Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Gordon Brown-Trousers Blames America

Well, hasn't it been an entertaining week or so on the economic front? Nail biting suspense over the on-again, off-again, maybe, maybe not $700bn bail-out failed to really grip my attention, for the very simple reason that I didn't think our American cousins would be so dumb - or so brave - as to bottle out at the last minute.

Clearly, Wall St was of the same view, expecting common sense (as defined by them, at any rate) to prevail over political showmanship, and history now shows that they were equally wrong. Banks wobbled, markets tumbled and politicians flapped impotently - gripping stuff, and some of the best TV drama (and comedy) I've seen in ages. President Bush's massive understatement, "We've got a big problem", soon followed by Paulson's press-conference impression of a panicking headless chicken was priceless.

None of that for the ever-dour Gordon Brown-Trousers, though, who knows how to grab a political opportunity in the midsts of chaos. Donning his serious face (as opposed to his more common "Oh shit, now I'm for it it" face) he first announced that he was "monitoring the situation closely" (no doubt waiting for someone to explain it to him) and then held possibly the most tedious press conference I've ever heard. I lost count of how many times he repeated the "do anything to maintain stability" line, but that was basically all he had to say, in as many different ways as he could dream up - which wasn't many.

Obviously, our tooth-sucking PM sees the potential to save his political skin in economic crisis, and he's playing the responsible leader / safe pair of hands card for all it's worth. Crazy Cameron seems to be doing much the same, claiming to put party differences aside during the crisis, and thereby striving to damage the PM's quest for crisis-solving glory. "Responsible opposition" my foot - he's just a bit more sophisticated than Brown-Trousers! They were both keen to say that the American disunity wouldn't be repeated here, the PM with a sucking sneer of "disappointment", Cameron rather more explicitly.

But today, according to the Sun, Gordon Brown-Trousers, the British Prime Minister (for now) went out of his way to blame America for the crisis, and demanded that they set about fixing it: "This problem started in America. They have got to sort it out. The Americans have a responsibility to the rest of the world."

Is he mad? Has he, once and for all, completely lost his ever-weakening grip? Firstly, the problem MAY have begun in the US, but he has been Chancellor of the Exchequer for nearly a decade. Is he really saying that, in all that time, he hasn't seen this problem coming and acted to safeguard British interests against it? If he hasn't, why hasn't he? If he has attempted to do so, what went wrong? Why have his other economic policies been such abject disasters?

Secondly, that's hardly the most diplomatic approach, is it? The US is supposed to be our ally and friend. Like all friends, they have some traits that annoy us a little, and I'm sure we drive them nuts in our own way too, but, when push comes to shove, our countries have always stood together and, I would hope, always will. Yet here is the mad man of Downing St pushing blame their way in order to cover up his own thoroughly inept time in office. What a wonderful man Gordon Brown-Trousers is.

Thirdly, as anyone who's been watching the international news for a week or so (and I assume that include the British Government) will have observed the barely controlled panic stateside. Their politicians are corked. They really, really don't know what to do next, what with economic catastrophe looming on one hand, and elections on the other, they're pulled in all directions and don't know what to do for the best.

Their constituents (most of whom probably aren't financiers) don't like the idea of bailing out Wall St, and I don't blame them. But, without a strong financial basis, the whole economy will quickly find itself in very, very deep shit, and THAT will impact upon everyone in the US and around the world. Their politicians know that, and they have a hard time knowing whether their duty lies to the folks who elected them, or the greater US and world-wide population.

Logical thought would soon resolve their philosophical difficulties, but that's not so easy to do when they're tired, hassled, confused and frightened. (Hint: the constituents who elected you are a subset of the greater US and planetary population, and by doing what is best for everyone, no matter how painful it may be, you are ultimately doing the best for your own constituents too. Of course, determining what IS for the best is the trick.)

Confused and frightened people get angry, and angry people make mistakes. How angry do you think they're going to be when they hear about the British Prime Minister, their alleged ally, trying to tell them what to do in a very undiplomatic way? How angry would we be if a US President told Parliament what it MUST do? How many fingers would be flipped towards Washington? And yet this, Mr Brown, who has conclusively demonstrated that he can't even govern a tiny island for a year without it becoming almost uninhabitable, has done to one of the proudest, most determinedly independent national governments on the planent. Oh, what a statesman he is.

I must apologise to the American people for our Prime Minister's appaling behaviour. I can only say that I didn't vote for him - in fact, NOBODY had the chance to vote for him, he just usurped the rightfully elected PM's authority, then chickened out of an election - and will not be voting for him EVER. Neither will many other people, although the way he's stage managing the current financial crisis seems to be regaining him a little of his lost popularity with the terminally stupid. That won't last long, though, once they realise he's manipulating them.

Until then, there's very little we can do but grab smokes and a beer and the wife and settle down to watch the fireworks as the financial Apocalypse looms. Next up, more hype for the bail-out, take 2. Best telly I've seen for years!

Billy Seggars.

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