Wednesday, December 12, 2007

 

Another of Gordon's 'Pathological flaws' is Revealed

Tom Bower's biography of Gordon Brown, makes many points about the character of the man: the energy, the drive for perfection, the precocious intellect, the towering ambition and so on. But he also talks of the indecision and the lack of bottle when big questions arrive on his desk. The indecision over the November election was a catastrophe from which he has yet to recover but we read today of his half hearted attitude towards the Lisbon Treaty which some see as the old rejected draft constitution in another form, others as the necessary streamlining which the EU needs now it has 27 members.

Brown has decided to sign it but has baulked at joining in the ceremony; instead he will sign it in private! Apparently Merkel and Barosso are in 'despair' at his dithering. One diplomat quoted reckoned he had copped the worst of both worlds:

"To anti-Europeans he's simply run away and accepted the signing of the treaty, to pro-Europeans he has simply refused to stand his ground and fight, and for the rest he has opted out.His reputation in Europe among heads of government is hanging by a thread. He has no position in Europe, he occupies no ground. If he wants to send a Euro-signal that he's indecisive, he's just sent it."

William Hague was offered an open goal:

The shadow foreign secretary, said last night: "Some people say Gordon Brown's problems are that he isn't decisive and he lacks political courage. He couldn't have done more to confirm that than this ridiculous fudge. He's dithered over it for a week and now he decided that he'll sign this treaty but he doesn't have the guts to do it in public."

Number 10's spokesman avowed that Brown was 'incredulous' that this decision was dominating the talk at Lisbon, which if true, is perhaps, even more worrying.

Comments:
I've picked up on the same theme today.

Party issues aside Brown always struck me as a cerebral and serious politician. He genuinely detested (rather than just affected to detest) anything to do with managing the media or consdering how things play in the press etc. I can easily imagine him coming down on any adviser or colleague who raised issues like that and it's commendable to think that his sole focus is 'doing' rather than 'promoting'.

Unfortunately that's not the political world we live in - he's at best 30 year behind the curve and I do have some sympathy with that. If he keeps making these almost schoolboy errors he'll lose power regardless of much of the good stuff he's done or intends to do...
 
I think this bit of nonsense has more to do with GB's distressing lack of enthusiasm for the EU than with his indecisiveness. Despite his occasionally warmish words about Europe, his famous tests for the UK to join the Euro gave the game away. They looked as though they’d been constructed specifically to ensure that all five couldn't possibly be achieved simultaneously.

After all the angst the Blair/Bush years caused you Skip perhaps you find it, as I do, a tad depressing that our new PM clearly loves all things American a whole lot more than he does anything "continental"! He even prefers to holiday across the pond. But at least he’s starting to get the hang of PMQs...
 
Hughesey
Agree with all this. I do hope he's getting the hang of PMQs. Last week he seemed to manage a 'draw' according to the commentariat and today I missed it as I was -reluctantly- doing my present shopping.
 
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