Why do politicians find it so difficult to be themselves? | Stefan Stern

Gordon Brown is once again making us laugh out loud. Presenting a safe public persona, like Kinnock and Miliband did, was off-putting for everybody

It was a blast from the past. As the lengthy interview drew to a close there was time for a final word. “What do you want to be your epitaph? What do you want on your headstone?” went the questions. And Gordon Brown replied: “That I managed to go for 25 minutes with John Humphrys and survive.”

Brown used to make us laugh out loud. Shadowing the newly appointed and ruthlessly free-market business secretary, Nicholas Ridley, in 1989, he asked: “Did he say to the prime minister, ‘Give me the department and I will finish the job’, or did he say, ‘Give me the job and I will finish the department’?”

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