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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Credible Leadership?

Gordon Brown has started to raise his profile as an international actor is preparation for the fateful day when Britain once again has a proper Socialist Prime Minister. If he is not visiting Africa he is lecturing his peers in how to be a great Finance Minister.

Gordon Brown told EU leaders last night to abandon their federalist ambitions and face up to the economic reforms needed to make Europe capable of meeting the challenge of global competition.
For those who have not been paying attention over the last 8 years, the reforms he is talking about were actually the work of certain unnameable Conservatives, back when Gordon’s party still officially backed public ownership and unilateral disarmament. Mr Brown likes to pretend that he is the architect of these economically superior rules and regulations that have made Britain more successful than its neighbours. The reality is somewhat different:
The reports are particularly embarrassing for Gordon Brown because he considers the tax credit system to be one of his most important achievements as Chancellor.
This is of course the achievement that left families without money to buy their children food, due to mistakes made by bureaucrats.
He pushed through the reform, which effectively involves merging the benefit system with the tax system, in the face of warnings that the two were incompatible.
So his personal successes have been somewhat less impressive. Whilst it is true that Europe needs to free its labour markets and untangle its red tape, Gordon Brown has as much credibility in this area as Michael Jackson has in childcare.

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