Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crisis What Crisis? Brown's Farewell Tour?

Beleaguered Brown could feel the Callaghan hand of history on him as he begins his doomed 'save the world' tour, prompting many at Westminster to ponder whether the prime minister has lost the plot. 

As part of his pre-election party political posturing, Brown's jolly jaunt, allowed a Cable classic in the commons, leaving Brown increasingly alone, to nurse his painful fiscal stimulus with the EU president branding it "a road to hell"

The Orange Party flew a kite earlier with speculation how long Brown would stay in Blighty? The answer is now clear. Not very long, as he massages his own ego with an over-hyped tour to prop up his borrowing binge and spending spree, dressed up as a fiscal stimulus. 

As he tours first Wall Street and then Latin America in advance of hosting next week's pointless G20 summit, many at home are left wondering what exactly is he playing at, with memories of the late Labour premier Jim Callaghan's gaff in similar circumstances.

What is happening smacks of Blair's contrived farewell tour in the dying days of his premiership. Is this what Brown plans - to go out and to the country on an artificially created high? 

The Orange Party genuinely believes he's lost the plot and has said so on a number of occasions and, like Ben Brogan, believes there's something distinctly 'odd' going on at the moment. 

His five-day mission impossible to save the world, didn't start off at all well. Savaged at the EU, not least due to Dan Hannan's magnificent and forthright put down: "You have run out of our money pathologically unable to accept responsibility". Now playing to huge crowds on YouTube and across the US, thanks to Drudge.

Today Strasbourg tomorrow the world. If it's Wednesday it must be New York, then Chile and Brazil. Brown is clearly uncomfortable in the bear pit of the commons chamber or maybe he doesn't give a hoot about parliamentary democracy. 

No trip to the White House this time however. Not even to return the useless boxed set of DVDs which won't play in the UK.  

Today once again was the battle of deputies. Only Hague is not the deputy leader of the opposition and doesn't want the job. Harman is not deputy prime minister although she certainly wants to be and Cable isn't leader of the LibDems but should be. 

Cable pressed Harman hard on Bank of England boss King's warning to Downing Street to shelve plans for a huge public spending spree, suggesting he's  mounting a "very British coup" by sending his tank's up the Mall to seize control of economic policy. Nice one, Vince. So that's why King met the Queen.

Either way the battle of deputies was another chance to wrong-foot the Tories, starving Cameron of the oxygen of publicity as conservative election strategy is to try to get Cameron up front and personal.

Big domestic and foreign issues will not go away and indeed are coming to the fore. Not least the vexed question of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, Brown is playing to Washington and Baghdad's tune but Afghanistan needs a decision, particularly with Obama's new troop surge about to kick off. 

Thank goodness for Simon Jenkins delivering a powerful plea in the Guardian, warning of the hopeless bloody war in the new Vietnam. A view shared and indeed observed by the Orange Party many months ago. 

At home, Brown stands alone in the world with only his new best friend Obama pushing for a massive borrowing binge and spending spree as a cure all for all the economic ills. That will not play out well in the US media which is increasingly turning on Obama, reported here on Sunday, branding him the boring teleprompter president

At home, Downing Street is with Brown and in denial, despite warnings of the social effects of the recession depression, pushing up costs.

Burying his head in the sand, Brown has shelved this year's Comprehensive Spending Review, leaving ministers and the opposition in the dark about how much each of the big spending departments will have to play with.

Those with long memories or a dab hand at a quick Wiki will remember Sunny Jim Callaghan returning from sunning himself during the bitter end game of the 'winter of discontent' and brushing off the gloom.

Callaghan later admitted regarding the winter of discontent that he had "let the country down" but not before returning home from an economic summit  in 1979, when he was asked: What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?

Gentleman Jim replied: "Well, that's a judgement that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos." 

Remind you of anyone? Bloomberg is today reporting the crisis and dire state of the UK economy going pear-shaped as no-one wants to buy our bonds.

"Crisis what crisis?" screamed the Sun's front page back in '79. Callaghan was forever dogged by the headline, which contributed to Labour's subsequent defeat and a Tory landslide, under the slogan: 'Labour isn't working'.

The questions which now remain is whether the deluded prime minister will dig himself into the bunker on his return and cling on to the bitter end, taking his Party and the country down with him. Or go to the country soon, for the good of the Party, the country and his health. 

Brown should heed the Callaghan warnings: Be careful what you say to the press and don't throw another paddy on the plane. 

1 comment:

Oldrightie said...

He'll go back in the bunker. Did you see his departure from Starsbourg?