Just before he became Prime Minister, Gordon Brown published a series of pen portraits of his heroes in a book entitled Courage. This was undoubtedly from the heart stuff and, as Brown made clear in his introductory chapter, the courage of individuals such as Edith Cavell and Robert Kennedy had richly inspired him during his political career. Today I learn from the New Statesman that Brown’s last two acts as Prime Minister were to write to Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela, ‘two people who have inspired him hugely’. Since Brown has almost completely disappeared from the public stage and has expressed no desire to re-enter it, these could not be considered cheap gestures to the British electorate but, rather, deliberately supportive acts. Here, for the record, is the text of his letter to Aung San Suu Kyi: ‘This is one of the last letters I write as Prime Minister and I want it to be to you, to champion your cause for democracy in Burma and to say I will do everything I can support you. You are, for me, what courage is and I will fight for you to be free and your people to be free. Yours sincerely, Gordon Brown.’ To paraphrase Shakespeare,  ‘nothing became his political life as the leaving of it.’