Peter Hoskin

Moral fervour gives way to technical lingo

Alistair Darling’s article* in the Guardian this morning is a perfect example of why Brown’s global focus will struggle to impress voters.  The lingo of international finance settlements is just too dry and disconnected from the plight of the British public.  Here are some yawn-inducing excerpts:

“For those most at risk, we need to increase financing through the IMF and multilateral banks, through swap-lines between central banks and an enhanced lending facility at the EU level.

On Saturday, the G20 finance ministers will meet here in the UK. This will be followed by the London summit on 2 April under the presidency of Gordon Brown. The G20 should agree on a substantial increase in the resources available to the IMF, enabling it to increase its lending to prevent the spread of the crisis from corporations to countries, and to provide liquidity support to those emerging markets facing a sudden stop or reversal in capital flows.”

In turn, this highlights Rachel Sylvester’s point that there’s no moral, crusading message coming out of Government or out of Westminster, more generally.  Beyond some honourable exceptions – the Frank Fields of this world – there’s all too little being said about the plight of the unemployed; the least well-off; those who have had their homes repossessed; the displaced; the young and the old.  And what is getting said is unconvincing.  I leave the final word to Sylvester: “If politicians want to regain the trust of voters they must first rediscover their moral fervour.”   

*Or is it an apology note to the PM?  After talk of a split last week, it does seem especially party-line, with plenty of fawning references to Brown and his “presidency” of the G20 meeting.

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