Gordon Brown has seen the current economic crisis as his chance to become a global leader, cementing his reputation for pecuniary know-how after 10 glorious years at the Treasury. He made a great Freudian slip in Parliament a couple of months ago, when he referred to himself as having ‘saved the world’. (This hearkened back to his strategy of part-nationalising collapsing banks, and urging other countries to do the same). I don’t know what the opposite of charisma is, but Gordon Brown has lots of it: it is an absence that is described by his 12th House Sun, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, all in Pisces. Behind the greyness, however, lies a huge ambition in the form of a Moon-Pluto conjunction in Leo: he has an emotional need (Moon) to be a leader (Leo) that to him feels like his psychological survival depends on it (Pluto).
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This is why his view of himself can be so distorted. Without strong earth planets, other-worldly Pisces finds it hard to be clear about this reality. Add in the desperation of a Moon-Pluto, and the self-aggrandisement of a Leo, and it all adds up. His abundance of shape-shifting Pisces gives the capacity to project his self-image outwards, so that for a long time we did believe he was the ‘Iron Chancellor’. What is clear now, however, is that he was riding a wave of prosperity, and blind more than most to the underlying weaknesses of the western economic model: this is why the recession is hitting Britain harder than most, if not all, of the ‘developed’ countries. During his time as Chancellor, moreover, he found it very hard to accept that Tony Blair was anything more than a provisional Prime Minister, while he, Gordon Brown, was the man of substance who would in due course take over. He seemed to think it only natural that Blair would stand down after 2 terms, or even before, in fairness to Brown’s claims to the throne. This attitude naturally caused endless trouble within the government, and shows again his capacity for self-delusion.
Brown is at it again this week, hosting a G20 meeting of the world’s wealthiest nations to try and make progress on the recession. A split is opening up between the US and Europe on how to deal with the recession – the US wants to keep throwing money at it, while Europe is saying hang on, let’s wait and see if the vast sums we’ve thrown at it already have an effect, because otherwise we will be building up a huge public debt to no purpose. (I’m sympathetic to the European position, which also happens to chime with our new astrological age of Pluto in Capricorn: you can't avoid the consequences of living beyond your means, and you can't chase debt with more debt.)
In hosting this G20 meeting, Brown no doubt sees himself as the link man between the US and Europe, and therefore as the man who can lead the world at this critical juncture.
So we have this critical international meeting in a few days, Brown is striding the world stage, it his chance to build serious political capital at home, and what do the newspapers want to talk about? The headlines (until this morning) were not the G20 but the fact that the Home Secretary’s husband watched a couple of porn movies, and paid for them out of his wife’s parliamentary expenses. Total cost: £10.
You couldn’t make it up. Gordon Brown has a way of making himself, or his government, look ridiculous, and I think this is the flip-side of his inflated view of himself. Reality has a way of correcting itself, of balancing itself. Hubris has its own built-in banana skins.
And then there is the Home Secretary herself, Jacqui Smith. On the whole I am not very fond of these New Labour women who rise to the top. Because they are not men, they seem to have to always be proving how hard they are. And yes, they are hard, and that is why I don’t like them. And they all look like each other. Tessa Jowell left her husband when he fell foul of Italian law, because it would have harmed her career. The human thing is to support your spouse when they are in trouble, not leave them. I don’t like Caroline Flint either, the Minister for Europe. The one everyone liked was the late Mo Mowlam. She was human, and she didn’t last very long in government.
It’s a bit like how the Democrats in the USA have to prove how tough they are, because they are not Republicans, and this comes out in foreign policy. It was a Democrat, Truman, who dropped the first atom bomb; and it was another Democrat, Kennedy, who threatened to use them in the Cuban crisis. It was a Democrat, Hilary Clinton, who threatened to ‘obliterate’ Iran while campaigning for her party’s nomination (and who is now Secretary of State.) George W Bush, for all his swagger, never talked like this.
Jacqui Smith was born on 3rd November 1962.
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She has a Sun-Mars-Saturn t-square, and I tend to see that combination as hard and driven, because that is what Mars and Saturn can be like in challenging aspect, and more so when they join up with an important planet like the Sun to make a t-square. With Neptune also being part of the t-square, it probably softens the effect and adds idealism to her career. But it probably also masks the hardness within herself. Her Moon is in Capricorn, adding to the same picture.
So what about her femininity, her Venus? It is unaspected, at 25 Scorpio. Maybe, therefore, it doesn’t get much of a look-in. But unexpressed planets have a way of coming out. And if it is Venus, and if it is in Scorpio, it would be quite appropriate for it to get revenge (unexpressed Scorpio) through the husband (Venus) secretly (Scorpio) watching porn films (Scorpio plus Neptune transit). With Neptune currently squaring her Venus, and Chiron starting to square it, this is a big time for Jacqui Smith in her relationship. Neptune is stripping away illusions about this area of her life, and Chiron is revealing, perhaps, a woundedness, a dysfunctionality, that has been there all along. The public humiliation she is going through is synchronistic, it is an inner reality revealing itself to her, and the force of it is perhaps commensurate to the degree to which she is unconscious of her Venus.