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That was the decade that was.
Four Prime Ministers and four General Elections this last decade of British politics has been a roller coaster like no other in living memory. The Queen’s enduring presence as the nation’s figurehead may have provided a veneer of continuity and stability but she reigned over a nation whose people were becoming increasingly restless and disenchanted with the political settlement.
In 2009, Gordon Brown was a beleaguered presence in Number 10, having gone from being the “Iron” Chancellor of the Exchequer of Tony Blair’s dominant New Labour to glowering and gloomy presence presiding over a fractious and weary government. His administration was engulfed by a global financial crisis for which his decade at the head of the Treasury must make him at least in part responsible for causing. At the General Election in 2010 he proved a clunky and awkward campaigner, unable to either inspire or conjure up a vision for the nation he had spent a political lifetime desperate to lead.