At the beginning of the financial crisis, in September 2008, Gordon Brown called an emergency press conference in which he declared, ‘we will do whatever it takes to restore stability in the financial markets’.
He was to repeated the phrase ‘whatever it takes’ constantly in the following weeks.
As Shadow Chancellor Brown would do whatever it took to restore Labour’s economic credibility. As leader-in-waiting he would do whatever it took to acquire the crown. As Prime Minister he would do whatever it took to buttress his enfeebled regime, going as far instigating a rapprochement with Peter Mandelson, a figure he had come to despise. Determined, wilful, multi-layered in his complexity, Brown would always do whatever it took to survive.
New Labour, as a political force, rootless and defensive in its origins, would similarly do whatever it took to retain support in what its founders regarded as a conservative country.
Written by one of the most influential political commentators in the UK, the Independent’s chief political commentator, Steve Richards, this political expose examines Gordon Brown’s wildly oscillating career and the ruthless and sometimes shallow pragmatism displayed by New Labour as a whole.