Friday, 30 October 2009

Speaking Only For Themselves

Gordon Brown told a press conference in Brussels yesterday:

'We, the British Government, believe that Tony Blair would be an excellent candidate and an excellent person to hold the job of president of the council.'

While Brown's infelicitous grasp of English is an everyday aspect of his pronouncements - a major aspect of his overall weirdness - this remark starts all sorts of hares running.

First it suggests strongly the presence of other British voices being heard in Europe that are not those of this collapsed, failing British government at the end of its ill-gotten career. Secondly it underlines the undemocratic nature of the support for an appointed European president - not 'We, the British people ...' for, not least, none of us were asked, and further, the shamelessness of the UK Executive in their usurpation of power is fully displayed. Thirdly it speaks of the wholly non-communautaire approach to Europe by the current British Executive with no notion that to speak as 'British' in discussions of the choice of candidate for a pan European office is to show naked national interest-seeking that is inimical to the European ideals that Lisbon is supposed to embody. You're not supposed to be quite so transparently a Brit hooligan Gordon.

Most of all it shows weakness. European Social Democratic disappointment in the Labour party and its New Labour leadership is very noticeable and widespread; Blair and Brown's behaviour are considered to have contributed to weakening the social democratic movement across the continent. Blair and Brown are considered to have contributed to the resurgence of the centre right through both foreign policy - most particularly the illegal war waged on Iraq, and through the destruction of controls over financial behaviour, the famous 'light touch' that precipitated the recession. Europe does not accept that it started only in America. So when European social democrats are told by Brown that he speaks for the British government and to get real he merely reinforces the narrowness of his viewpoint and the breadth of dissent from it, and from him and his predecessor. And the isolation and irrelevance in which this Labour regime now exists both in Europe and in its own country.

1 comment:

Sackerson said...

Did GB mention the Queen in this "we the government" fantasy?