Fraser Nelson

Brown’s Highway to Hell

Brown's Highway to Hell
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As Brown left Argentina, he might have thought "at least nothing else can go wrong now." After all, Dan Hannan had started a Mexican wave of derision with his now-famous speech in Strasbourg; then Brown was introduced in New York as a man who became PM in 2007 "and it was all downhill ever since"; then to Brazil where he was snubbed by Pele and ribbed by the president; then to Chile to be given lessons in Keynsian economics. Then, finally, he learns Cameron will have 60 minutes with Obama - just 5 less than he is due. Thus the scene is set for a farcical G20 next week, and I lay all this out in my News of the World column today.

Set aside the personalities, and there is a rift in how to deal with the probem: is more debt-fuelled spending a good thing? Obama thinks so and so does Brown - but Darling doesn't and neither does Mervyn King. France and Germany are also sceptical, wanting regulation instead. And the current EU president is Mirek Topolanek, the Czech PM, who has referred to a debt-funded stimulus as the "road to hell," as it would sink countries further into debt without achieving much.  He says the anaology was inspired by the AC/DC track Highway to Hell - and it may as well be the motif to Brown's next 15 months. The G20 will be a humiliation, the April budget a disaster, the June elections a bloodbath for Labour, and then we're on to another summer of his being dead in the water and getting challenged by banana-wielding members of the Cabinet.

In fairness to Brown, he is dying again because he came back from the dead last October against all the odds. Then, he thought he'd be an economic Churchill, fighting his own war against recession. It was not to be. As Churchill said: war is not like politics. In war, you can die only once. In politics: many times.

P.S. Graphic courtesy of News of the World

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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