but on this occasion his friendship has been found wanting with this misguided interview.

Between now and the General Election, Gordon Brown would do well to adhere to William Shakespeare’s dictum “To thine own self be true”. Now the Bard was one who understood the clay feet of Kings and Emperors!!

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