The pygmies fighting for Gordon’s job

“If there’s any drawback to political schadenfreude I’ve yet to discover what it is, and while pessimism may not make you popular it sure as hell means you’re likely to be right more often than those who, following Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss, believe that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

“So, we come to Gordon Brown, who, for years in advance of his ascent to the highest office in the land, I was stigmatising as the Anthony Eden de nos jours.

“It didn’t need much historical acumen to grasp the parallel, for, like Eden, Brown had spent the best years of his career waiting for a golden apple to fall into his generous lap, while lacking either the courage to fight for it, the guile to swipe it, or certainly the principle needed to say, ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’, and walk away, hopefully together with a sizeable chunk of his party.”

To read the rest of Will Self’s First Post column, go here.