Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Gordon Brown's last, best shot (in full)

In my last post I included a video with part of Gordon Brown's speech to CitizensUK. In case that video clip got lost in the post, which was a long post, here the whole speech, with less surrounding clutter. As Gordon Macmillan says (at Harry's Place), "It is a barnstorming speech, a great performance, and it is Brown at his very best." Jonathan Freedland described it in The Guardian as "completely riveting.”
Brown was passionate, fiery, moved and moving – and utterly compelling. Even Brown-sceptics admitted they were transfixed. He spoke of justice and equality, of the great social movements for change, linking the activists of Citizens UK to the great civil rights struggles of the past. His language was scriptural, perfectly judged to move and inspire the people of faith gathered before him.

The pity of it was that it had not come much, much earlier. [....] What we saw on Monday was Brown unleashed, making an urgent plea for office delivered in a speech that was short on policy technicalia but long on populist passion and righteous fury. Maybe this is the last hurrah of a candidate who knows he's going down. But it is also a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.
Among other things, it strikes me as a powerful expression of the outlook and sensibility of a whole British political tradition (with all its distinctive strengths and weaknesses). It's worth watching.

--Jeff Weintraub

=> UPDATE, 11/20/2010: I later discovered that my friend Maurice Glasman had a hand both in helping organize this event and in helping write Gordon Brown's speech. Small world, I guess. All this was confidential for a while, but apparently no longer. For more details, see HERE.

Harry's Place
May 5 2010
Our shared belief
Gordon MacMillan

If you haven’t seen this speech made by Gordon Brown to to London Citizens, movement of trade unions, religious groups and community organisers, I urge you to watch it. It is a barnstorming speech, a great performance, and it is Brown at his very best. It is an impassioned plea to vote Labour and shows he is the only real leader in the race putting David Cameron and Nick Clegg in the shade.

It has come late in the day and maybe is a reflection on the strategy pursued by the campaign team.

Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian put it well: “Of course, the more passion Brown could have mustered the better. And something happens to the prime minister when he is in a house of worship. Perhaps he channels the spirit of his father, a Church of Scotland minister. But when the son of a preacher man gets going, he is unstoppable – and completely riveting.”

Brown’s speech is currently the 2nd most popular video on YouTube in the UK (was 1st earlier) and #imvotingLabour is currently trending in the UK and worldwide on Twitter. There’s a lastminute surge on the way.