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  • Brown in charge, remarkably the world keeps turning

    by Leon
    28th June, 2007 at 12:09 pm    

    You’d think, going by the news over the last 24 hours, that we’ve just experienced the second coming (some people appear to think we have). Brown is basking in the limelight as the Prime Minister Unelect, Blair has been given an incredulity inducing new position to bring war ‘peace’ to the Middle East and amazingly the rest of the world has other things on it’s mind.

    Growing numbers of people worldwide view environmental problems, pollution, infectious diseases, nuclear proliferation and the widening gap between rich and poor as the most menacing threats facing the planet, according to a 47-nation survey published yesterday by the US-based Pew Global Attitudes Project.

    The survey, which conducted more than 45,000 interviews, finds that global opinion is increasingly wary of the world’s dominant countries but also unimpressed by aspiring leaders in Iran and Venezuela who challenge the international status quo. In contrast, the UN receives strong support. [Via The Guardian]

    That last bit is important in my view, we wont get anywhere near a stable world without some kind of global co-ordination. Too many domestic issues are now defined abroad and without any real influence we are caught in the maelstrom of Geo-Political manoeuvring.

    George Monbiot, despite his faults, wrote an interesting book a few years back about the need for a global democratic government (more on that here). It detailed broadly how it might work, I’m beginning to think the proposal might need serious consideration…

    But anyway, back to the spectacle and substance of who Brown has chosen for his first cabinet…

                  Post to

    Filed in: Current affairs,Environmentalism,Middle East,Party politics,The World

    31 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Free Political Forum » Brown in charge, remarkably the world keeps turning

      [...] Original post by Leon [...]

    1. Kulvinder — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

      Brown is basking in the limelight as the Prime Minister Unelect,

      We’ve never actually directly elected a Prime Minister…

      I’m still having one of those odd mental rearrangement issues about whats going on in the country. When a new PM comes in it takes me awhile to actually ‘realise’ they’re the PM.

    2. Kulvinder — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

      btw i think there should be a bet on how long it takes the press to make a blackadder type comment ‘Darling, the economy is a mess!’

    3. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

      Yeah I know, just thought the term makes the right point about his coronation…

    4. Don — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

      He’s got diplomatic immunity
      He’s got a lethal weapon that nobody sees
      Looks like another threat to world peace
      For the envoy
      Send the envoy
      Send the envoy

      Whenever there’s a crisis
      The President sends his envoy in
      Guns in Damascus
      Oh, Jerusalem

      Sorry, no Youtube clip available. But a virtual pint for the first to indentify which envoy is being referenced.

      Leon, pedantic quibble, but Blair as ME envoy is incredible. Unless the job itself is staring in stunned disbelief (as well it might) it’s not incredulous.

    5. douglas clark — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:11 pm  


      I actually bought - oh, and read - “The Age of Consent”. I was more radical then..

      Still, even now, I agree with it’s fundamental point.

      Your point expands on his, I think. It is that people have to claim democracy, and that the internet could be a way, or even the way, to do it. Am I right?

      If so, I agree.

    6. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:14 pm  

      Unless the job itself is staring in stunned disbelief (as well it might) it’s not incredulous.

      Point taken, will amend.

    7. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:17 pm  

      I agree, people need to claim democracy because that’s where any democratic mandate flows from. Also agree the internet should be a role in that aim. Hopefully blogs like PP will, in the long term, have a tiny but positive effect to that end…

    8. douglas clark — on 28th June, 2007 at 6:02 pm  


      Thanks for the reply.

      Maybe not such a tiny effect.

      In a slower and less frenetic world, say you had a pen pal in a poorish country, say Botswana. Say they had the ability to go to University. I doubt your MP would have failed to open doors for your pen pal, had you written to you MP on their behalf.


      Nowadays, it is likely that individual appeals by constituency members will, in practice, be replied to by party machines that have evaluated the political pros and cons of whatever your question was. In other words, it is no longer about individuals - your pen pal - it is about pandering to a percieved party political consensus.

      In my opinion, this is typical Public Schoolboy crap. Rather than stand up to bullying, they prefer to be fags……

      Y’know how “It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad” has become a great cliché - and you taught me the é - it is is pretty plain to me that Brown has to exemplify the idea that politics has “Just got Sane”.

      I’m waiting.

      Sunny Hundal for MP, is all I’m saying…

    9. Rumbold — on 28th June, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

      Patricia Hewitt gone- good.

      Margaret Beckett gone- good.

      Johns Reid and Prescott gone- good.

      Browne, Hain, Woodward and Jowell still there- bad.

    10. Don — on 28th June, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

      Ruth Kelly still there - bad.

    11. Nyrone — on 28th June, 2007 at 8:53 pm  

      It’s becoming harder and harder for me to be amazed by the news…but Tony Blair being made a Middle East peace envoy just smashed my head into pieces.

      Satire just died….again.

    12. Refresh — on 28th June, 2007 at 11:47 pm  

      Tony Blair as Middle East envoy is the best news yet.

      Either he delivers peace or he exits in exactly the same manner as Clinton - by blaming the Palestinians.

      Or will he be able to claim success by rebuilding Palestinian institutions destroyed by Sharon?

      There is no one else who deserves to be in the thick of it.

    13. Tahir — on 29th June, 2007 at 8:48 am  

      Not too much of a surprise, the man needs a job and doesn’t have the same charisma as Clinton to survive the mess he’s left behind. There were some people early in 2001 who said Blair has traded involvement in Iraq as a deal to seek peace in Middle East. As sickening as it may sound I wonder if that fantasy might come true. On present records probably not.

      Anyway - what about the future president in elect - Milliband? By far the best promotion in Brown’s team.

    14. Tahir — on 29th June, 2007 at 8:50 am  

      Oh and as far as high profile Asians go Shritee Vedera has been given a junior minister post. She’s scarily clever and I suspect someone to look out for.

    15. Ruhel — on 29th June, 2007 at 10:35 am  

      Listen stupid … stop posting inaccuracies.. There were no Asians in the Cabinet unless you were mistaken by the black Cabinet minister.

    16. Tahir — on 29th June, 2007 at 10:36 am  

      Sorry! Stand corrected.

    17. sonia — on 29th June, 2007 at 11:33 am  

      Well said Leon - peace envoy indeed - who could have thought that one up, it’s had me in hysterics since i heard. !! Sure Tony wants to be a global statemens - but why should be able to worm his way into such job titles? it’s like handing Enron a position as auditor of the worlds accounts or something. Anyway, vastly amusing.

      What can we expect from the man who stole our pensions? was a good line i thought.

    18. sonia — on 29th June, 2007 at 11:36 am  

      yes david miliband as foreign secretary, interesting. at least there are some young faces about. it will be fun to see what this jacqui smith person is going to do as home secretary.

    19. Katy Newton — on 29th June, 2007 at 12:03 pm  

      It doesn’t surprise me that people abroad have other things on their mind like the problems they face on a day to day basis. I understand entirely. Whilst I sympathise with their problems, I’m afraid I’m considerably more interested in what Gordon Brown’s regime is likely to do and whether it plans to reverse any of the incursions into our civil liberties that have been made over the last ten years.

    20. Katy Newton — on 29th June, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

      Mind you, I do agree that Tony Blair for peace in the Middle East is a bit like putting forward Peter Stringfellow as a chastity advocate…

    21. sonia — on 29th June, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

      yes i agree Katy, i want to know what Gordon is going to be doing.

      and that’s a damn good analogy you put forward :-) !

    22. Mark Wadsworth — on 29th June, 2007 at 2:58 pm  

      “global democratic government”

      What sort of crap is that? Shouldn’t we start off by having a deomcratic government in this country?

    23. bananabrain — on 29th June, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

      oh, for goodness’ sake. you lot may all hate blair’s guts, but the israelis and palestinians are actually quite hopeful about his input. i have two words to say to you:

      northern. ireland.

      it was on blair’s watch that ian paisley sat down with gerry adams and martin mcguinness, remember?



    24. leon — on 29th June, 2007 at 7:51 pm  

      NI is different for some very obvious reasons, but I’m not going to be drawn into yet another tediuos I/P ‘debate’ (I haven’t the patience today).

      Anyway, just heard that Shahid Malik MP has been appointed a junior Minister at the DFID.

    25. Tahir — on 30th June, 2007 at 1:57 am  

      True - first ever.. and also Shreeti Vadera is the third junior minister in DFID - that makes two high profile Asians in one department .

      Three cheers for Gordon.

    26. leon — on 30th June, 2007 at 2:16 am  

      More on her here:

    27. Rumbold — on 30th June, 2007 at 10:48 am  

      Well remembered Don (about Ruth Kelly).

      I do not think that British Asians should be cheering Shreeti Vadera’s appointment; she is a despicable individual:

      “she dismissed the interests of small private shareholders of Railtrack, many of them old-age pensioners whose savings were invested in the company, as ‘grannies’ who might, in the collapse of their company, ‘lose their blouses’.”

    28. Tahir — on 30th June, 2007 at 3:03 pm  

      Whatever her poltics she is by far one of the cleverst minds in the country advising the best of the Chancellor’s chief economic advisers in her previous role. I can’t say that for other politicians.

      Personally I thnk a lot of politicians could improve their politics, positions, stands on issues etc.

      But we might cheer because it the appointment diversifies British politics.

    29. leon — on 30th June, 2007 at 3:29 pm  

      TMP has the low down on BME peeps making their way up in the Brown administration:

    30. Tahir — on 2nd July, 2007 at 12:35 am  

      Is Sadiq Khan formerly of Christian & Fisher law firm? ( They are the ones that do all the corporate manslaughter cases)

      Is so, then I’d say he’s tipped for a high flying political career - proviing politics can be combined with advocacy and campaigning for a fairer society.

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