Brown is a fool and doesn't understand what is about to be unleashed.
TV crews summoned to No 10 on Tuesday night for a hastily arranged round of interviews report Mr Brown's sullen demeanour and the way he ripped into one correspondent – once the cameras were switched off – for daring to raise the matter. "He takes very personally the suggestion of financial impropriety aimed at him and doesn't understand why that accusation could be made," one aide points out.
Yet no one who knows Mr Brown can think him capable of financial sharp practice, if only because he wouldn't have the first idea of how to do it. It is precisely because he is so uninterested in money that his family had to organise his affairs to prevent his flat being declared a health hazard, while it was his friends who, years ago, spotted vast amounts of unspent salary sitting in his current account and suggested he might consider buying a property.
In fact, it might be argued that Mr Brown's lack of interest in money is his undoing. For a start it cuts him off from the everyday concerns of people who worry about mortgages, overdrafts, and even the cost of groceries. Someone who relies on staff to buy his suits – usually in batches – will have no thought for those who must navigate life's daily necessities.