Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Be Taken In By His Great Big Grin

The Great Man has spoken-everywhere. Brown, the global statesman, appearing on all the TV news bulletins, every inch the world leader. First, it was Gordon with the Big Oil Producers demanding a solution to the global oil crisis. Then, still wearing the same suit, tie and grin, Gordon the peacemaker announcing a UK ban on cluster bombs. 

Only they were not big oil producers and  the UK  cluster bomb ban is nothing new.

The 'oil producers' consisted of three minor players Shell, BP and TOTAL - together producing just 2 percent of the world oil. But it gave Brown a chance to  deflect the public concern over an increase in fuel tax onto the global oil crisis. It will have no effect whatsoever. 

And then - with that grin again - an announcement to ban cluster bombs left more questions than answers. What are we doing dropping these vile weapons in the first place? What difference will a UK ban make, when the big arsenals of these terrible weapon are held by the US, China, Russia? And the UK will probably still reserve the right to use them - presumably when a prime minister decides it is "the right thing to do." 

There was no mention of the stockpile of cluster bombs the US military keeps at bases on UK soil. And what about similar weapons being developed for the future - cluster bombs in all but name? 

So this is New Labour's fight-back strategy after the election disasters of the last few weeks. Ignore the Big Issues, the things that are really pissing off people, and instead spin the senior statesman with the scary grin.

Meanwhile the clouds are gathering over New Labour (although we will probably have to wait until after the autumn Party conference) and the Conservatives are rubbing their hands with glee.

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