James Forsyth

How Brown views the world

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The always astute Irwin Stelzer has an interesting op-ed in today’s Telegraph on Gordon Brown’s foreign policy. Stelzer reveals that Brown has been angered by reports that he has banned the use of the phrase ‘war on terror’—which doesn’t explain why so many of his ministers are running from the phrase

But Stelzer’s key point is about Brown’s view of what causes Islamist terrorism:  

“the PM believes economic development will prove an attractive alternative to self-immolation. He holds to that view despite the fact that the perpetrators of 9/11 were mostly rich Saudis, that the doctors allegedly involved in attempts to blow up central London and Glasgow airport were hardly poor, and that when given the tools of development in Gaza, Hamas dismantled the profitable greenhouses and sold them for scrap.”

Brown’s thinking is part of a deeper problem, our desire to find rational causes—be it poverty or the lack of a peace deal in the Middle East—for fundamentally irrational actions. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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