Gordon Brown finally became leader of the Labour Party yesterday (24th June), though he won’t be Prime Minister until Wednesday. I spent some of the afternoon waiting for the announcement, so I could get a time, but I couldn’t get one. But it was around 3.30pm in Manchester. The chart suggests how he will fare as Party Leader rather than leader of the country, but it is still of interest.
With Saturn and Neptune one day away from exact opposition (which occurs today), it is interesting that his first announcement was that the Labour Party needs not just policies (Saturn) but Soul (Neptune). His image up until now has been exactly the opposite of this, a dour workaholic son of the Kirk, masterfully balancing the books in the Treasury.
Venus, which is associated with popularity in a politician, was in the 10th House, conjunct Saturn and opposite Neptune yesterday, so it was a canny move to court popular appeal. Brown in my mind is to some extent associated with his social conscience – his ‘soul’ – such as his desire to help Africa, but what I think much more characterises him is his pursuit of power, and his hounding of Blair to give up the premiership for the last 6 years, and his intriguing against him.
In his chart, (20 Feb 1951, 8.40am, Giffnock, Scotland) this is described by his Moon conjunct Pluto, at 12 and 18 degrees of Leo respectively, which gives him both his assumption that he has the right to be King (Leo) and the secretive, plotting way he has gone about it (Pluto).
These 2 planets were conjunct yesterday’s Venus-Saturn, which adds to my point that his announcement about soul was part of a play for popularity and therefore for power. Though I don’t think he was being entirely insincere. With half his chart, including the Sun, in 12th House Pisces, it would be hard for there not to be an element of compassion in him. But I don’t think this chart makes for an effective leader.
The fact that Saturn was so near to exactly opposing Neptune shows us that that old demon of New Labour, ‘spin’, is still on the agenda, and how this will work out we have yet to see.
Venus conjunct Saturn in Brown’s leadership chart (which it will also be in the chart for when he becomes PM on Wednesday) is double-edged. It is not on the face of it good for popularity. On the other hand, you get the popularity you deserve, that you have earned. I think Brown commands genuine respect for his work at the Treasury, and there has been a bounce in the polls for Labour as he has become Leader. On the other hand, that Venus-Saturn is sitting by Brown’s Moon-Pluto, so his habitual manoeuvring for power (which is not likely to stop just because he is PM: it is part of his character) is likely to earn him unpopularity.
This is reflected in the leadership chart having the Sun in opposition to Pluto. He is likely to end up in a power struggle within his party, but also to become unusually dominant as leader, in the same way that he became unusually dominant as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The power struggle is also suggested by the Moon (the party membership) rising in Libra opposite to Mars in Aries: in a word, ‘infighting’. The Sun is in the 9th, suggesting he sees himself as a ‘spiritual’ leader, which his announcement about Soul reflects.
Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party on 21 July 1994 at 12.05pm in London. In this chart, the Sun in Cancer was opposite Uranus-Neptune, and the Uranus particularly suggests the break (Uranus) with the past (Cancer) which he instigated, by for example re-naming the party New Labour, and getting rid of Clause 4, which committed the party to creating common ownership of the means of production (a largely symbolic victory).
Like Brown, there was a hard Venus-Saturn aspect, in this case an opposition. Venus was at 11 Virgo, conjunct Chiron and opposite Saturn. I think it’s quite good for a politician to have a hard Venus-Saturn aspect, because it means that in the long term they have to earn their popularity. (In the US, Saturn has been conjoining Bush’s natal Venus as his popularity has sunk). But here we are talking about popularity within the party, and while on the one hand Blair’s popularity within the party was such that it ‘healed’ it (Virgo and Chiron) sufficiently to make it electable for the first time in 18 years, his popularity was also deeply damaged (Chiron) by the Iraq affair. He was also in many ways the outsider (Chiron) within the party, coming from a public school background and being far too right wing for many of his colleagues. He never got on with the Trade Unions.
Back to Gordon Brown. The composite between his birth chart and the leadership chart has Mercury (his communication with the party) in a t-square with Pluto-MC and Chiron-Jupiter-ASC. So again we are back to the issue of power (Pluto), which keeps coming up in the various charts around Brown and New Labour, and its damaging effects (Chiron). The same composite chart for Tony Blair’s leadership has Mercury opposite Neptune, showing his ability to sway the party with rhetoric, but also his downfall through what many felt to be his lies over Iraq. This chart does not have Pluto on the MC, unlike Brown’s, but Uranus, showing his electrifying, revolutionary role.