Gordon Brown

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Gordon Brown

Born

2/20/1951, Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

Birth Name

James Gordon Brown

Gender

Male
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Biography

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Gordon Brown was appointed the Prime Minister of Britain by the Queen in June 2007, when Tony Blair resigned the post. Brown himself resigned from being Labour leader and PM in May 2010. Prior to this prestigious appointment Brown served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer for ten…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Brown has received two separate honorary degrees; one from the University of Edinburgh (2003) and one from Newcastle University (2007).

    • Since Brown became the Prime Minister, the satirical political magazine 'Private Eye' has run a humerous comic strip based on 'The Broons' parodying Brown. It is called 'The Broonites'.
      In addition to the comic strip, 'Private Eye' also satirise Brown by comparing him to Stalin and writing up 'Prime Ministerial Decrees from the Desk of the Supreme Leader' which frequently refer to 'The Age of Change' and draw other comparisons to Stalin's dictatorship of the Soviet Union.

    • Brown only wore red ties, to symbolise his socialist Labour background, until his wife Sarah persuaded him to branch-out into pastel colours.

    • Brown is blind in one eye following a sporting accident as a teenager.

    • Brown became leader of the Labour Party on the 24th June, and Prime Minister of Britain on the 27th June.

    • Just prior to becoming Prime Minister in June 2007, Brown sparked controversy when he asked a member of an opposition party, Paddy Ashdown of the Liberal Democrats, to serve in his Government Cabinet. A move like this has not been seen in several decades at Westminster and caused both support and opposition. Ashdown, however, turned-down the offer. Yet Brown's new thinking continued when he formed a Cabinet and elite which included special outside interests such as Sir Alan Sugar.

    • Brown has used three-word alliterative phrases 479 times in Parliamentary debates, which is well above average amongst MPs.

    • Brown has only voted in twenty-two percent of votes in Parliament. This is well below the average MP's voting figures record.

    • At 18,216 votes, Gordon Brown has the 28th largest individual majority out of 642 MPs.

    • Brown belongs to the Church of Scotland.

    • Brown presented the lifetime achievement award at the UK Music Hall of Fame awards in 2006.

    • In an interview in September 2006, Cabinet colleague Charles Clarke accused Brown of being a "control freak", "deluded" and of having "psychological" problems.

    • Brown is a leading voice among those politicians who support reducing Third World Debt.

    • Brown's first promotion within the Labout Party, came with his appointment as Opposition Spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985.

    • It is widely accepted that following John Smith's death, Brown and Blair struck a deal by which Brown would allow Blair to take over the Labour Party leadership, in return for absolute control of the economy. The two men also agreed that Brown would become Prime Minister following Blaire's departure. Both men respected the partnership, with Blair placing complete faith in Brown's ability to manage the British economy.

    • Brown's election to the House of Commons came in 1983 when he was chosen to represent Dunfermline East for Labour.

    • Brown's first child, a daughter named Jennifer Jane, was born prematurely and died after just eight days in 2001.

    • Brown married his wife, Sarah Macaulay, on the 3rd of August 2000. He and Sarah have two sons, and a daughter who died when she was 10-days-old.

    • Brown graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first-class degree in History.

    • Brown's exceptional intelligence meant that he entered the University of Edinburgh early, at just sixteen-years-old.

    • Brown has a reputation for being 'prudent' as a Chancellor. The reason being the great state of the economy under New Labour since 1997.

    • Brown was the longest serving Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1823, when Nicholas Vansittart headed the Treasury for eleven years. Brown took up the job in 1997 and served until June 2007.

    • Brown is currently an MP for the Scottish constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

    • Gordon Brown's son, Fraser, has Cystic Fibrosis.

  • Quotes

    • Brown: We will not allow people to separate us from the United States of America in dealing with the common challenges that we face around the world. I think people have got to remember that the relationship between Britain and America and between a British prime minister and an American president is built on the things that we share, the same enduring values about the importance of liberty, opportunity, the dignity of the individual. I will continue to work, as Tony Blair did, very closely with the American administration.

    • Brown: All I believe and all I try to do comes from the values I grew up with: duty, honesty, hard work, family and respect for others. I am a conviction politician ... My conviction is that everyone deserves a fair chance in life ... that each of us has a responsibility to each other ... that when the strong help the weak it makes us all stronger. Call it the driving power of social conscience, call it the better angels of our nature, call it our moral sense, call it a belief in civic duty. I joined this party as a teenager because I believed in these values. They guide my work, they are my moral compass. This is who I am.
      And because these are the values of our party, too, the party I lead must have more than a set of policies - we must have a soul.

    • Brown: All parents should have more support when they need it most - when children are growing up - and all, including absent parents, have a duty to fulfil their responsibilities.

    • Brown: And I am ready, I think, to help this country move into its new generation where I think the challenges we face are ones that, because of the values that bind us as a country together, we are uniquely able to say that we are going to be one of the great global success stories of the future.

    • Brown: I am ready to make the decisions for people and to work with other people to make this country the great country it is at all times.

    • Brown: My favourite sport at school was rugby. All sports are teamwork, but rugby particularly is about teamwork and I think teamwork is the essence of this.

    • Commenting on the recent upheaveals in the Labour Party
      Brown: I am happy for there to be a leadership contest. I think there should be.

    • Brown: We can find common qualities and common values that have made Britain the country it is. Our belief in tolerance and liberty which shines through British history. Our commitment to fairness, fair play and civic duty.

    • Brown: The security of the nation comes first. No government can afford to take risks with the security of the country.

    • Brown: We need to make our economy more pro-competition and pro-enterprise. Wherever there are barriers to companies, we will remove them.

    • Brown: Relations between the United Kingdom and the United States have never been stronger, deeper and more cordial.

    • Brown: It is time for Europe and the US to negotiate away their differences.

    • Brown: We spend more on cows than the poor.

    • Brown: I'm a father; that's what matters most. Nothing matters more.

    • Brown: For me there is a mission for this country moving forward - there are big long-term decisions we've got to take as a nation.

    • Brown: Far from being at odds with each other, our economic objectives and our environmental objectives now increasingly reinforce each other. ... Environmental sustainability is not an option - it is a necessity. For economies to flourish, for global poverty to be banished, for the well-being of the world's people to be enhanced - not just in this generation but in succeeding generations - we have a compelling and ever more urgent duty of stewardship to take care of the natural environment and resources on which our economic activity and social fabric depends. ... A new paradigm that sees economic growth, social justice and environmental care advancing together can become the common sense of our age.

    • Martin Ivens: Mr Brown dominates this government like no other post-war chancellor. The chancellor tells other ministers how to spend their budgets and even dictates, or 'challenges' as the Treasury mandarins delicately put it, their policies? The puritanical pundits cheer Mr Brown as a serious man doing a serious job, while next door at No 10 the incumbent holds parties for pop stars and millionaires.

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