Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gordon Brown believes himself to be a prophet

The Prime Minister said a few weeks ago: 'Politicians have to be careful they don't try to be bishops.’

This statement is probably Mr Brown’s way of saying, like Tony Blair, that he also does not ‘do God’ in office, for to do so would make him appear to be a ‘nutter’.

But unlike Mr Blair, the problem for Mr Brown is that he appears to be a nutter regardless, and may therefore be doing God but in denial.

Ruth Gledhill gave an insight into the Prime Minister’s religio-political upbringing, for she tells us that, following a general election, the Reverend John Brown, Gordon Brown’s father, would make his choice of hymns dependent on which party had won. If the ‘right party’ (presumably Labour) won, he would choose 'Now thank we all our God'; if the wrong party (presumably Conservative) won, they would sing 'O God our help in ages past'. And if the outcome was a complete disaster (Liberal?), he would select 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind’ in the hope that the Lord might indeed forgive our foolish ways. Apparently, the Reverend John Brown subtly communicated his politics in this manner because ‘he didn't think preachers should espouse particular parties’.

Cranmer fully accords with that. The mixing of religion and politics tends to be incendiary if not terminal.

But Gordon Brown does it in an apologetic 19th-century emancipationist kind of way. He espouses a privileged place for the poor, which is why he enjoys making more of them. He then likes to be generous unto them with an abundance of welfare. In order for there to be justice for the poor, poverty must be alleviated, always mindful that relative poverty keeps politicians in work. He wants the faithful and prudent sheep to flock to him while the rich goats cling to their crosses of gold. Unless, of course, those goats contribute to Labour coffers, in which case there shall be treasure in Heaven and on earth; a spiritual seat to the right of the Lord and a temporal place in the Lords.

But how does the Prime Minister’s faith affect his practical politics?

He eschews the fundamentalist obsession with sex and sexuality, preferring weightier matters of social justice. He is by no means a secularist, believing that spirituality is intrinsic to social progress. But he is firmly of his father’s calling in the belief that his dispatch box is his pulpit; his exposition of policy is the articulation of prophecy.

This is not prophecy in the sense of foretelling the future, but prophecy in the sense of forth-telling the mind of God and articulating moral truth. The Prime Minister is awkward, cantankerous and odd because he is of the Old Testament mould. He does not lie naked, cook dinner with dung or grow a beard, but he does infallibly diagnose the present and righteously point the way to a just solution and eternal salvation.

And he irritates the hell out of everyone.

Gordon Brown is at one with Obadiah – the Day of the Election and the destruction of Conservatism are imminent, and Britain shall be restored. He believes that God is speaking directly through him, which is why, as the ‘credit crunch’ spread like a plague of locusts, he announced to the world that he was made for such a time as this.

Like Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, etc., etc., God has raised the Prime Minister to prominence because he has something to say. The people may not listen to his message, but that is a sure sign that he is indeed a prophet. If a prophet is without honour in his home town, Gordon Brown has no expectation of praise from his Labour colleagues.

Indeed, the more they spit and curse, the more they inadvertently fortify him in his vocation. If they wish to remove him, they must love, embrace, accept and affirm. For Gordon Brown thrives on conflict and feeds on opposition. When there is no-one contending, he is without purpose.

And so he stubbornly perseveres with his prophetic message. And the more the people turn away from his wisdom, and the more politicians scorn and religious leaders mock, the more the Prime Minister is affirmed in his divine ministry. He slashes Africa's debts, quadruples aid, dispenses free mosquito nets, increases tax credits for the poor, for this is the Year of Jubilee. He proclaims liberty to the captives through redistribution, for he speaks with an authority not his own. And he utterly rejects the 'pleasant oracles' of the false Tory prophets.

Because the word he speaks is divine, gleaned from heavenly deliberations, he prefaces it, concludes it, and even intermittently punctuates it with the reminder 'Thus says Gordon’, the oracle of political truth. Sadly, he has not the artistry of spirit to speak in imagery via metaphors and allegories. And no matter how personally risky this task becomes, or how likely the message is or is not to be believed, he represents the God of the Reverend John. This is his self-understanding.

It is not possible to grasp Gordon Brown’s rejection of genial society until one grasps that he believes himself to be possessed of knowledge not otherwise available to humans. He is called; endowed with a special commission from God and accorded a special position among mankind to call people back to obedience in order to be blessed and cured. This is what permits him to save the world; this is what enables him to pontificate with absolute confidence that the word he speaks is fully God's word.

The British people may or may not choose to believe his words. But Gordon Brown has no choice. And in his fervour, the rational, cognitive faculties are apparently bypassed as he effuses his inspiration.

He thinks he is a prophet, new inspired. He is driven to express the essence of his covenant message effectively. He considers himself the occupant of a divinely appointed societal office, correcting by divine word inappropriate beliefs and illegal practices. When he is called to excoriate prodigal Britain or other nations for their profligacy, he is effectively attacking crimes against this covenant. They are religio-political crimes of heterodoxy, or civil-ethical crimes of heteropraxy, or a combination of both.

Gordon Brown perceives himself to be a radical social reformer, a great thinker and a pioneer. As with the prophets of the Old Testament, he is an ardent patriot, as the covenant demanded, and so he talks of his love for ‘Britishness’ as much as they exalted the purity of Israel. He exists in the days of Ahab. To him, the Conservatives are the prophets of Baal and his enemies within are the prophets of Asherah. It is his raison d’être to cleanse the temple, to halt social and moral decay, and to punish the rich who oppress the poor. And so, in his ecstasy, he proclaims judgment from his dispatch box in accordance with the covenant curses of deprivation, devastation, disease, deportation and death.

Discerning readers and communicants may have noticed that Cranmer has referred to such prophets as Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, etc; and not to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah or Daniel.

The reason, quite simply, is that if Gordon Brown is a prophet, he is a very minor one. He possesses an irrational apocalypticism, and the Old Testament contains none of that. He expounds nothing original, and his oracles appear quite incomprehensible. He refers to an age of renewal, reconstruction and return from exile, but he does not point the way. He proclaims what is certain, but he is vague. And there is no artistry, no poetry in him. And, for Cranmer, ‘The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.’


Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I am unsure that our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, can be honoured with the status of a minor prophet.

He treats Great Britain like a leviathan that has, irrationally, caused him great personal offence and that hath embittered his soul.

He reminds me of Captain Ahab, in Hermann Melville’s novel Moby Dick:

". . . from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

7 May 2009 at 08:33  
Blogger Timothy Belmont said...

Indeed. It is ironic, is it not, that Brown is a Son of the Manse.

7 May 2009 at 08:35  
Blogger The Half-Blood Welshman said...

"If the outcome was a complete disaster (Liberal?), he would select 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind’ in the hope that the Lord might indeed forgive our foolish ways"

There is a very similar story, Your Grace, about a Vicar who chose hymns along broadly similar lines (inverting the parties, for he was a Tory) but if the Liberals did well, it was always "God moves in a mysterious way."

Speaking as a choirmaster and organist (or an ex-choirmaster, to be exact) all four are very fine hymns and I would have been delighted at the knowledge that one of them would be coming my way after an election, no matter what the result!

7 May 2009 at 08:36  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Your Grace,

Another essay of creative genius. You are entertaining and original and a sheer blessing.

Personally, I think Brown is a false prophet, though the Israelites could scarcely tell the difference either.

7 May 2009 at 08:42  
OpenID jobtwenteewun1to3 said...

Your Grace, perhaps another Old Testament prophetic figure may also be worthy of comparison with Mr Brown. In the book of Numbers it was Balaam's ass that prophesied . Just a thought.

7 May 2009 at 08:58  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 May 2009 at 10:14  
Blogger Yossman said...

Your grace,
this is one big laugh indeed. Since I am reading this at work I am at risk of drawing attention.

7 May 2009 at 10:33  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Personally I think that Brown merits the Order of the Straightjacket. Send round the men in white coats at once...

7 May 2009 at 10:47  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace. Excellent Blog, one question though, is that a cross hanging above G.B in the illustration or the sword of Damacles about to descend?.

7 May 2009 at 10:55  
Blogger Theo said...

There are aspects of Brown's rule which leads me to believe that he sees himself more as Moses than a prophet.

He is leading a covenant people (the client state) towards the promised land feeding them with manna that is never depleted.

He has rewritten Levitican Law, reversing some provisions (homosexuality?) and greatly increasing others, adding to them with a dedication that Moses would never had the time to record. The wicked are not punished but are taught to regard themselves as victims of the gentiles (the wealth producers?)

All he needs is a beard and a staff and the picture, for me at least is complete.

Unfortunately, this is delusional and he is attempting to achieve it by temporal rather than spiritual means. He is treading a dangerous path in meddling with God's Law which is likely to bring retribution on all our heads.

7 May 2009 at 11:43  
Blogger Cranmer said...

"There are aspects of Brown's rule which leads me to believe that he sees himself more as Moses than a prophet."

Mr Theo,

Moses was a prophet.

7 May 2009 at 11:50  
Blogger Theo said...

Your Grace, I accept your admonition. I became over-enthusistic in identifying GB as seeing himself as a great leader rather than an OT prophet crying in the wilderness.

I shall now flagellate myself until I feel I have earned Your Grace's pardon.

7 May 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Ye say that:

‘The mixing of religion and politics tends to be incendiary if not terminal.’

I take it that ye have in mind events leading up to the engraving of the Ten Commandments; signing of Magna Charta; the English Civil War; the American War of Independence; the US Civil War and presidents, prime ministers and monarchs calling for national days of prayer?

Yes, ‘incendiary’.

As the allies most brilliant general George S. Patton said at the battle of the Bulge: ‘God must have His margin.’

7 May 2009 at 13:07  
Blogger Dave said...

Gordo's a nutter. End of.

7 May 2009 at 13:27  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Gordon Brown a prophet? - more like a loss.

7 May 2009 at 13:41  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 May 2009 at 14:00  
Anonymous Dr. Armitage said...

Brown is a minor prophet of the Great Old Ones, spreading the despair and ruin that tenderise the human soul for their refined palates.

Obama is of course an avatar of Nyarlathotep itself in accordance with the prophecy contained in the Necronomicon:

And at last from inner Egypt came
The strange dark One to whom the fellahs bowed;
Silent and lean and cryptically proud,
And wrapped in fabrics red as sunset flame.
Throngs pressed around, frantic for his commands,
But leaving, could not tell what they had heard;
While through the nations spread the awestruck word
That wild beasts followed him and licked his hands.
Soon from the sea a noxious birth began;
Forgotten lands with weedy spires of gold;
The ground was cleft, and mad auroras rolled
Down on the quaking citadels of man.
Then, crushing what he chanced to mould in play.
The idiot Chaos blew Earth's dust away.
Personally, I hope only to be eaten first.

7 May 2009 at 15:26  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 May 2009 at 17:47  
Blogger ZZMike said...

"He espouses a privileged place for the poor, which is why he enjoys making more of them."

He seems to take taken his text from our own Democratic Party, which is merely trying to fulfill those words of Scripture, "but the poor you will always have with you".

It's a wonderful plan. If the poor can get their subsistence from government's generous coffers, they will vote unceasingly for those who provide the coffers.

Unfortunately, eventually the goats find themselves transformed into sheep, relying on an ever-dwindling population of other goats. In time, "Thatcher's Law" applies, but by that time, Mr Brown and his Band of Merry Ministers have retired to villas on Capri. (Thatcher's Law: The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.)

"Mr Theo,
Moses was a prophet."

And Brown is no Moses.

7 May 2009 at 18:15  
Anonymous len said...

Perhaps Gordon is Gods judgment on an unbelieving Britain.
T Blair come to power under the strains of 'Things can only get better'
Under Brown can they get worse?

7 May 2009 at 18:25  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 May 2009 at 18:28  
Anonymous not a machine said...

the gift of prophecy as the bible shows , is painful existance , you are beaten, despised even by your own , the very people who your god guided words are trying to save from the outcome that there ignorance is generating.

gordon brown is not a prophet , a prophet is free of politics , although it doesnt stop politicians sometimes sounding like them .

prophets do not seek reward or votes in there purest sense they speak to question, warn even, of the man made authority and power that has become vain.

gordon is subject to prophecy and not emitting it , he would not have needed a devious press secretary otherwise.

it is even easier to assume knowing a pattern based on gathered data is like prophecy and enables the person to trick people , by dimness and dumbness.

true prophets are never wrong and that is the awful price that those who dismiss and ignore god pay.

this goverment is even having its ministers media trained to not answer questions , even some one not gifted would see that a reciprocal ending of equal calamity , perhaps slightly karhmic, awaits those , that do not turn away from such a path.

and in this case the oppresed uk people there rightful choice to vote and which route to take.
it is after all the biggest debt this country has ever taken , to brazenly assume that the goverment that did not listen to god when spending is gods self proclaimed choice for healing the problem, will have a fitfull ending .

7 May 2009 at 18:29  
Anonymous Ruth said...

So Gordon sees himself as a prophet? Well, he's certainly been a Prophet of Doom for the UK. Boom to Bankruptcy in 3 easy lessons:
1> Spend & borrow, spend & borrow, borrow some more
2> Dither whenever you need to make an urgent decision
3> Lie 24/7

As for his famed 'Moral Compass'? Broken beyond repair about 58 years ago I reckon.

7 May 2009 at 19:36  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Preacher: re "is that a cross hanging above G.B in the illustration or the sword of Damacles about to descend?" His Grace hasn't answered you - but yes, it does remind me of Writings and Paintings on Walls!

Remember how Chaucer's Knight describes something similar in the Temple of Mars at Thrace? Painted on that wall, he sees
Wickedness, Ire, the thief; Fear,
"The smylere with the knyf under the cloke," (KT 1999).

There is Murder, War, strife, suicide and Death. In the middle of it all, Misfortune sits, looking sad and miserable;
"Yet saugh I Woodnesse [Madness], laughynge in his rage," (2011) ... and all the general chaos that accompanies tyrrany, rebellion, etc.

Above it all:
"And al above, depeynted in a tour,
Saugh I Conquest, sittynge in greet honour,
With the sharpe swerd over his heed
Hangynge by a soutil twynes threed" (2028-30).

And the Wall foretells the of the sticky ends of Roman Emperors Julius, Nero, and Antonius...

When will they ever learn?

Quotes from Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The Knight's Tale." In "The Riverside Chaucer." Third Edition. General Editor, Larry D. Benson. Edited by F. N. Robinson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987; 37-66).

8 May 2009 at 01:40  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Theo: "I shall now flagellate myself until I feel I have earned Your Grace's pardon."

This is CoE here - not Roman Catholic. Paying for Pardon by Penance and Pence was part of why we had a Reformation...

8 May 2009 at 01:46  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Does His Grace consider Deuteronomy 18:22 to be relevant here?

In fact, if reports of Gordon Brown's extremely unhealthy lifestyle are to be believed, even Deuteronomy 18:20 might not be out of the question.

However, we may safely exclude Deuteronomy 13:1-5; this concerns prophets who can accurately predict the future, so clearly does not apply to the Prime Minister.

8 May 2009 at 05:40  
Blogger Gnostic said...

O/T But certainly a matter that should concern you, Your Grace. I believe the gentleman who wrote the linked article would best spend his energy trying to correct the p*sspoor state of education. Given his general opinion I fear that tackling such an important subject may well be beyond him.

8 May 2009 at 08:46  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I think Your Grace you confuse Brown's faith in one Jew - Jesus of Nazareth - with his belief in another, Karl Marx.

Brown is a creature of his time - a public school Marxist in all but name. Born to privilege and the annuity of inherited wealth he has the Marxist-infused radicalism of the Insider-Outsider.

If Brown believed in God Above he would not have smear-machines like McBride and Balls - that he has this Communist-style machine to destroy rivals or critics does not speak to one who upholds any of the Ten Commandments.

Gladstone was righteous, maybe even priggish but kept his Diaries for when he must answer to his Creator - he did not smear Disraeli by leak and proxy. The manner of Gordon Brown behaving as Gollum or even perhaps Macbeth - is not one to be associated with moral rectitude.

I think you may find that an obsession with a minor figure like Jimmy Maxton and the Labour Party is Scotland suggests a narrow fixation on manipulating history to reveal Gordon Brown as the messianic figure come to bring Secular Salvation through Absolutism. The history of the world is littered with such crackpots and the inadequacy of the British political system to deny power to such personages makes one grateful that Britain is no longer an Imperial Power of consequence which could have wrought more damage....the simple fact is that our imperial heyday had more restriction on the political class than this consumerist-welfare society can muster

8 May 2009 at 09:51  
Anonymous len said...

Brown a prophet?
"And in the last days false prophets will arise!"

9 May 2009 at 13:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gotterdamerungs of Nues Liarboring Party. Monsieur Klunken-fisten-Kartofflen-Bonce McRuin is hidinging under the bunker which is under Number Ten. whilst he is doing this, My liege Loard, the Lord Meddlesome is the actual 'True and Secret Dear Leader' of the Party. Is is he, who pushes and pulls the 'Levers of office', in that he is pushing and pulling Pa McRuin and telling him what to do next.

So it definately is the Gotterdamerungs of the ZaNU-Lab....hopefully. Mr Gordon is not a 'Jeramiah', he is a 'Homer Simpson'.


10 August 2009 at 19:19  

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