Friday, September 22, 2006

nicky wire, gordon brown

Are you ready for Gordon? The Guardian has a quiz to determine how well prepared we are for a short period of dour Scottish rule. I am ready, I scored 7 out of 9.

See how you do.

Nicky Wire is ready too. Has anyone heard his new record yet? I haven't. What's it like?

Nick Wire once wrote a chorus that always stayed in my head: "I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer / I spat out Plath and Pinter / I am all the things that you regret / A truth that washes that learnt how to spell". Now he is writing diary articles for The New Statesman; the one in today's is predictably entertaining.

My mind starts wandering, asking myself: "Why is Charles Clarke so utterly weird?" He calls Gordon Brown a control freak. Of course he is: more than any other politician, the Chancellor needs to make enemies and piss people off. If he listens too much, then he fails (remember when Nigel Lawson started listening to Margaret Thatcher?), yet, more bizarrely, the criticism comes from a man whose "control" seemed to disappear when pimps, murderers and rapists roamed Britain on his watch. In modern history, he was the most inept home secretary we have known, yet he is worried about a man who works 18 hours a day, whose didactic knowledge and dedication are unsurpassed.

We need a forensic, analytical, dour workaholic like Gordon to save us from this tyranny or, God help us, the king of smarm Alan Milburn will make another comeback. Gordon's a hyperrealist: he may seem prosaic, but his results are colossal. He separates his religion from his intellect. His economics are almost agnostic.


I start to dream of a cabinet to serve Gordon Brown. Diane Abbott, Martin Amis, Will Self, Damon Albarn, myself, Harold Pinter, Victoria Wood, Mark E Smith, Shami Chakrabarti, Charles Kennedy, Dennis Skinner and Michael Portillo. We could privatise the royal family; abolish all subsidies to the Royal Opera; invent a supertax for Premiership footballers . . . Then my life slows down again. Someone is asking me about the next Manics album and about my love of domestic chores. Maybe I could just be Gordon Brown's cleaner - it's a position of influence and importance, after all. We need more control freaks. As Voltaire said: "The true character of liberty is independence - maintained by force."


The week has disappeared. At last it's raining. The comfort of bad weather shrouds me. I realise it will be a long, hard year of Blair. It could have been so different, but history will always have a witness. Clarke will fade even quicker than Geoffrey Howe's execution speech.

My dreams falter and hibernate - it's a long, hard evolution but I am patient. Twenty years in the music business have taught me that inertia and boredom are sometimes healthy. We're all searching for meaning, but as Kafka wrote: "The meaning of life is that it stops."
It's a real shame that I never actually liked the Manic Street Preachers that much.

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