Gordon Brown is under siege again from his own party, many of whom feel that he will lose them the next General Election, which has to occur before 5 May 2010. A couple of days ago I’d have said he’ll manage to stay on, but now it is looking more likely to me that he will go. More and more senior Labour figures are publicly questioning his leadership, and we still have the European Election results, which are expected to be very bad for Labour, in a day or two.
New Labour in power was really about Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown was always destined to be the end-game, the ‘tail-end Charlie’, like Callaghan and Major. New Labour came to power on 2/5/97 at 3.17am.
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With Jupiter Rising in Aquarius, it believed (Jupiter) it could create a better world (Aquarius). Tony Blair’s Moon in Aquarius harmonised with this, and gave him the ability to connect this vision to the people. The MC in Sag also describes this sense of mission to the world. Mercury retrograde in Taurus square to Uranus and Neptune shows the desire to communicate this vision in a practical way, but not always successfully. Tony Blair’s Sun at 15 Taurus conjoins the New Labour Sun at 11 Taurus (and Venus at 19 Taurus), making him its natural leader (Sun).
When Tony Blair left as leader in June 2007, Neptune had been conjoining the New Labour Jupiter, reflecting the loss of self-belief by the party, the disillusion that Tony Blair had brought about, mainly over Iraq. Brown’s time as leader has seen Neptune finally cross the Ascendant in Feb this year, with 2 more crossings later in the year. Given what has happened so far – and Brown’s leadership has been under question, on and off, almost since the start – this transit looks likely to bring about an almost complete loss of vision by New Labour.
A General Election does not have to be called until next May, but given the amount of disarray that the first crossing of Neptune has caused, before this year is out we may find that we have a government that is too far gone to continue.
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The Solar Return for New Labour for this year shows a leader who is not effective in public (Sun conjunct IC) and at odds with the membership of his party (Sun square Moon). Mars conjunct Venus in Aries square to an exact Pluto-Asc conjunction shows a party characterised by infighting and power-struggles, though with Mars below the horizon, this may not always be visible to the public.
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As for Brown himself, what we see natally is a fiery character with vision (Aries Rising and Leo Moon) who is nevertheless unable to give direction to himself or those around him (5 personal planets in 12th House Pisces). As a Pisces, Brown is able to shapeshift, to project the strong-man image when he speaks. But the rumours have always been of his authoritarianism, indecisiveness and inability to lead. I think his authoritarianism is partly his Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo; but I think it is also that weird, wilful thing you sometimes find in very Piscean people, who seem to sense and fear their own inner powers as threatening and chaotic, and try to control themselves and everyone around them to keep the ocean at bay. It is Canute syndrome.
Although Brown has an Aries Ascendant, its ruler Mars is in 12th House Pisces, which is a very difficult placement for someone who needs to be, and to appear, strong and decisive. It is also opposite an inhibiting Saturn (which, to be fair, has at the same time given him an ability to apply himself long-term to his personal goals). As Tony Blair’s Chancellor, he was a master of passive-aggressive behaviour, never daring to speak out against Blair, not even standing against him in the original election to be leader; he was, however, forever plotting against him. It is not a good quality for a leader – or for anyone, I suppose. For the last year we have seen Uranus conjoining Brown’s Mars, and in some ways we have seen some surprising leadership from him, particularly through his handling of the financial crisis, when the world teetered and Brown saved it (Pisces), or so he seemed to think. But broadly speaking, a Uranus-Mars transit, when Mars is so afflicted, is unlikely to result in the steady leadership that he is so fond of projecting, but which his colleagues clearly do not experience.
Like Blair, Brown has a strong connection to the New Labour Chart, as we would expect, and this is principally through New Labour's Moon in Pisces. Brown connects with the traditionally compassionate element in Labour, and his ideals here seem genuine. Unfortunately, this Moon is opposite Mars, describing the embattled position he has always been in, whether as Chancellor or as PM. Blair's connection to the chart, his Taurean Sun, trines this Mars, showing the relatively easy ride he had with the party for much of the time.
The big transit for Brown during his leadership has been, and continues to be, Pluto conjoining his Chiron-MC in Capricorn. This would be a great placement for say a competent healer, particularly combined with all that Pisces. But once you hit the world of politics, you are in more deterministic territory, where the denizens cannot afford to be too reflective, and where collective currents sweep you along. I don’t think Chiron does too well in this arena, and since the word go Brown has seemed like a wounded beast as Prime Minister. What is worse is that one feels sorry for him, that it would be cruel to laugh at him, which is a necessary tonic when it comes to leaders and their self-importance. Maybe this is why his colleagues find it so hard to finally stick the knife in and replace him. Sun in 12th House Pisces and Neptune conjunct Descendant describe this. However badly a Pisces behaves, somehow we forgive them, we feel sorry for them, we find it hard to hurt them. Like Yakimov in the film series 'Fortunes of War'.
With outer planet transits, it can be hard to time events. Without astrology, I’d say Brown may be gone quite soon. With astrology, I’d like to see Pluto make an exact crossing of his MC at 4.43 Capricorn, or at least begin the run-in to an exact crossing, which brings us to September this year or later. On the other hand, the ruler of his MC, Saturn, is at 1.03 Libra, and Pluto has made 3 out of 5 squares to that point over the last 16 months, which may be enough. So I could plump for the autumn, when Pluto finishes its squares to the MC Ruler, and begins the run-in to an MC conjunction. Brown also begins his second Saturn Return this autumn, a time when we experience the consequences of our actions.
The astrology is certainly telling us that Brown is likely to go next year, as the Pluto-MC conjunction and Saturn Return run their courses. But we know this anyway. The question is whether these transits will be too early in their effects for Brown to go this year. On balance I think they are too early, much as I’d like to see the drama of a leadership election, and someone who is better able to oppose David Cameron leading the government.