[[quoteright:300:[[{{Facepalm}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gordon-brown.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Thank God that's o'er wae.]]

->''"You might have liked Tony more... but you'll hate my wife less."''
-->-- '''Andy Parsons''', ''Series/MockTheWeek''

->''"In the news this week, the polls continue to slide for Gordon Brown and some people are saying he's dead and buried. But I think the opposite -- I say '''[[Film/FlashGordon GORDON'S ALIVE!!!]]'''"''
->(a scene later)
->''[[OverlyNarrowSuperlative "I mean this is Gordon Brown's worst week in politics ]]''[[OverlyNarrowSuperlative since last week]]''[[OverlyNarrowSuperlative ..."]]''
-->-- '''Creator/{{BRIAN BLESSED}}''', ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou''

For ten years between 1997 and 2007 Gordon Brown was the dull but, generally, steady pair of hands on the controls of the British economy. Then he became Prime Minister.

History may well record this as one of the worst job moves ever.

In this age of media, poor Gordon had a major disadvantage: he was boring. There is no way around this. Being boring, dull and careful are virtues for a Chancellor but a handicap for a Head of Government. His popularity became so low that at the D-Day memorial celebrations British Veterans, who had clapped politely for the German Chancellor, booed and jeered their own Prime Minister, admittedly in the midst of an expenses scandal which had severely reduced the public's opinion of their [=MPs=], if they were naive enough to be disappointed by the appalling tales that came around. Possibly the only PM since UsefulNotes/SpencerPerceval to have his entire Cabinet as TheStarscream, although his old rival and Business Secretary UsefulNotes/PeterMandelson and Foreign Secretary (as well as former crony of UsefulNotes/TonyBlair) David Miliband really stand out. Because of this he was seen as a bit of a {{Woobie}} in some quarters.

He actually holds a doctorate from Edinburgh university, but no one refers to him as [[Film/BackToTheFuture Dr. Brown]], because it sounds a bit silly, even for a country where the armed forces were led by General Sir MichaelJackson and Air Chief Marshal Sir Graham "Jock" Stirrup. Gordon Brown has the distinction of being only the third Prime Minster to have attended a university other than [[{{Oxbridge}} Oxford or Cambridge]] (along with [[Creator/EarlRussell Lord John Russell]] and NevilleChamberlain), and the second to have attended Edinburgh (another eleven Prime Ministers didn't go to university).

He was blinded in one eye after a rugby accident in his youth and later discovered that he has two small tears in his other eye, but they are not serious enough to require surgery.

Shortly after replacing UsefulNotes/TonyBlair as Prime Minister - the latter had stood down - Brown came close to calling a general election, going so far as to unofficially brief the media that this was imminent. Ultimately a mixture of poor polls and by-election results convinced Labour that their majority would be significantly cut, and the election was nipped in the bud despite the fact that he was reasonably popular during the first stages of the economic crisis, which led to accusations that he was a "[[DirtyCoward bottler]]". Although Blair had benefited from a string of [[BaldOfEvil unappealing]] Conservative leaders of the opposition, Brown found himself up against the relatively young and media-savvy UsefulNotes/DavidCameron. Rumours of bullying, smear campaigns, an addiction to anti-depressants, and an apparent inability to acknowledge a role in an ongoing financial crisis alienated the British public and, even more damagingly, the media that Tony Blair had so carefully courted.

He eventually served as Prime Minister for almost three years, until 11 May 2010, seeing out the remainder of the term that Tony Blair had won. The election on the previous Thursday, 6 May, had resulted in no party gaining overall control of the House of Commons, leaving the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power and the Conservatives with most votes and seats, after a campaign that saw Brown get overheard on microphone calling a woman "bigoted." [[note]]She ''had'' badgered him, repeatedly asking, "Where are all these Eastern Europeans flocking from?" but by saying she was not bigoted afterward and it was his misinterpreting her words, his team could not use that as a defence in the media.[[/note]]

Brown stayed on waiting to see there would be a Conservative-Liberal Democrat deal as per the rules of British elections which state that until a new PM is declared the old one has to stay in office no matter how badly he lost. A Labour-Lib Dem agreement looked briefly possible when Brown stepped down as Labour leader, but the parliamentary mathematics (which would have needed Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru support for an overall majority) never really added up, and that there was no clear leader to direct the negotiations with the Lib Dems also reportedly damaged their chances. (The Lib Dems were mainly using the possibility of an agreement with Labour to extract concessions from the Conservatives anyway, according to Andrew Rawnsley.)

He resigned and was succeeded by UsefulNotes/DavidCameron, ending 13 years of Labour rule.

He has also [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-DNzui8hK0 Saved the world.]](50 seconds into the video.)
!!Gordon Brown provides examples of:
* EaglelandOsmosis: A frequently raised criticism of Brown was that he was 'not elected' -- i.e that he wasn't elected to the post of Prime Minister by the voters during a national election -- and that this invalidated his premiership. This seems to stem from a misunderstanding of the British system of government -- unlike the American system (where the people directly vote for the presidential candidate), in Britain people vote for their local representative during elections, and ''no'' Prime Minister has technically been 'elected' in this fashion; the Prime Minister is merely the person who has been elected by the members of the party who has secured a majority of seats in the House of Commons to act as their leader. Gordon Brown won both his parliamentary seat and the leadership contest when UsefulNotes/TonyBlair stood down -- granted, he was unopposed in the latter, and in practice national elections often act as votes on the effectiveness of the Prime Minister.
** It wasn't just misunderstanding; the Opposition frequently dug into him for it, seizing upon the opportunity. In part this was because, in the British system, the Prime Minister has the power to call a new election at any time he chooses, thus Brown could have given the public the chance to elect him, or rather re-elect his party, in order to legitimise his leadership. At one point it was rumoured he was going to do just that, and so when he didn't it looked like it was because Labour would have been trounced and he would no longer be PM, even though he had no real obligation to do so and the other parties were the ones really making it seem like it was going to happen.
* EvilChancellor: This is how some of Blair's stronger supporters viewed Brown.
** Before becoming Prime Minister he really was a Chancellor (of the Exchequer).
* HistoryRepeatsItself: Brown was sometimes compared to the Earl of Bute, another spectacularly unpopular Scottish Prime Minister who didn't go to Oxbridge. He was even also responsible for a much hated cider tax!
* HypocriticalHumor: The Sun tore into him for misspelling the veteran's mother Jane's name "James". Their own website spelled it "Jones", [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer making the same mistake covering the story]].
** Also, you'd think the partisan arguments about debt would be damped by the fact that history forms a surprisingly neat mirror image under the Conservatives and Labour. In '87 it was 45%, it shrunk to 28% by '91, then crept back up to 45% again by '97. Then it went from 45% to 28% ''again'' by 2002, then crept back up to about 45% again in 2008.... then the recession hits and it goes off the charts.
* IAmVeryBritish: Not an example. But when the "bigot" affair went round the world, [[Series/TheDailyShow Jon Stewart]] does his "finishing sentences from news footage" bit in an RP accent even though you can clearly hear Gordon started them in a Scottish accent.
* IsThisThingStillOn: Be warned politicians, these days they clip the flipping things to your lapels. He had a meeting with a voter so terse he dashed off to his car afterward to call her "a sort of bigoted woman", but not fast enough to get out of its operational range.
** {{Facepalm}}: And when he had to apologise on radio, when they played their recording of his comments to him he gave himself a huge facepalm. And this is another example of IsThisThingStillOn, because he didn't notice a camera was there to catch it!
*** Spin doctors watched in horror and shouted at each other as the facepalm footage was broadcast live. Their reaction was also caught on camera.
** Ian Martin's TheCoalitionChronicles points out (in its usual profane manner) that given that they were effectively bugging the Prime Minister's vehicle, Sky News had actually broken the law by recording from the mic while he was in the car.
* NamesTheSame: Averted. He was christened James Gordon Brown, but decided to go with the middle name.
* NationalStereotypes: An unbelievably easy target, as his two defining characteristics are very cliche for Scotsmen - Dourness and an obsession with managing money.
* PerpetualFrowner: Brown always seemed to look miserably which only served to complement the "dour scot" image he was infamous for.
* PunnyName: "Brown" is both a very common name ''and'' and very common word. To his allies, he is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_Brown Capability Brown]] who puts the economy into [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion Brownian Motion]]. To his enemies he and his friends are just Brown-nosers. and he once genuinely introduced himself "Not [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon flash, just Gordon]]". This was mocked as "Crash Gordon". Right-wing forums would often respond to the latest "incident" with the words Brown=toast etc.
** Putting the economy into Brownian Motion is not a good thing.
** "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Brown Never a frown with Gordon Brown]]".
*** But [[GeorgeWBush he's not the dour Scotsman]]!
* RugbyIsSlaughter: As stated above, Brown become blind in his left eye after he was kicked in the head during a rugby union match when he was a student.
* TheStarscream: Brown was this to Tony Blair and then his entire cabinet did the same to him. Like the real Starscream, he was better at taking over the place than he was at actually running it.
* ThriftyScot: Along with his dourness (also a stereotypically Scottish trait), this was the source of innumerable jokes during his tenure; it was particularly prominent while he was Chancellor.
* TotallyRadical: He made many rather unconvincing attempts to look more in touch with the youth by claiming to like various modern phenomena, most famously the Arctic Monkeys and ''TheXFactor''. (Note that at least some of these may have been true, but Brown's manner was such that they ''sounded'' like fake claims even if they weren't). He also made the statement that [[{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] could solve the problems in our world to the news media, leading to some confusion.
* TheUnSmile: After a few pictures of him smiling, people came to appreciate his usual dourness ''so much more''. To quote Russell Howard: "His smile is so unnatural that every time he does it, a ''fairy dies''!"
** That it was clearly an attempt at a staged smile lead to it being lampshaded by Jeremy Clarkson;
--> '''Jeremy Clarkson''': Who told him to smile... and then why did no-one tell him to ''stop''?

!!Media provides the following examples of Gordon Brown:
* Gordon Brown appears in ''ComicBook/CaptainBritainAndMI13'', one of the "ComicBook/SecretInvasion" tie-ins revolving around Captain Britain and the Skrull Invasion of Britain. He gives the main characters the orders to secure the source of British magic, or something like that. Notable, as much as anything, for the response it raised in the media, which ranged from mild amusement to outright disgust.
* He is played by Creator/DavidMorrissey in the 2003 TV film ''TheDeal''.
* ''PrivateEye'' have two separate Brown parodies, one in which he releases Soviet-esque "Prime Ministerial Decrees" (a reference to how one MP said he had "Stalinist Tendencies" in 2007) and a comic strip called ''The Broon-ites'' (a parody of ''The Broons'') written in Scots, where the Cabinet are presented as all members of 'Pa Broon'`s extended family. They also did a one-shot parody ''Peanuts'' strip starring Gordon Brown rather than Charlie, ending with Snoopy calling him a loser to which he responds with the traditional "Good Grief!"
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': "Pinewood Derby" - He appears as one of the world leaders. He's just about recognizable through the South Park animation filter, and unlike ''Series/TheDailyShow'', he has the only other accent British people have in America - Cockney lite.
* Given much better treatment in ''TheSalvationWar'', where he had the "fortune" to have a ''far'' more pressing matter than the late '00s economic crisis happen, that of the biblical apocalypse. ''And'' he becomes famous in-universe for being the first world leader to actually respond to the demonic heralds of Hell: [[{{Blackadder}} "Sod off, Baldrick."]] using a Blackadder reference to be intentionally dismissive of them. He then formed a coalition government with UsefulNotes/DavidCameron's Tories and will most likely be heading this government throughout the events of the trilogy.
* In ''Series/TheThickOfIt'' the InvisiblePresident Tom Davis seems to have been based on Brown. We never see him but the other characters point out the similarities:
-->'''Malcolm Tucker:''' He'll be all right as long as he doesn't do the smile.
* He is a recurring character in the BBC Radio 4 comedy ''[[Radio/FifteenMinuteMusical 15 Minute Musical.]]''
* Appears in Garth Ennis's {{Crossed}} comic as prime minister during the titular infection's initial outbreak, and for much of the comic he struggles with indecisiveness in the face of a viral (and later nuclear) apocalypse.