Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gordon Brown is no Margaret Thatcher

I'm writing my Telegraph column, watching the Dalai Lama give evidence in Parliament to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. What an inspirational man. What a pity it is that our Prime Minister doesn't see fit to invite him to Downing Street. Mr Brown likes to compare himself to Margaret Thatcher and calls himself a conviction politician. Does her seriously think she would have met him anywhere else than Number Ten?

22 comments:

kinglear said...

Brown's only convistion is that he knows what he is doing. Sadly, he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Well done Iain, exactly right and bang on the nail, as you are from time to time. Quite why Brown is so weasily in his toadiness towards the Chinese Dictatorship (current political prisoner total: more than 100,000) is a mystery. Perhaps some of his friends have Chinese stocks in their portfolios?

Whilst we're on the subject, the evidence is ever-increasing that Brown was not a good Chancellor at all but merely lucky to have picked up from a good Chancellor (Ken Clarke) and at least not meddled too much until the last few years, when his driving up both taxes and spending have effectively destroyed the earlier good work.

An incoming Tory administration should focus on real cuts - we could start with the insanely expensive NHS IT fiasco, started by Blair with Brown's full acquiesance and support - current cost, more than £15 billion. Net effect - er - virtually none. And the NAO is busy targetting nurses who don't pay for parking at hospitals.
(http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Tony_Blair_2002_NHS_IT_briefing)

Blue Eyes said...

I would suggest that it's more because Brown rather likes the things which the Chinese government can get away with. He is no lover of freedom and democracy: witness the communications database proposal. Brown is only restricted in his authoritarianism by what he thinks he can get away with.

David Boothroyd said...

The Dalai Lama visited Britain between 25 June and 8 July 1984. The Prime Minister was Margaret Thatcher. She did not meet him at all during the visit.

He visited again in April 1988. No Minister would see him, and the Foreign Office ordered no civil servant to see him either.

When he visited in 1989 after receiving the Nobel Prize, there was considerable pressure on the government to hold a meeting, which was resisted by Lord Reay who explained that as the Tibetan government-in-exile was not recognised, "we continue to be of the view that a meeting with Ministers would be open to misinterpretation". (See HL Deb 13 December 1989 vol 513 cc1363-86 at http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1989/dec/13/tibet.

Anonymous said...

Maggie had infinitely more balls than Brown Trousers.

Conviction politician? Should be convicted politician maybe...

Zorro.

Anonymous said...

Blue Eyes is right, Brown is by temperament a controller and is only "conviction" appears to be that he thinks he is always right, something he shares with the B.Liar, which probably helps to explain why they were always feuding.

I do think though that there is something deeply fishy about the way these people keep creeping to the Chinese which goes way beyond a mere 1930s-style admiration for the Dictators Abroad who can Do As They Will. It all carries a whiff of covert co-operation for mutual economic interest. Hence Digby Jones' regular speeches in favour of giving all UK employees the same rights and general welfare standards as those in China, to "become more competitive", eg, labour camps and mass public executions. The driving motive here is envy of the profits they can make in China. Brown is lining up behind his true friends, the plutocrats and oligarchs.

Did anyone else see Melvyn Bragg's interview with Gore Vidal the other night where he defined the US and the West generally as being run now by "Oligarchs mired in blood"?

dirtyeuropeansocialist said...

Mrs Thacther sold weopans to Suadi Arabia and made 10 billion quid out of it. Plus she gave in to Mugabe.

Scottish Politics said...

On the subject of Gordon Brown:

http://scottishpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/end-is-nigh-for-gordon-brown.html

dirty european socialist said...

Thatcher gave indpendece to Burnie and allowed an evil monarch to stay on control Why did she do that.

Neil Craig said...

"Does her seriously think she would have met him anywhere else than Number Ten?"

David has got it exactly right. She didn't. And quite rightly too.

I doubt if she even met any Kurdish leaders who were then getting our general support for thjeir right to seced from Iraq.

If China was not being turned into our main enemy, in a very Orwellian way, this would not make the papers, as it doesn't for so may other countries. The chinese treatment of Tibetans shows hundreds of thousands of times more respect for human rights than ours of the Krajina Serbs & anybody who complains more about the former cannot be primarily motivated by a concern for human rights.

In this case Iain your primary concern has been to be rude about Brown.

Michael Davies said...

This is Brown at his equivocating worst - just like the non-handling of the Olympic torch that he had allowed in Downing Street. It's annoying that he goes endlessly on about Britishness and writes books about courage, and then acts with such shameless un-British appeasing cowardice. That's now his hallmark - an ever-widening gulf between what he says (and thinks) about himself, and what he actually does.

More on how Brown's personality failings are causing his political decline at: Brown-out blog.

Anonymous said...

Can't see why he should waste his time meeting the Dalai Lama at all. It's not as if he is a head of state or anything important.

strapworld said...

I think that Conviction Brown was heavily influenced by the Channel Four News interview with the Chinese Ambassador. A very articulate woman who pointedly said if the PM was meeting him to discuss secular matters - okay - but if to discuss Tibet - not okay!

She won!

As for Conviction Broon and his time in Number 11. The Conservatives should announce that they intend to have a forensic examination of those years and highlight just how bad this man has been for the United Kingdom.

As for Boothroyd. Why has that man not been knighted? I mean he must be on his knees in front of Brown all the time!

I do love the article in the Independent asking WHO IS ADA KYDA!

strapworld said...

sorry Iain. Alky Eda was the name!

Who is she?

John Pickworth said...

I'm proudly pro Chinese (the people and country, not so much their political system).

However, while they are sensitive to 'not losing face' they also respect strength and clarity. Think of their relationship with America, their biggest critic, but also their biggest trading partner and more importantly Taiwan's guarantor.

Brown made a huge mistake by not inviting the Dalai Lama to Number 10. Tibet's spiritual leader clearly has a concilitory message for China and Brown could have given him a better platform from which to voice it.

Many in China greatly admire the qualities of the British, I think we are making a mistake not to capitalise on that and become a serious (but sometimes still critical) friend. But, our equivocation in such matters will be lost in translation... they merely see it has weakness.

Harry Basset said...

What are "weopans", "indpendece to Burnie" and who or what is/was "Thacther"? Is typing with mittens on accepatable on this site?

Harry Basset said...

Oops! Now I'm doing it. Accepatable indeed. My excuse is big paws on a small keyboard.

dirty european socialist said...

Basset LOL you made a mistake you showed youself up LOL.

Anonymous said...

Billions of pounds of trade with China, thousands of jobs in the Uk or pissing them off by meeting a decent enough but unimportant character like the Dalai Llama?

Thats a no brainer, the interests of this nation come first. Jobs before principles I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Billions of pounds of trade with China, thousands of jobs in the Uk or pissing them off by meeting a decent enough but unimportant character like the Dalai Llama?

Thats a no brainer, the interests of this nation come first. Jobs before principles I'm afraid.

Miss Wagstaff said...

There's always a chance to meet the Iron (or Tin) Lady in the most unusual places these days...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7411199.stm

Anonymous said...

Jobs before principles?

Wasn't that what Blair said over the SFO investigation into BAe and the Saudi's?