Gordon, who is sixty three years old, was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of Bunty and John Ebenezer Brown, a Presbyterian Minister of the Church of Scotland, who had a strong influence on him. After a career in politics and serving as a formidable Chancellor of the Exchequer, he took over from Tony Blair as Labour Prime Minister in 2007 and after an unsuccessful Premiership, lost the General Election in 2010 and was replaced by a Conservative led Coalition Government fronted by David Cameron. At that point he retired to the backbenches and made few speeches and interventions in Parliament and dropped out of public view until, that is, until the Scottish Home Rule Referendum, which could have given Scotland its independence. He was parachuted in to help the 'No Campaign' after the late-August Nationalist surge boosted the 'Yes' supporters' confidence and support.
His 'Better Together' speech on the eve of the Referendum, without an autocue in sight, was magisterial. He might have been a Presbyterian minister delivering a rousing address to his congregation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J39bBV7CBJk
“ We are a nation forever – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hold yourselves with dignity. Have confidence. Our values are the values of the people of Scotland. Have confidence. Our stronger Scottish Parliament meets the needs and aspirations of the Scottish people. Have confidence. Our future lies in cooperation and sharing, and not in separation and splitting apart. That unity is our strength. Have the confidence to stand up, be counted and say for Scotland’s sake: not now, not this time, not the risks, no thanks. Have confidence to stand up and be counted and say, for Scotland’s future, ‘No’.”
It was magnificent oratory and was recognised as such in the press :
Gordon Brown roars into life : On the eve of the historic vote, ex-PM gives the speech of the campaign so why wasn't he in charge of the No campaign from the beginning ?
Gordon Brown's address to a Better Together rally has been hailed by some as his moment of redemption.
Former Prime Minister delivers barnstorming speech at Better Together rally before vote urging Unionist to 'hold your head high' and be confident of victory.
Gordon's contribution to the 'No Campaign' was not solely responsible for its 55% of the Scottish vote victory, but it certainly played a part in tipping the balance, confirming that Britain is a country where you never know when an old Prime Minister might come in handy.
The full text of Gordon's speech : http://www.cityam.com/1411051570/gordon-browns-better-together-speech-eve-scottish-independence-referendum-vote-full-video