Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Minds thinking alike about Richard II and Gordon Brown?

Either Ferdinand Mount writing in the Daily Telegraph today has been reading my blog on "Richard II and Gordon Brown" which is highly unlikely or some minds really do think alike.

In his article, he claims that Mandelson, Brown and Campbell are the most direputable political manipulators in British history since "Bushy, Bagot and Greene" who Richard II unwisely allowed to run this country, and ruin it. Shakespeare calls them "weeds", choking the country's "finest flowers". Mount even suggests they are worse. If I have anything else, apart from an awareness of Shakespeare's history plays, in common with Ferdinand Mount, I cannot say*.

Strangely, a lot of the Labour-Liberal TV shots during the last day were filmed inside Westminster Hall, the same medieval backdrop for the abdication scenes in Shakespeare and the real history of the abdication of Richard II - under Richard's own hammerbeam roof.

As far as Brown's departure speech goes, for me it had the same sense of impending loneliness and gloom, apart from his clear comfort in his family, as Richard IIs last speech in his prison cell - just before he dies, or rather is murdered by an over- zealous Exton.

* After writing this blog entry, I looked up Ferdinand Mount. He turns out to be a baronet, educated atEton and Oxford, novelist and former editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He is second cousin of David Cameron. He was head of the Number 10 policy unit under Mrs Thatcher - her manifesto and speechwriter (he cares about council housing). I would not think we have anything much in common except a love of Shakespeare.

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