"The Prime Minister of Great Britain is a man too ill to be holding the Office." This was the conclusion last week of a senior civil servant liaising regularly with Gordon Brown. For reasons which will become clear, the person involved will not go public with the evidence for this conclusion. The same applies to a high-ranking Treasury official who told us "In both a physical and mental sense, the Prime Minister is a very sick man, seriously disabled." Three years ago, an Opposition MP told nby "He is on extremely heavy doses of cutting-edge anti-depressants, but so far they have made little difference". And during the last fortnight, another high-ranking government source claimed "He is now on pills which restrict the foods he can eat and what he can drink. He is losing the sight of his good eye quite rapidly. It's a mess, and nobody knows what to do".
Rumours have circulated about Gordon Brown's health for a number of years. As long ago as 2004, Simon Heffer wrote in the Spectator that he displayed many signs of Asperger's syndrome: humourlessness, lack of irony and obsessional behaviour patterns. Nby itself ran a long piece in February 2007, predicting fairly accurately how Brown's rigid responses to given situations would prove to be inappropriate, and his behaviour in the end dysfunctional. We noted at the time 'If the Labour Party can organise seventy-three signatories to a document of intent named 'Anyone but Gordon', then there must be something about the man which might make him unfit to be Prime Minister'. In fact, we had already been advised by then that the PM had been on large doses of SSRI anti-depressants - the class of drugs derived from Prozac.
The overall story is well known in lobbyist circles. A senior member of this group told us that "Brown is in a very dark place. Sarah [hiswife, Mrs Brown] has begged him on several occasions to seek help, but he resists most offers of advice." Yet another popular journalist said "I'm afraid all the stories about him throwing things around and screaming at secretaries are entirely true. He behaves impeccably in public and can really turn on the charm when he needs to in private - but inside the bunker he behaves appallingly. He's also binging on junk food late at night - you can see he's gaining weight".