5 May 2015

Gordon Brown the footsoldier: could he pull it off again?

Barnstormer 2 Рthe sequel. The heroic Рat least as far as unionists are concerned Рall-conquering Gordon Brown rides into Glasgow from Fife to sweep all before him in an impassioned plea to sway the electorate.

Right or¬†wrong, the Brown intervention was credited with “saving the union” back in the autumn.

Today it was floor four in the Lighthouse building in Glasgow, where a couple of hundred invited party faithful gathered to hear the Man From Kirkcaldy.

Could he pull it all off again?

However it may look from England, this is not the referendum-rerun. The polls toll the death of Labour in this country, not the constant silent majority usurping the SNP din.

Gordon Brown knows that – his speech built up to an extended climactic metaphor about climbing the mountain Labour has to climb here. And Gordon certainly turned it on.

Uptown Funk was followed by Pharrell Williams’s Happy, and then in strode Gordon with ever-sunny Jim Murphy as warm-up artiste.

Jim did the lecturn. Not Gordon. Pacing the small stage of a small room like caged tiger left to right. Flicking back the fringe as it descended. Voice cracking with emotion and genuine passion.

The cadence, the pace, the build-up to the declamatory lines about Labour building social justice in the teeth of Tory opposition and so on, all to rapturous applause.

Then the quiet lines, the pacing, the building to the next cadence, and applause.

And every time blasting on through the applause. No pause, no waiting, no time 48 hours out from the poll that counts. There is work to be done.

Significantly, a Scottish journalist asked Brown if all this was just too late given the polls? Some moments later an Australian asked pretty much exactly the same question again.

Back came the response again about all the undecideds and the good reaction on the doorsteps and of course there really is everything to play for.

They are right of course, there is.

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