Dylan Jones: If you ask me

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, there is a distinct possibility that Gordon Brown could turn out to be George Harrison. But not in a good way. Any Beatles aficionado – in fact, these days, pretty much anyone with a tangential relationship with the history of the 1960s – knows that Harrison found himself perennially frustrated in the Beatles, on average being allowed only one song on each LP. Given the god-like genius of Lennon and McCartney, this is perhaps not so surprising, although by the end of the decade "the quiet one" had grown increasingly bitter.

And so when George released All Things Must Pass in 1970, it was not only a triple album, it was brilliant. Patchy, but up there vying for the title of Best Ever Beatles Solo Record. And then? Well, not much really, and by the time of Living in the Material World in 1973, Harrison was a busted flush. In his prime, he had more talent in his plectrum thumb than most of today's singer-songwriters have in their entire bodies (plus he was a Beatle which automatically makes him more important than any other musician, living or dead) but after the mid-1970s he either dried up or lost interest.

Fast forward 30 years and we have our new Prime Minister lurching out of the gate, spewing out policies as though his career depended on it (oh, it does). Having been kept on a tight-ish rein for the last 10 years, Brown spent the first few weeks of his premiership releasing singles from his dusty, regularly updated and annotated triple album of treats (known and referred to in his inner sanctum as Policies To Introduce After That Bastard's Gone). And since then? A lot of stern looks, some carefully organised photo opportunities where our new PM gets to practise smiling (there, nearly cracked it), and a fair amount of shuffling about outside Portcullis House, mugging any Tory researcher who looks like they might be carrying anything interesting (ie, anything involving law and order or drugs).

So can we expect Gordon to dry up? Can we look forward to his own version of "Living in the Material World" (oh, how droll) in three years' time, and then perhaps a Greatest Hits containing a re-recorded version of "Taxman"?

Many fear exactly the opposite, and that if Gordon ever gets elected properly, his salvos are going to be fast, furious and fantastically punitive. My Sweet Lord.

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'

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