In Defence of Gordon Brown

May 8, 2009

So its no secret really that I’ve fallen out of love with labour, first somewhat belatedly over Iraq then later with immigration policy and infringement of civil liberties. Lefty stuff. 

But I feel like Gordon Brown has been getting a heavy pounding of late. I think much of the ongoing background criticism is deserved, and several of the spikes in criticism too – he definitely has a problem being a figurehead and the email smear scandal does show a culture at the top of government which probably goes a ways to explaining why he was unapposed in the leadership race (by anyone who could get enough MPs to support them).

However what have they actually done recently? (I’m including the Gurkha thing in what I’ve already said about immigration…so lets temporarily omit that)

His proposals for reforming MPs expenses seem to me to have been great. Perhaps he was forced to do it now, certainly he said he was too busy with the economy before. But the ideas were good, especially as interim ones. And there is nothing wrong with him giving the general gist of them on YouTube first – duh, they were opposed by MPs, he was trying to get the public to put pressure on those MPs. 
The idea that he did it to avoid questions doesn’t fly with me. He has been interviewed about it subsequently. If he was going to never leave the office and only communicate on YouTube I would agree. But actually I think it was a great idea to speak directly to the public.

There is nothing wrong with £5,000 for electric cars. I want one! 
Its good for students in halls too, as they get free electricity – they can sell on the hen house they bought when they were 16. Although I am not one of those fortunate enough to have been able to buy a mobile hen house 😛

Guarranteeing work or training for long term unemployed under the age of 25 is BRILLIANT. I can think of people who this will definitely help. People slammed that last budget and you can understand why with the debt figures, but it wasn’t all bad.

He has a red streak. I’m surprised Labour supporters aren’t throwing a party about nationalising banks. Factories next. He gets away with being radical in a way that I don’t think Blair would. (although I prefer Blair as a figurehead)

The G20 was hardly a disaster. Apart from the authoritarian approach of the police (btw, why is it always only amateur footage thats captured of violent police officers? London has a few police CCTV cameras doesn’t it?)

If you had said during Tony Blair’s reign that we’d be nationalising banks and bringing home troops from Iraq soon, and having an investigation into Iraq, well, wouldn’t that be something. 

He probably isn’t a one man economic illuminati as he would have us believe – and definitely theres a lot to oppose in general – but just of late, you know, some of the stuff he’s been slagged for is actually a good idea.

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