In the local elections in the UK this week, the Labour Party took a hammering. It was their worst result in local elections for 40 years. And it reflects very badly on Gordon Brown as Prime Minister.
About 4 years ago I predicted that Tony Blair would leave office at the end of 2007/early 2008, and that Gordon Brown would take over and be a ‘tail-end Charlie’. I was 6 months out with Blair, but the prediction with Brown seems to be coming true. Brown spent years desperate to be PM, and this desire of his was a major difficulty for the 10 years of the Blair administration. Unfortunately for Brown, his desire has been fulfilled at the end of a political cycle, with Labour having been in power for over 10 years, and a natural swing towards the Tories occurring.
So it’s all turning to poo for him, and he hasn’t even been in the job for a year. But it’s not just about the end of a political cycle. Gordon Brown was never suitable for the job in the first place, most people could see that, and yet he had such a position of power in the Labour Party that he couldn’t be stopped. No-one even stood against him in the election to become leader, it was a coronation. Labour was walking to its electoral doom, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
Astrologically, Gordon Brown is the Invisible Man (half his chart in 12th House Pisces) yet who nevertheless has a deep need to be number one (Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo, below the horizon).
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The pity of it is that he does have a genuine Piscean passion for helping those in need, whether at home or abroad. During his time as Chancellor, he was able to direct loads of cash towards the public services while keeping the economy healthy. Historically, this was a considerable achievement. Previously, we either had Labour trashing the economy or the Tories trashing the public services.
From the word go as Chancellor, he created a reputation for super-competence. I think this was a Piscean trick, an ability to project an image, as much as it was genuine competence. After all, the whole western world was enjoying a long period of economic growth right up until the end of 2008, and all he had to do was not to get in the way of that, which again is a Pisces quality.
So while I’m appreciative of the fact that he kept the economy healthy while promoting the public services, I think his reputation was considerably overblown. He was in the right place at the right time, Tony Blair had created the political context for him, and all he needed was a reasonable amount of competence.
It’s obviously a strong need in him to be seen as brilliant (Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo), and while he was operating behind the scenes at the Treasury, he was allowed to indulge this need.
When he became PM in June 2007, he immediately pulled the same trick, as if by magic. Here was Mr Super Competent, the ultimate safe pair of hands. Remarkably, he managed to sustain this image for 3 or 4 months. But what worked at the Treasury was never going to work as PM. You need to be able to project yourself, people need to get a sense of you, and Brown is all hidden. Worse than that, his reputation for competence, which he had done so much to cultivate, began to disintegrate.
It wasn’t just the PR blunders, which you would expect and even to some degree forgive in such a man. It was actual policy. It was the ill-thought through cutting of Capital Gains Tax last autumn to match a Tory election pledge, but which penalised small businesses. It was the recent abolition of the 10p tax rate, which was going to leave some of the poorest people less well-off. Even the PR blunders leave you gawping. Like his recent visit to the USA, where he wanted his presence felt, yet he allowed it to clash with a visit by the Pope, which almost completely overshadowed Brown’s own visit. Tony Blair, or any reasonably competent politician, would never have allowed that to happen. “Why should I re-arrange my schedule for the Pope of all people?” you can hear the obstinate voice of the Manse saying. When it wasn’t the Pope, it was the controversy over the 10p tax rate that took the headlines during his USA visit.
The local election results make it clear that the current Labour administration is done for, and that Brown is walking wounded. This is a pity, for it affects the mood of the whole country. It is like what we had in the last years of the Major government in the mid-nineties. We don’t feel we have an effective government anymore, and yet you can be sure they will hang on to power for as long as they can, which in this case will be 2010. Labour needs a new leader, but they’re not going to have one. In the Major years, there was a cartoon of the PM as a sort of Superman-manque, with a pair of grimy underpants worn outside his trousers. If anything, this cartoon has more relevance now, for at least John Major never pretended he was Superman.
Brown has a Chiron-MC conjunction in Capricorn (as does Tony Blair), and in both cases you see this combination of ambition and achievement (Capricorn) with lasting damage/wounding (Chiron). In Blair’s case it was Iraq, from which his reputation will never recover: the war began during his Chiron Return.
In Brown’s case, the defining transit is Pluto conjoining his Chiron-MC. Brown’s Chiron is at 0.53 Capricorn. On the day of this week’s elections, Pluto was applying retrograde at 0.56 Capricorn. These elections have been a defining moment for Brown, and the astrology is also telling us this. Of course there is still his MC at 4.43 Capricorn, which Pluto will not reach until 2010, the probable year of the next election, and which will make his humiliation complete.
It is a political tragedy that will be unfolding over the next couple of years. It is a great story: the man who lusted after being king, who undermined a government for 10 years until he got his way, and then fell flat on his face because he’d never been suited to the job in the first place. Everyone could see it coming, and yet nothing could be done about it: a party and a country were held to ransom by this one man’s lust. What a story!
Whether there will be a concluding chapter to the Brown story in which he resurrects himself, I do not know. The tragedy for him is that he has real talents and passions which he ignores in his pursuit of power. He would, for example, make a great UN ambassador to Africa, or fund raiser for the third world. He has North Node in 12th House Pisces, and this is where he needs to go. Whether he can learn from his experience, learn about his own need for power, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile we have David Cameron and his band of old Etonians to look forward to as our rulers in a couple of years. But that's another story.