Gordon could have scrawled a note in his felt-tip pen. He could have placed a call to the Number 10 switchboard. He could have asked young Ed to have a private word with Dave. "Dear David; I would like to let you know that I am minded to declare my candidature for the Chairmanship of the IMF. Please let me know if your government is prepared to back me. Regards, Gordon." In the event, Brown's stiff-necked pride didn't allow him to do any of these things; perhaps the pain of a third snub, following the nation's rejection of him and the Duke of Cambridge's blanking, was just too much for Gordon.
This allowed William Hague on yesterday's politics show to say "he didn't ask" rather than admit that we wouldn't have supported Brown anyway. If we're ever going to get rid of the man to his Cape Cod cottage and away from these shores, he's going to have to be a bit less prideful about declaring what he wants.