Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Labour internet activists responding to blog posts and leaving comments on newspaper sites have taken to referring to Mr Osborne as 'Gideon'. One comment at Iain Dale's place says
Gideon Osborne (yes that is his real name)
You'd think that was fair enough - but actually it isn't. Let's look elsewhere for reasons why.

Firstly it's important to remember that Mr Brown's full name is James Gordon Brown - he is referred to as Gordon.

This may be because his parents chose to use his middle name, maybe because there was another James or Jim or Jimmy in the family and it would have been confusing to have more than one in the same place at the same time. It happens often, which is how people get nicknames.

Maybe, at some point in his life, Mr Brown himself decided he didn't want to be called James/Jim/Jimmy Brown - it could even have been because there was another chap called James Brown, a singer, and he didn't like the association, perhaps he had been teased about it.

So, it's apparently all right for Mr Brown to use whichever of his names to use, and this sets a precedent that should be respected - but it isn't. They're using double standards, something we've all got used to over the last thirteen years. There's one rule for them, and a different rule for everybody else - and anybody who doesn't agree with their view of the world is a target for that they think might be derision and/or abuse.

Maybe those Labour 'activists' think they're being 'clever' or 'smart', especially as these same activists would probably be irritated if their party's leader was frequently referred to as Jimmy Brown. Maybe they're using their own personal values to judge other people's reactions and opinions, and perhaps they even sit there sniggering when they refer to Mr Osborne as Gideon - who knows?

Mrs Rigby has to ask why they should think Mr Osborne might be upset. She wonders if they think it's a disgusting name.

If so, they're wrong.

Gideon was a Biblical character. He was a very strong character. It's easier to use a quote to explain,
Gideon was the son of Joash the Abiezrite from Ophrah. He was Israel's fourth major Judge after the birth of Joshua.

A large army of Midianites and other nations united against Israel. The Lord told Gideon that he would be made strong and that he was to save Israel from the Midianites.

Gideon raised an army of 32,000, but after several tests by the Lord, the army was whittled down to 300 men. God did this so the people of Israel would not boast to Him that they saved themselves by their own strength.

At night, Gideon and his 300 men lit torches, blew trumpets and shouted "For the Lord and for Gideon."

Then they stood by and watched as the enemy panicked, and the Lord caused the enemy troops to begin fighting and killing each other.

Midian never recovered, and the land was at peace for 40 years during Gideon's lifetime.

His victory over the Midianites was remembered for many generations as the "Day of Midian" (Isaiah 9:4). The story of Gideon is found in Judges, chapters 6-8.

The name Gideon means "he who casts down."
So, you see, having Gideon in charge meant 40 years of peace and left the enemy in disarray - the enemy even managed to fight amongst themselves and kill each other.

So, maybe these smart, clever, witty Labour activists aren't quite as smart or clever as they think they are. Their ignorance, lack of knowledge and lack of education is glaringly obvious to those who either know otherwise, or who take a moment to look things up.

Maybe they will stop and think what they're doing - because by trying to be rude they are unwittingly likening Mr Osborne to a brave, strong and honest man - which is the very last thing they want to do.

Labour, under the leadership of Mr Brown, is currently trying to build a coalition against the Conservatives, they're desperate to keep them from government. They should read the story of the Biblical Gideon and see the parallels, and realise that for some people invoking the name of a Biblical fighter, honest ruler and judge is a positive thing that might even influence their vote.

Some people believe names have power over the character of the individual, just look at all those baby-naming books with their explanations, and this is why those Labour activists should remember that
The name Gideon means "he who casts down."
They should also remember that
[Gideon's] enemy panicked, and ... began fighting and killing each other.
Perhaps these Labour activists should be very careful what they wish for.



Uncle Marvo said...

It proves only that his parents didn't like him much.

Still, called have called him Sue.

Seems that the luvvies are struggling if that's the only thing they can find to have a go about.

Mrs Rigby said...

"Seems that the luvvies are struggling if that's the only thing they can find to have a go about."


Macheath said...

Jilly Cooper's 1980's book 'Class' - a light-hearted look at British society - features a parade of stereotypes including an avid but rather pathetic social climber called Gideon Upward.

I've suspected for a while that the Oxbridge Labour Students I mixed with in my misspent youth are behind much of today's political mayhem - the timing would be spot on for this to start as some kind of in-joke for the class of '83.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Macheath.
Maybe that's the reason. They like stereotypes don't they.