Fraser Nelson

Rank desperation

Rank desperation
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Gordon Brown’s suggestion for a Tobin tax would, if implemented, crucify the City of London. We are the largest foreign exchange centre in the world and that Brown is seriously suggesting hitting this industry is a sure sign he does not expect to be in government after the election.

It is the proposal that a British prime Minister should be dying in a ditch to kill off given that the City generates about a tenth of Britain’s economic wealth. The kind of proposal that might be aired by a Frenchman, purely to outrage Britain. It is, of course, a trick: Brown knows it won’t be agreed because it requires the approval of every major currency-trading country – and that will never be secured. It has been explicitly rejected by the Americans, which was perhaps the intention. But everyone else at the G20 will see Brown’s proposal for what it is: the desperate vote-seeking move of a Prime Minister who knows he’s going down.