Monday, November 12, 2007


Another Mega Misjudgement By Gordon?

Seems to me Gordon has deemed himself to have made another pretty major misjudgement.. and who are we to argue? When he came to power in June, he did a number of things which were well received: those democratic things about the constitution, a low key approach to problems and those spectacular 'goats' appointments(that's 'government of all talents' to you). Foremost among the latter was that of Mark Malloch Brown, a former senior UN official well known for his derisive views on the Bush administration.

At the time many of us(me included) took this as a signal that Brown wished to create a distance between himself, his predecessor and a UK-USA relationship which most Brits thought uncomfortably close. Malloch Brown, along with Douglas Alexander, made speeches which were interpreted as criticisms of US foreign policy. These too were welcomed as necessary readjustments. Until now, that is. On the World at One a feature was devoted to Gordon's speech this evening on foreign policy which is predicted to 'correct' his earlier, misjudged 'anti-US' signals. Malloch Brown predicted Brown would not be 'joined at the hip' to the US as Blair had been, nor would the Trans-Atlantic relationship have the same 'emotional intensity' as it had under Tony.

Now it seems that Gordon is regretting his sideways shuffle away from the US and deems the relationship in need of repair. We also learn that in addition to the appointment and the speeches, Brown's studied coolness was not appreciated by the denizen of the White House during Brown's recent visit. So Gordon is going to make up for it tonight with copious declarations of love. And I should think Malloch Brown had better abandon his attempts to find a permanent home as he's unlikely to stay long in post. [It would also seem as if his singular lack of modesty has also served to pick up a bevy of enemies along his way in life to date.]

I'm more than a bit disappointed by all this. I was happy to see a few indications that the British government had a bit of backbone, could risk a little criticism, but now it's Gordon who plans to roll over on his back and ask George to tickle his stomach. Another question springs to mind as well. If, as appears to be the case, Gordon is going to continue Blairite reforms of the public services, with more reliance than ever on the private sector and pick up Blair's arse-licking habits in relation to Bush, what difference between himself and Blair is there left to notice?

"what difference between himself and Blair is there left to notice" - I think he may prove to be better at losing elections...
I don't think this was / is an example of a change of tact - just a shamelessly transparent example of the sort of 'positioning' that all modern politicians engage in, focusing on 'messages' and 'how things land / play' rather than any substantive policy changes.

In his early days Brown needed to through the party some scraps to indicate the break with Blair, hence his early speeches and Malloch Brown's and Alexander's. He would also have had his eye on the election that never was.

Now an election is about 18 months out, there'll be a new US president in that time and the electoral requirements are different - scared of the impact of not holding an EU referendum Brown needs to bolster his alanticist credentials, hence tonights speech.
Mark Malloch Brown, is the person who changed the UN landscape from a international organization into a Secreet Service Agency like KGB. During the years of MMB (this is how he is called) he installed all types and models of "fire-walls" to ensure that the public will never know what really was going on inside the walls of UNDP and UN.
Major corruption affairs, procurements, deals, money flying to dictators, support terrorists etc, happened under his watch at the UN.
He was excellent to know and circumvent the laws of the UN, but never though or cared of why those laws where there in first place. B-ORR
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