Sometimes one comes across people whose beliefs are so bizarre - Scientologists, for example - that one really wonders whether they actually believe that small green aliens chose Ohio in 1964 as the place to reveal the secret of the Universe, or they're just pretending to believe it. So with Gordon Brown.
When the Telegraph reports this morning that Brown blames Thatcher for the stalling of Britain's social mobility, one is tempted to reply with a knowing wink "Ah yes, the same Mrs Thatcher that brought share ownership to millions of ordinary people by ensuring everyone could subscribe to the British Gas privatisation; that allowed millions to buy their own council houses and escape the clutch of the State, that deregulated the financial markets to bring barrow boys into the boardrooms, that encouraged an entire generation of small business and enterprise to flourish."
But of course Brown's intellect is not of the first order. Or even second-rate. He was a college lecturer who taught politics - the 70s equivalent of media studies - in an institution of such academic mediocrity that it failed even to qualify as a polytechnic. So he may actually believe this guff.
While the rest of the country knows damn well that it's Labour's Welfarism that has stalled social mobility over the past 11 years, Brown may well be away with his personal fairies. A cabinet minister's April 2008 quote repeated in CCHQ's annual report that "The trouble is, Gordon is basically mental." just confirms what many of us already suspect. And his pronouncement over the weekend that he will retire 'after winning the next election for Labour' ranks with "Busse and Steiner's armies will throw back the Soviet thrust and Berlin will be freed by May" as the triumph of fantasy over reality.
The real problem is that the world's fifth largest economy is stuck with a fantasist, a mentalist, as Prime Minister at a time when the nation faces great challenges; a man whose judgment is profoundly flawed. Whilst allowing him to remain in office gives the Tories an electoral advantage, it puts the country in great peril. A dangerous choice indeed.