It has rained almost continuously since Tony Blair announced the date for his departure and Gordon Brown’s succession was ensured. An augury, I think, for what we can expect now that this unpleasant man is Prime Minister.
In the days of the late Queen Victoria, fine weather was called “Queen’s Weather” because (according to the 1894 edition of Brewer’s Phrase and Fable) the sun usually shone when Her Majesty appeared in public. It seems wholly apt that the misanthrope Brown should bring down storms, floods and just perpetual greyness on us.
It is all rather reminiscent of Egypt in the time of Moses, when (as those educated more than a decade ago will have learnt) a series of plagues was brought down on Egypt because of Pharoah’s refusal to behave decently and because he was forever going back on his word. Decent behaviour and honourable conduct in government have been on the slide in recent years and perhaps the plagues we have suffered are the result.
We have had the blood of Iraq, the pestilence of Foot and Mouth, and of course those damned Frogs getting in the way of everything. We have the locusts of civil servants eating up all our output, irritating flies like Hazel Blears, lice like John Prescott which could not be got rid of, and boils on the backside in the form of Patricia Hewitt.
Now we have the rain, and with it a sense of slipping into darkness, a grey darkness of social do-gooding which benefits no-one, of paternalism and dependency, of a chimera of equality which is achieved by making us all suffer equally, by bringing us all down to the same level, and by removing our liberties piecemeal.
Will it rain for the whole of Brown’s reign?