David Blackburn

Renewed tension between Brown and Darling

Renewed tension between Brown and Darling
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Alistair Darling did look slightly apprehensive when Gordon Brown gatecrashed the G20 finance meeting on Saturday. And how right Darling was: the Prime Minister’s Tobin tax proposal was met with gawping disbelief; it was as if Bernie Madoff had strolled into the room as the new head of the IMF. It is very telling that only the disingenuous French, who can’t believe their luck, support the proposals.

The FT reports that Darling is livid that Brown would risk alienating the UK by announcing a policy that he knew the US and others would publicly oppose. The ploy may have been a desperate vote grab, but the Global Statesman of the Year is now a Global Figure of Mirth - Groucho Marx with the ability to raise tax - and he’s back-peddling furiously. An aide tells the FT:

“We’re not that massively wedded to a transactions tax. We’re not saying ‘it’s this or nothing’ – we’re saying we need a deal.”  

Thankfully, Brown’s political strength, both in Cabinet, the country at large and internationally, has disintegrated to the point where he can’t conduct further full scale wrecking of Britain’s very fragile future.