Should Britons vote for Heathcliff? by underground

In an interview with the New Statesman, British prime minister Gordon Brown was told some women say he reminds them of Heathcliff, from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, to which Brown replied it was “absolutely correct” to make this comparison.

“Maybe an older Heathcliff, a wiser Heathcliff,” Brown said.

Brown did mention that he did not lose his temper like the Bronte character, who is considered a cruel and violent “anti-hero”. So how exactly does Brown consider himself to be like this character, and why does he remind women of Heathcliff? Why is this even a story?

The BBC picked up on the comment, and actually sought the opinion of an expert on Wuthering Heights from the Bronte Parsonage Museum in West Yorkshire. She thought the Heathcliff was often romanticised in adaptations and questioned whether he is the role model a prime minister should have. He’s a bloody fictional character! How about we judge Mr Brown on his merits, not those of someone from a book he apparently reminds people of. Apart from comic value, what news values did this “story” have for the BBC to take it up as a news story?

Of course political opponents picked on the comment with Shadow Chancellor George Osborne calling out for “Heathcliff to come down from dithering heights” and David Cameron welcoming Brown back from G8 meetings saying, “I am sure I speak for the whole country when I say I am pleased to see Heathcliff come home.

With Brown suffering in the poll, maybe he requires some desperate actions to change the public’s perception of him. Rather than Heathcliff, New Zealand’s Act party leader Rodney Hide could be a more appropriate role model. Just like Hide in Dancing with the stars (a school play!), Brown could take to the stage in an adaptation of Wuthering Heights and milk his likeness to Heathcliff for every vote he can. Only then could he imagine matching his predecessor’s popularity (pre-Iraq).

I actually like the guy. I saw him in an interview a while back and he appeared decent and sincere. I could be wrong about him. Politicians are impossible to judge after all. Unless they are in a dance-based reality TV show!


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