At home with the Browns

February 5, 2010 5:57 pm

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Standard BrownBy Alex Smith / @alexsmith1982

Gordon Brown has given a detailed and personal interview to the Evening Standard, in which he talks about his love for his wife Sarah, the death of his daughter Jennifer and why he thinks Britain should elect him in 2010.

Speaking candidly about the death of his daughter, the PM says:

“I know about death. There is a finality about death and if someone loses someone that is close to them you are never the same again. You cannot be the same person as you were before, particularly if that someone is young or, in our case, a child. You are always thinking of what could have been. Every year you are thinking of that daughter who was about to go to school or about to write for the first time, about to read, go to their first film or party, be a teenager. It changes your life forever. It makes you feel the value of time. We had our daughter only for 10 days and I remember every single moment of that probably more vividly than anything else…There has got to be some purpose in tragedy. I remember how difficult it was to come to terms with what I had never wanted to come to terms with: that she was not going to live. It took a few days for us to recognise that there was nothing that could be done.”

Of his love for his wife Sarah, the PM says:

“She is my hero. No doubt about it – her beauty and her quiet dignified way of dealing with every challenge that we face…I think we do quite well together. She changed my life. And I now have two wonderful boys who have been through a lot together. If you do things together you can do things well. We are a very, very happy family and in this job it is very important.”

Turning to matters of economy, Brown says:

“My job was to find a way through it and protect people from the worst impact of a potential recession while at the same time renewing the financial system so that it could help people.”

On his imminent appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry, the PM says:

“The reason I virtually volunteered to go to the Chilcot inquiry earlier is because I do not want there to be any misunderstandings on either our commitment on defence or our decision as a Cabinet – and it was a collective Cabinet decision – to go to war,” he says.

And he says focus on policy over personality will ultimately carry the election in Labour’s favour:

“I have learned more about having to deal with adversity and my sparring partner is not the Conservatives but adversity. I have a resilience that means I can deal with the big issues and I have proven that…You should be rewarded for your hard work, enterprise and doing your duty and not be rewarded for reckless risk-taking…It is the basic values of an ordinary family business where I learnt my core values.”

As Paul Waugh points out, there is also an interesting snippet in which the PM talks about Tony Blair’s imminent involvement in the election campaign:

It could be a high-risk strategy, but Waugh says:

“With Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson already back on board, and big beasts like David Blunkett and John Reid increasingly vocal, there is a sense among some in Labour that ‘the old gang are back together for one last heave against the Tories’. With the Hoon/Hewitt plot an abject failure, you could see this as either a true show of unity in the face of the Cameroonian enemy or one last desperate throw of the dice.




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