There is a phrase being bandied about by the Labour party whenever Gordon Brown does something stupid. The phrase is “well, that’s Gordon” and we are hearing it practically every day now.
The reaction we are supposed to have is, oh well, he may be a bit clumsy and irascible but he is really very good with economics and, well, he’s like your mate who can be a bit of a prat sometimes but he has a heart of gold and you wouldn’t swap him for the world.
This is BOLLOCKS!
Mr. Brown may well be irascible and clumsy but this does not mean that he has sound judgement or that he is a good leader of th British economy. Let me restate some of Mr. Brown’s blunders.
- Taxing dividend payments depressing pension funds
- Selling the nations gold at the bottom of the market because he thought he had abolished boom and bust. (and announcing his intention first to drive the price lower)
- Setting up a Tripartite system of financial regulation which resulted in no clear responsibility for regulation of the banks.
- Deluding himself that inflation was low because cheap Chinese imports kept high street inflation low while gigantic asset price inflation took place in the stock and property markets.
- Running a budget deficit even during the boom years
- Dithering while Norther Rock collapsed.
There is another little myth that Mr. Brown himself propagates. This is that the financial crises is global in nature and therefore he cannot be blamed for any of it. This, also, is bollocks. The reason the crises is global is because each responsible government member around the world was, to a greater or lesser extent, imprudent and incompetent. If a group of people go into a bar and drink beer and all get drunk it is not an excuse for one of them to say: well, we were all doing it.
And the leaders of the hyper-capitalist trend which lay behind the crises were the United States and the United Kingdom. Remember Brown preaching sanctimoniously about “light touch” regulation to the other countries in the EU?
Yes the fact that Gordon Brown is an unpleasant character is beside the point.
The fact that he is incompetent is not.