For the last 10 years, the relationship between Tony Blair and his Chancellor Gordon Brown has defined the British Labour Government. Despite his unprecedented success in winning 3 consecutive Labour victories and his huge majorities in Parliament, Tony Blair has at the same time been at the mercy of his Chancellor in a way no other British Prime Minister has ever been. Gordon Brown has a big following of his own within the party, and for Blair to have sacked him at any point would have made it extremely difficult for him to govern. And Gordon Brown has used his position as Chancellor to control the other ministerial departments to a degree that is also unprecedented.
In the election to become leader of the party in 1994, Brown did not stand so as not to divide the party (so he said: he would have lost had he stood). He has since built on this myth that he sacrificed his own ambitions for the sake of the party, and has made it seem like he has a right to be the next leader, and that Blair has been repeatedly treacherous in not standing aside for him.
It looks like his moment will finally arrive during the course of this year. There have been mutterings about someone standing against him in an election to be leader, but no prominent MP has put their name forward yet. If one did stand and lost, he/she could expect no largesse from Gordon Brown: their ministerial career would be over.
If I admire anything about Tony Blair, it is his ability to contain the feud with Gordon Brown. Unlike Brown, Tony Blair is not vindictive. I don’t think Gordon Brown is a leader of people – I think he is tyrannical – and I think his reputation as a brilliant Chancellor, so necessary for his self-esteem, is overblown. The fact is that the West has been in a period of sustained economic growth for a long time now, and Brown has managed not to get in the way of that. It was the Tories who set up the conditions for the boom in the UK. If he has achieved anything, it has been in raising large amounts of cash through taxes to put into the public services, without alienating the voters by raising personal income tax.
There seems to be a widespread perception that the man is ‘not right’, and also a sense that we have no choice but to have him as our next leader. This is not a good omen, and the opinion polls put the Tories well ahead if Brown becomes leader.
Astrologically, he continues the Chiron/Damage theme that we have seen in both Bush and Blair. Both men have a prominent Chiron, and in both cases the transits to or from Chiron have reflected the irrevocable and self-inflicted damage they have done to their reputations through the Iraq War.
When I do readings for people, Chiron normally reflects some psychological injury early in life, and not of one’s own making. So it is interesting to see, through these political figures, Chiron representing the self-inflicted damage we can bring about later in life, if we don’t develop the self-awareness that Chiron necessitates.
From Brown’s progressions and transits, we can see that 2007 is mainly about the ascent to power, but that the trouble will begin straight away.
Gordon Brown: 20 Feb 1951 8.40am, Giffnock, Scotland. (See also my 2 earlier blogs on Gordon Brown, Should Gordon Brown Be Leader? and The Sexy Mr Brown.)
This year he has the following: Prog Moon opposite Prog MC and natal Sun, and Prog MC conjunct natal Sun. His solar return (SR) has Sun sextile Pluto and (a bit of trouble here) Moon and Venus square to Pluto. His converse SR has Pluto and Neptune conjunct the MC. Tr Chiron is opposing his natal Moon all year. So he certainly looks likely to become PM, but he will have problems around people accepting him and liking him – popular appeal – from the word go (the Venus, Moon, Pluto trouble in the SR, tr Chiron opposite Moon).
Brown has a natal 12th House Mercury (much of his chart is hidden in the 12th) opposite a Moon-Pluto conjunction, which describes his continual power-seeking and plotting. In 2008 Chiron will conjoin his Mercury and oppose his Pluto. This way he has of going about things is likely to seriously damage him next year. Pluto will also be conjoining his natal Chiron all of 2008. With natal Chiron conjunct MC, his general reputation will become damaged. This theme is repeated in Converse Prog Chiron conjunct CP ASC all year.
Uranus will also be conjoining his passive-aggressive 12th House Mars in Pisces in 2008, reflecting the infighting that will be going on, and his difficulties in genuinely asserting himself in relation to others. His Solar Return for 2008 has Pluto conjunct ASC opposite Mars conjunct DESC, further confirmation of the likely power struggles and infighting within his government. This SR chart repeats the Chiron theme through Moon opposite Chiron, and reflects his difficulty in governing through a Sun-Saturn opposition.
Brown’s astrology for 2008 suggests his premiership will be everything one might have feared from his current reputation. He will be forced to call an election by 2010 at the latest, and that year he will have transiting Pluto conjoining his MC. It seems to me that this will signify him losing the general election.
There is, of course, a very slim chance that Labour will come to its senses and not elect Brown as their leader this year. This would be extremely difficult for him to accept, and in this case I think his upcoming astrology would reflect that lack of acceptance, and the damage it will do to his reputation.