New book puts Scotland on the shrink’s sofa

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By Rory Reynolds

A TOP US psychologist has profiled Prime Minister Gordon Brown – and come up with some startling results.

Anne Ellis – a successful US psychological profiler – reckons that Gordon Brown “doesn’t cut the mustard in popularity stakes” and his personality has made is almost impossible for him to win over the voters.

Ellis also argues he is too much of a perfectionist to take decisions and has already lost the battle for popularity.

She says: “Gordon probably believed he was doing the serious work of running the country whilst Tony Blair was courting popularity.

“But Brown has failed to see is that in today’s terms the role of the politician – it’s more a public relations job that any other.”

Ellis’ witty and sometimes scathing account of the Scottish character features in a new book on the Scottish character by former First Minister Henry McLeish and veteran political journalist Tom Brown.

Ellis also examines the Scottish psyche in general – which her co-authors McLeish and Brown say is crucial for the future of Scottish society.

At the launch of the book in Edinburgh yesterday, McLeish said the book provides an interesting look in the mirror for many Scots.

He said: “We asked Anne Ellis for a psychological profile of Scotland as a character in general and she sent back a whole chapter complete with psycho-profile of Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond – more than we bargained for.

“We thought long and hard about how we could capture Scotland in 2009 in relation to what’s happening globally, in Europe in the UK and in Scotland.

“We started with the assumption that Scotland is a place of great talent, wealth, and huge potential – but our basic premise is that has not been realised.

“We looked at Scotland as though it was a personality – look at the character of the country.

“We tried to look at some of the symptoms, the analysis and looked towards the future and how we could apply some of these ideas to a different kind of Scotland.

“We live in a time of amazing change – but sometimes I don’t think Scotland is quite tuned in to that change.

“We have an 80/20 society in Scotland – 80% working 20% on benefits and income support.

“If there is to be social mobility then inequality has to be taken far more seriously.”

Brown added: “It’s all to do with stereotypes of the Scot – and we’ve only ourselves to blame.

“These character traits like pervasive violence and downbeat attitudes translate to become social issues.

“The debate has to start now and the wrong place to have that debate is the Scottish Parliament because they’re not up to it – it should be with the Scottish people.”

Brown added: “The book does start with a health warning – in case you’ve got a blood pressure problem.

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