The best of Gordon Brown

Posted by Richard D North under Death of ideology / Presentation or policy? on 16 October 2008

After two previous posts which were rather negative about Gordon Brown and his style of government, let’s look on the bright side.

Gordon Brown is almost certainly not a great intellect (though he has his fans on that score). He reads serious books, but that proves rather little. According to John Lloyd, Gordon Brown’s thinking is more interestingly of the right than of the left. For a man who wants to get things done, he certainly doesn’t seem very diplomatic. But he may have grasped the right of end of some important sticks. He may be an important figure in the history of 21st Century globalisation.

Gordon Brown is a serious man and seems seriously interested in the world economy. He has spoken rather well about globalisation and the need for open markets, light-touch regulation and the needs of the world’s poor. Several years ago, he developed ideas for how the G8 and others could reduce the debt of the poorest coutries. He has consistently argued for increased state aid flows to the Third World. He has argued for some months that the IMF ought to become an early warning system for the world’s economy. He has suggested that the World Bank become the bank of environmental security as well as economic development. He wants the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF, World Bank) to bcome the location of international regulatory oversight. 

Actually, there is a good deal of serious doubt that reducing Third World debt has been quite as helpful as supposed, or that increasing aid flows (insofar as it has happened) is all that valuable. In particular, it isn’t obvious that specific Brown proposals from the 1990s on the means of debt reduction have been adopted.

Even now, it isn’t clear quite how original Gordon Brown’s ideas for global financial reform really are. And of course we have no idea how sucessful they will be.

It would be fair to say that Gordon Brown does not seem to have done himself any favours in persuading the rest of the world’s leaders to follow his lead. He seems deliberately at various points to have snubbed his fellow EU leaders and George Bush. 

Still, we may yet come to accept that the “Brown Plan”for dealing with the credit crunch really sprang from his brain and was a success. It may yet emerge that his wider ideas are also really his, and that he steered them into happy reality.

In short, it just possible that this brooding, perhaps paranoid, certainly difficult man had talents which turned out to be hugely valuable.

Be Sociable, Share!

No related posts.


This post's tags


Share this post

Be Sociable, Share!

Keep track of it

Related pages