Brown sulks (still)
Despite hitting the campaign trail today in an effort to shake off the image that he is sulking, aides close to Gordon Brown have indicated that he is actually still sulking, although not for the reasons that will spring to most people's minds.
Brown is actually annoyed this time round because he feels that the Pope is hanging on just a little bit to long. In a surprising revelation, it is understood that Brown in 1997 met with several Italian cardinals in 'La Testa di Re' public house in Rome, and discussed who would be taking over after John Paul II died. In an even more surprising move, it is understood that the Scot managed to convince the cardinals that he would be the best man for the job.
Since then, Brown has been biding his time, and waiting to see who went first, Blair or JPII. It is not clear as to which position he would take up if both left their posts at similar times.
However, it seems history is repeating itself for Gordon Brown. While last summer, Brown felt that Blair was clinging on for too long, and should really step aside, he now feels that the pontiff is guilty of the same thing - namely hanging around when to be quite frank, it would be better for everyone if he just took his leave.
"Brown has been particularly twitchy these past few weeks" an aide commented. "I first noticed a change when the Pope first went in to hospital - Gordon had a definate spring in his step. But since then, and the Pope's seeming recovery, he has been unbearable".
It is unclear what the Catholic world would make of Brown appointment. The Scotsman is usually portrayed as being dour and slightly uncharismatic - the Italian press have latched on the the story, and the front page of 'La Repubblica' bearing the headline 'Vogliamo realmente questo fuckwit miserabile?' ('Do we really want this miserable fuckwit?').
Brwon refused to answer questions on the issue today, which mirrors his response to rumours surrounding both the "Granita pact" and the "Loch Fyne Accord". A spokesman for the palace told to me fuck off and find something better to do with my time.