Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Brown’

Posters in London on Wednesday expressed anger over perceived economic injustice, with experts predicting hard times ahead

By JOHN F. BURNS and LANDON THOMAS Jr. | NYT | Published: May 5, 2010

LONDON — Even with rioters on the streets of Athens and the 16 countries using the euro threatened with mounting turmoil, the economy remained the most frequently — and least candidly — discussed topic here as the three main parties entered the last hours of a monthlong general election campaign.

Much of the wrangling centered on arguments about which party was hiding most from the voters on the true state of the economy and its plans for dealing with it. With government deficits in Britain second in Europe only to those of Greece, some analysts even suggested that this might be a good election to lose.

But one conclusion seemed clear: Whoever wins will be forced to make deep and unpopular cuts, a task made all the more difficult if the closely contested election produces, as many commentators have forecast, a hung Parliament or a fragile coalition arrangement that might delay important economic decisions.

“This is a ticking time bomb,” said Ruth Lea, an economic adviser at the Arbuthnot Banking Group who worked at the Treasury in London in 1976 when Britain, in its worst financial crisis since World War II, was forced to go to the International Monetary Fund for assistance. “If the next government does not come to grips with this, the I.M.F. will have to come in. I remember, it was very, very humiliating.”


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Row: Gordon Brown (L) is said to have screamed at then Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) during a phonecall in 2006, pictured at the party conference the same year

By James Chapman
Last updated at 2:30 PM on 25th February 2010

  • Row as he demanded to know when Blair would quit
  • ‘Titanically demented’ Brown also rang PM at Balmoral
  • Brown denies unleashing ‘forces of hell’ on Darling
  • PM likens team woes to Fabio Capello’s England

Gordon Brown repeatedly yelled at Tony Blair ‘you ruined my life’ in a final row before the former was made Prime Minister, it was claimed last night.

The then chancellor also accused Mr Blair of a ‘Trotskyist plot’ in attempting to stop him from getting into No 10, according to a book by the journalist Andrew Rawnsley.

Mr Brown’s infamous temper flared during a two-hour meeting with Mr Blair in September 2006.

He insisted that Mr Blair give him a resignation date and ensure that no other candidate stood for leader – a promise he said he could not deliver

The new revelations about the Prime Minister’s temper came after he was forced to deny unleashing the ‘forces of hell’ on Alistair Darling and again deny being a bully.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253653/Gordon-Brown-yelled-ruined-life-Tony-Blair.html#ixzz0gZmfxSN6

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When Argentine troops invaded the Falklands in the summer of 1982, I was a twenty-five year old teacher of English as a Foreign Language, living and working in northern Italy. Like many Britons, many of whom had never heard of the Falklands, let alone be able to tell you where they were, I was outraged that these islands should be taken over by the Argentine Junta, in a bid to shore up its faltering popularity at home. Many Italian friends and aquaintances were against the war, some thought it evitabile (avoidable), one or two were with us.

My attitude to the war changed after the sinking of the General Belgrano, a former United States cruiser, the USS Phoenix (CL-46), which had survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was known as the luckiest ship in the US Navy. Hit by torpedoes from a British submarine, she proved not so lucky after her change of name and ownership. 323 Argentines were killed, many of them boys, and controversy still rages today as to whether she was a legitimate target. (more…)

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LC Glenton says the Afghan war is unjust

Christopher King, Redress Information & Analysis, 3 August 2009

Christopher King explains why it is the legal obligation of soldiers and officers who have been ordered to carry out illegal orders to disobey them, in accordance with the Nuremburg Principles, and why everyone, from army commanders to rank-and file soldiers, are personally responsible for the orders they carry out.

Lance-Corporal Joe Glenton, facing court-martial for refusing to be redeployed to Afghanistan, has written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, saying in part:

The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk, far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country. Britain has no business there. I do not believe that our cause in Afghanistan is just or right. I implore you, sir, to bring our soldiers home.

Continues >>

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President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown looking kinda, sort've chummy in the White House

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown looking kinda, sort've chummy in the White House

Obama gave Brown a DVD. Which smacks of an “Oh, Christ. What shall we get him?” moment at the petrol station

Jeremy Clarkson | The Sunday Times | March 15, 2009

Back in the Eighties, a French industrialist described Britain as an American aircraft carrier off the coast of Europe. And then last week Jacques Myard, a member of the French assembly, mocked the special relationship we claim to have with the US, hinting, with a rather cruel smile, that when it comes to foreign policy, they are the masters and we are the lapdogs, wagging our tails whenever they throw us a biscuit. Which isn’t very often.

It would be easy to scoff at this Gallic arrogance, arguing that while Monsieur Myard can sit under his wisteria enjoying some lovely cheese, his country’s antipathy towards America means that all the pop music on French radio is rubbish and that his government cannot afford a new aircraft carrier.

However, if you look at Gordon Brown’s recent trip to Washington, Johnny Frenchman would appear to have a point. Gordon gave Obama Barrack a penholder carved from the timbers of an antislavery ship. The sister ship, in fact, of the one that was broken up and turned into the desk in the Oval Office.

Barrack, meanwhile, gave Brown The Graduate on DVD. Which smacks of an “Oh, Christ. What shall we get him?” moment at the local petrol station.


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Barack Obama’s offhand approach to Gordon Brown’s Washington visit last week came about because the president was facing exhaustion over America’s economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown walk down the Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Photo: AP

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown walk down the Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Photo: AP

By Tim Shipman in Washington | Sunday Telegraph | Last Updated: 10:03PM GMT 07 Mar 2009

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama’s inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk. (more…)

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Normally, on Wednesday afternoon, the House of Commons is transformed into a bickering cockpit as the Prime Minister faces Prime Minister’s Question Time. It begins with a routine question about the PM’s engagements and is followed by questions from the leader of the main opposition party (currently, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party), and leader of the second biggest opposition party (the Liberal Democrats).

Then junior MPs vie to gain the eye of the Speaker of the House of Commons who will invite other MPs to speak, addressing them not by their  name but as, “The Right Honourable Member for…”, followed by the name of their constituency (Electoral District being the US equivalent), and the Prime Minister seeks to parry any hostile questions with the benefit of the briefing he is given by key advisors before this time-hallowed spectacle, which enthrals some and appals others, takes place.

Today, however, politics was silent, as PM Gordon Brown stood up to express his condolences to David Cameron, whose six-year-old son, Ivan, died early this morning of complications arising from Cerebral Palsy. What made the Prime Minister’s tribute deeply moving was that Gordon Brown himself lost his own prematurly-born first child who died ten days after she had been born.

In the words of a BBC correspondent, the Prime Minister and the Man Who Would Be Prime Minister are now united by an extraordinary bond as both have lost first-born children.

Out of respect for Ivan and his family, PMQs was cancelled.

Read more…

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1_fullsizeThe new battle in British politics is how to be most like Obama

James Forsyth says that both Brown and Cameron are mesmerised by the new President, who will be the lodestar of political life in this country. The contest to lay claim to his policies and style has begun — the risk being that our leaders are found sorely wanting by comparison

Read original article in The Spectator

Also in The Spectator:


Rod Liddle says that television news is intrinsically biased: it transforms what it reports. In the case of the economy, ministers are right to counteract this with a dose of optimism

thisissue_300After the revolution

It is 30 years since Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah of Iran, ending 2,000 years of monarchical rule and heralding the age of radical Islamism. Since then, the US has had no diplomatic relations with Iran. But is that about to change with the arrival of Barack Obama?

Why Iran must be brought in from the cold

And so, the work began

The rhetoric may not have soared, but Obama’s inaugural speech proved that he is more than ready to get down to business


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We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care any more – providing we don’t offend the Israelis. It’s not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel’s side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs – who, as we all know, only understand force.

Ever since 1948, we’ve been hearing this balderdash from the Israelis – just as Arab nationalists and then Arab Islamists have been peddling their own lies: that the Zionist “death wagon” will be overthrown, that all Jerusalem will be “liberated”. And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise “restraint” – as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery. Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course. (more…)

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