Saturday, April 26, 2008
What Has Gordon Brown Achieved in his Year in Power?
I've asked my students in Liverpool, for our last session next Tuesday to list Godron Brown's achievements during his first year in power. I'll be surprised if the list is a long one. Can anyone think of one or two to get my own list going? Setting the ball rolling on constitutional change? Some alleviation of poverty in the last budget? Reducing British troops in Iraq? These are small potato items.
To be honest I'm hard pressed to think of a single major achievement to stand in the Brown trophy cupboard. After a stint of reasonably successful crisis management last summer, it seems to have been downhill all the way- I won't bother with the familiar depressing list. It's just when things are getting bad though politically, as John Major discovered, that they insist on getting even worse. It's probably over-egging it to perceive shades of 1979 but the public service disputes seem to be building ominously. As well as the Grangemouth Refinery strike and those by teachers and civil servants, there are disputes pending in locaal goverenment, ther health service, police, prison service and FE colleges. I wonder if Mr Hale is washing his brushes to do Gordon while he's still resident in Number 10?
Brown handled the early accidents and events well and only really came unstuck with the stupid election misfiring last autumn.
Now he (and we) must rebuild and continue the interrupted good works of the past decade. Preferably go further.
PS If we're being fair wouldn't we credit Blair with the latest tax change? Or credit Brown with much of Blair's success?
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