Some good news at last for Gordon Brown. He has made it into Time Magazine's 100, an annual hit parade of the great and the good. He is one of twenty "leaders and revolutionaries", along with Hillary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy and the inevitable Barack Obama. In fact, he's in at number 2 (after Ted Kennedy), though I can't make out whether that position reflects Time's estimation of him or if the order is entirely random.
Even better for the beleaguered PM, his mugshot is accompanied by a flattering profile by none other than JK Rowling. And it's clear that in her eyes (whatever the rest of us think) Gordon is no Muggle. She positively gushes:
Back in the mid-1990s, when he was new labour's brooding, intellectual heavyweight, I was a lone parent struggling to get by.... I was tired of hearing government ministers lambaste the likes of me as irresponsible scroungers. I wanted Gordon Brown in charge.
After a brief resumé of his heroic achievements during the Blair years, JK celebrates Nick Robinson's recent anointing of the Weltskanzler:
When capitalism shuddered on its foundations last year, Brownite words like responsibility and morality started issuing from the unlikeliest politicians. Global financial regulation, something Brown had advocated long before last September, shot to the top of the political agenda. Now Prime Minister, Brown took a lead among European leaders in setting a course for economic recovery. He hosted the most important meeting of the world's major economies in years. In doing so, the British press said, he had become "Chancellor to the world."
Brown has "a formidable intellect and a work ethic to shame a nest of ants," thinks Harry Potter's inventor. He's also "affable, funny and gregarious, a great listener, a kind and loyal friend". She concludes with an affirmation: "I still want Gordon Brown in charge".
Even Harry Potter's magic couldn't transform Gordon Brown's prospects at this stage, I fear.
There's another Brit on that section of the list, too: Boris Johnson, about to celebrate his first year in office as Mayor of London. But it's good and bad news for him. The good news is that the accompanying profile is just as gushing as JK's tribute to Gordon. He is "the most original new face in British politics since the emergence of Margaret Thatcher," it proclaims. "His instant and natural wit, always lively and almost never nasty, recalls Harold Macmillan, Winston Churchill and even Benjamin Disraeli, though he has mastered self-deprecation as they never did."
The bad news? The profile was written in a Florida prison cell, by convicted fraudster and former Telegraph owner Conrad Black.