Gordon Brown

A plan recently unearthed to de-seat the former British prime minister has got Volvo all in a tizzy. And it all comes down to image.

Until just over a year ago, Gordon Brown (pictured above) was the British prime minister. That was before his Labour government was defeated by David Cameron's Conservative coalition. But before that, Brown spent ten long years as Chancellor of the Exchequer – the UK's equivalent to our Secretary of the Treasury and a traditional stepping stone to the premiership.

In that capacity, he served under longtime rival Tony Blair, but there were many who wanted to see Brown in the top office instead. Documents released this past weekend revealed their plan to oust Blair from 10 Downing Street (the PM's official residence) and install Brown in his place. The name of the plan: Project Volvo.

The orchestrated (but never implemented) internal party coup got its name from Brown's bland image, which his proponents likened to the Swedish cars. (Not exactly as sexy as Project Valkyrie, then.) The automaker, for its part, objects to the comparison, insisting that its products are far more charismatic and exciting than the British political leader. Which may very well be the case today, but old reputations die hard. As do the careers of British politicians, apparently. Follow the jump for the official press release.

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PROJECT VOLVO - IT JUST SHOWS HOW OUT OF TOUCH SENIOR POLITICIANS WERE

Leaked documents labelled Project Volvo, revealed today, that outline a plot to unseat former Prime Minister Tony Blair show just how out of touch with reality senior politicians within the previous government had become with modern Britain. The reason for the name 'Project Volvo', according to reports, relates to Mr Brown's apparent character traits of being 'dependable, robust but ultimately dour'.

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.

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!"