Monday, 30 March 2009

Poor Gordon's millinery conundrum

The excitement is mounting in anticipation of the G20 meeting in east London in a couple of days. I'm sure I read somewhere that it is expected to cost the UK taxpayer around £50million. There's not a lot we can do about that, these self-indulgent beanos are going to take place whether we like it or not and whether or not they have any chance of achieving anything, every so often it has to be our turn to pay for the tea and biscuits.

Although I am always delighted to witness poor Gordon being humiliated, it is quite a relief that President Obama decided to attend after early doubts; the fall of my country down the pecking order caused by a Presidential snub would have been painful.

What intrigues me today is which hat Gordon will be wearing. In his brief time as the worst Prime Minister in history he has plonked a wide variety of headgear atop his overheated brain. No doubt one consequence of being out of his depth is that he cannot maintain a consistent position. Not only is he constantly buffered by events, a risk for any political leader in current circumstances, but he has actively volunteered inconsistency in some of his most important and widely publicised speeches.

Right at the start of his time as Prime Minister he made his first leader's speech to the 2007 Labour Party Conference. When addressing the issue of the EU he said "At all times we will stand up for the British national interest. And I accept my responsibility to write in detail into the amended European Treaty the red lines we have negotiated for Britain." Fair enough, that's nice and clear, he recognised that the interests of the UK are different from the interests of other European countries. No one will dispute that, all the other European countries feel the same about their own national interests.

So how does this play when he is talking to Europe? Last week he made an excruciating speech to the European Parliament in which there wasn't, of course, any mention of differences of opinion but praise for the EU working together and forging an alliance with the USA to lead the world to a promised land of ... well, it's not clear what exactly, but it's going to happen because The EU is a single entity with a united position on everything. "I passionately want Europe to be leading on the world stage", "I propose that we as Europe take a central role", "I propose that Europe takes the lead". All good stuff but hardly consistent with putting Britain first.

And how does that compare to his speech to Congress a couple of weeks ago. Oh dear. On that occasion it was Britain and the US marching together and leading the world to fresh green pastures. A footnote, long after the glorious unity of the UK and US had been flogged to death, contained mention of Europe. But there was no "Europe is leading and you are coming with us", it was "America and Britain will lead and succeed".

So which hat will he be wearing this week? British, European, UK-US or EU-US? Perhaps he has been busy designing a new bonnet, just in time for Easter.

1 comment:

Pogo said...

In his brief time as the worst Prime Minister in history...

I think that you worry too much in case Mr Brown fails to uphold his standards.

Although a relative parvenue to the role of "Worst Prime Minister" you should remember that since becoming a government minister he's been practicing assiduously for his eventual elevation to the primacy... He was, after all, the worst Chancellor in history - excellent preparation for the job.