He raises his fist, thumps the back of the chair, shouts at his assistants, seizes them by the  lapels, reduces his chief script writer to a quivering wreck and has even forcibly removed a secretary from her seat in front of a computer for typing too slowly.

So Mr Brown is in trouble again.  The release of a new book,  The End of The Party,  describing how the Prime Minister bullies his staff has coincided with the disclosure that staff at number 10 have phoned the  national helpline supporting those who are bullied at work.  So Gordon is not only incompetent and difficult, he is also a bully.

Well, we’ve known that Mr Brown had a temper for years. There were reports of rows with Mr Blair a long time before the latter left office.  And Peter Mandleson has found himself on the end of Gordon’s tether on many occasions.  Others have resigned, notably Ruth Kelly and Geoff Hoon because they have found the heat in the ‘kitchen’ too hot. 

So why does he do it.  The emollient, not to say unctuous, Mandleson, has sought to play down the difficulty by claiming that his boss is a deeply committed and passionate man, who demands the highest standards from himself and others and is determined to get things done. That’s all very well, but he is also the chief executive of UK inc. and if the same behaviour is expressed in the international arena, it could start a war.  It’s a thin dividing line between irritability and tyranny.  Josef Stalin was also a bad tempered man.

So Mr Brown has become a liability.  He has shown himself to be dangerously impulsive and emotional. Of course, other political leaders have shown the same characteristics.  The new film ‘Into the Storm’ depicted Winston Churchill as impulsive, boorish and at times bullying, but he was also capable of listening, reflection, honesty and diplomacy.  Are we sure that Mr Brown expresses the same qualities?  Tony Blair did, but perhaps he was more duplicitous.       

To lose one’s temper demonstrates weakness.   Anger is very closely allied to fear.  If we feel threatened, it takes maturity not to turn on our assailants and attack them.  Mr Brown is an insecure and frightened man.  We only have to look at his bitten nails to see that.  He has a hunted look in his eyes.  He has reached the point where he can trust nobody.  If his greatest supporter is Peter Mandleson, then it really is time to go.