Peter Hoskin

Brown delivers his G20 sermon

Brown delivers his G20 sermon
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The symbolism was blatant.  Here was Gordon Brown in St Paul's Cathedral, delivering a speech on the moral dimensions of the credit crunch.  It's stuffed with words like "faith" and "virtue", making it all quite unnerving.  Then again, I think the country needs effective politicians.  Not a new god.

You can see what Brown's trying to do.  Until now, his pronouncements ahead of the G20 summit have been more or less bogged down in technical lingo about regulation and tax havens.  This was an attempt to do something different; to put a fresh, more human, spin on the rhetoric of the Crunch.  On that front, I'm not quite sure it worked.  While Brown had some words for the "children who are the next generation", it still all descended into the same list of aims that we've heard a thousand times in the past few months ("And fifth, we must press ahead with the low carbon revolution...").

Besides, there's a massive disconnect between moralising on the global stage and having a crusading message when it comes to the victims of the downturn in this country.  Still, Brown talks too little about those hit worst by the UK's recession.  And, as a poll in today's Indpependent reveals, people are overwhelmingly keen for him to focus more on the domestic situation.  Until he does that, you feel that sermons in St Paul's are only going to dehumanise him more.