Gordon Brown ‘does God’ for American Idol.
He would never risk it on X-Factor, or at a party conference, or on a political broadcast, but for the audience of US talent show American Idol Prime Minister Brown ended with: ‘Thank you and God bless you all’.
With his plastic smile and strange jaw movements, it was an invocation of the blessing of the Almighty upon his pledge to buy 20 million mosquito nets for malaria-hit countries, because there is ‘nothing more amazing than saving a life’.
Nothing at all to with how amazing it would be to reach the show’s 30 million viewers; nothing at all to do with his amazing invitation of Simon Cowell and other celebrities to Downing Street; nothing at all to do with the amazingly impossible task of raising his profile in the US to the lofty heights of his predecessor.
In his address to US viewers, the Prime Minister professes to be a fan of talent shows (which is about as likely as his professed liking of The Arctic Monkeys), and said: ‘All year on Idol, it's the talent of the American people we admire. But tonight, it's your generosity.’
Cranmer is all for speaking to people in the vernacular, for adapting one’s message to ensure that the original meaning is communicated accurately in other eras and cultures, but he would have rather more respect for this initiative if Gordon ‘did God’ at home as openly as he appears to do in the US. Or perhaps he is afraid of the consequences?