Monday 7 November 2011

Leadership vacuum at G20 summit

Gordon Brown was ridiculed when, by a slip of the tongue in the House of Commons, he appeared to claim that he had "saved the world" at the London G20 summit. Even so, it is generally agreed that by his determined leadership he cobbled together a package which helped bring the banking crisis under control and averted a complete collapse

No such leadership has been evident at the Cannes summit, which appears to have been a crashing failure. Yet a remedy which would calm market turbulence and put the politicians rather than the speculators back in charge, a Tobin-type tax on all financial transactions, exists. What is lacking is politicians with the courage to grasp the nettle. Germany and France are in favour but, shamefully, Britain, dithers on the sidelines waiting for the US to give a lead.

Here was an opportunity for Cameron and Osborne to gain international status similar to that enjoyed by Brown. Instead they restrict themselves to giving patronising lectures to the leaders in the Eurozone on what they should do, whilst presumable privately heaving sighs of relief that they now have a scapegoat on which to lay the blame for the crass failure of their own policies.

It is fashionable and currently popular to heap scorn on Gordon Brown and pretend that his failings are the cause of Britain's present problems. But no-one of similar drive has emerged on the world stage stop the present drift.

1 comment:

  1. Chris Mullins points out in his diaries that it was remarkable how high Gordon Brown's reputation was overseas for organising action on the credit crisis while being trashed by the tabloids here at home.