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Home > Politics

Ghandi Brown: 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration

26 January 2007

'I could never compare myself to Gandhi or those other heroes of mine,' the Prime-Minister-in-waiting said to his Indian audience and the British press pack, 'but I do take inspiration from the way that they dealt with the challenges they faced when I think about how I will deal with the challenges the country and the world faces, including the security challenge.'

Gordon hitched up his white loincloth. Day three of his visit to India and he was starving. He'd been taking his inspiration from Gandhi for about 45 minutes now and the fasting part was getting a bit much. He'd forgotten his sunblock as well. His shoulders and belly had rapidly gone from pink to lobster red to Alex Ferguson in the relentless Delhi sun.

He was sweating, and not just with the heat. His audience shifted restlessly in their seats. Frantically, Gordon tried to dredge up an apposite quote of the Mahatma's with which to impress them. How about, 'non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will'? A bit like this bloody loincloth, he thought. He'd pulled it up too far and now his bottom was itchy. He'd forgotten to put his underpants on underneath.

How about, 'Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man'? No, not a great one in the face of the current 'security challenge', that one, he thought. Won't sell many fighter jets to India with that attitude.

Instead, he changed tack. 'I think it was Churchill who said that you cannot meet the challenges of the future by simply building the present in the image of the past,' he said. Brilliant. Gandhi *and* Churchill. What was it Churchill had called Gandhi? 'A half naked fakir.' Oh, dear. Er.

A reporter stood up. 'The Times of India,' he said. 'Chancellor, how do you reconcile your taking inspiration from both the Mahatma and Sir Winston?' Gordon's mouth flapped. He suddenly couldn't shake the mental image of Churchill in a loincloth, cigar in one hand and pint of brandy in the other. The Chancellor's stomach growled. He could murder an Indian.

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