Brown nosing

Posted by Ian
 
There’s an old Fry & Laurie gag which goes: "Of course I remember where I was when I heard the news. I was listening to the news."
 
Gordon Brown finally getting his hands on the keys to 10 Downing Street was hardly the most unexpected of events. In a sense it’s a piece of news that’s 13 years old, dating back to 1994 when Brown stood aside to let Tony Blair have first crack at wielding the reins of power. So perhaps it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise to find the story ranking as one of the less popular items on yesterday’s homepage.
 
Not a surprise, but not a little disappointing as well. I guess I was expecting my feelings about the occasion – a historic moment in British politics, an exciting national spectacle and truly a day to remember – would be shared by everyone else. Instead news that Celebrity Big Brother-ites and professional photo opportunity-seekers Chantelle and Preston were calling the day on their "dream" marriage was far and way the most viewed story on the website.
 
This was, admittedly, out of the blue and hence had the added potency of being real breaking news. Even so, can the arrival of a new Prime Minister really have proven less interesting than the proclivities of some D-list celebrities?

I suppose the omens had been around me all week. The other day, when Tim Henman was valiantly struggling to put off the moment of winning his first round Wimbledon match for as long as possible, a great gaggle of colleagues gathered around one of the office TV sets to cheer him on his way. MSN Towers became a veritable breeding ground for that most contagious of diseases, Henmania.

 
When Tony Blair delivered his farewell turn in the Commons, however, or when Gordon Brown stood outside No. 10 to utter his first words as political leader of the nation, barely a soul was glued to the box.
 
Such is the crowd appeal of both our former and new Prime Ministers. But if one or other of them had changed their minds yesterday, I’m sure people would’ve been flocking around the TV to make sure they knew precisely where they were when they heard the news.    
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