Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
10 June 2011

Volvo: don’t sully our brand with Gordon Brown’s image

Car maker says Volvos are dynamic, and other similar words to that effect

By Jason Stamper

The revelations in the Daily Telegraph today that there was a plot code-named ‘Project Volvo’ that sought to unseat former Prime Minister Tony Blair in favour of Gordon Brown, have been taken in good humour by Volvo.

Peter Rask, regional president of Volvo Car UK, Ireland and Iceland, said: “If only the Labour party had been like today’s Volvos – dynamic, agile and innovative – perhaps the UK economy would have been in a better place than it finds itself today!”

The car manufacturer added: “Clearly before labelling the plot, Labour politicians of the time hadn’t acquainted themselves with the Volvo brand in the last decade with cars like the new S60 and V60 bringing a new dimension to the brand in terms of design and driver appeal.”

Best not to mention, then, Jeremy Clarkson’s Sunday Times review of the Volvo S60. While it was mostly positive and did include the line that its handling is like, “pouring cream on Uma Thurman’s thigh,” Clarkson also opined that it is “not especially nice to drive” and, “can do the business in the same way that a teenage boy can tidy his room and make breakfast.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

The code-name for the alleged plot to oust Tony Blair was apparently based on Gordon Brown’s supposed character traits of being “dependable, robust but ultimately dour”. Not at all like a modern Volvo, in other words.


Jason Stamper is NS technology correspondent and editor of Computer Business Review.