Friday, August 05, 2011
Where is Gordon When We Need Him?
Anyone who has read this blog in the past two or three years will know I'm no fan of Gordon Broon. The book of his time in power by Lodge and Seldon- Brown at Number 10- did a little to ameliorate my view though the current one by Jonathan Powell -The New Machiavelli- is brutally critical of the former Chancellor and PM. Yet maybe such criticism ignores his greatest contribution to British and world politics?
Every economist and columnist seems to be saying in respect of the current crisis that the banks are in much better shape for this one but we are still teetering on the edge of the precipice because of the total lack of political leadership offered by EU leaders and by Obama who is seen as having mishandled his own debt problem.
Maybe this is all fair comment but it cannot be denied that in autumn 2008, it was Brown, who, suddenly shedding his characteristic caution, boldly provided the lead which other countries followed.
And finally, I am very sympathetic to politicians who often work 18 hour days, who choose to take proper holidays in the summer- its good for them, their families, and ultimately the county itself. But for Cameron and Osborne both to be away at this time of peril is not good politics at all.
Oh, and how he saw the problems of insolvent banks coming and that was the reason he kept us out of the euro - although he provides no answer as to the obvious question "why, if you thought there was a risk of that, did you not take steps to ensure ours were solvent?"
I'm afraid, as ever, my stance on Brown remains impolite scepticism. I accept entirely your point about the lead he provided in a moment of real crisis - I just think had he done his job properly in the 10 years beforehand the crisis in our banks would have been much less and it might not have occurred at all (as in Australia, Canada, Norway...).
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