Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brown to the IMF?

Should Gordon Brown be appointed as head of the IMF? This should really be a question that answers itself. Sean O’Grady has a good run down of some of the reasons why he shouldn’t be here and Chris Giles explains why he won’t be in any event here.

The first problem is that it simply doesn’t pass the laugh test: Brown invented the tri-partite regulatory system that proved such a disaster; he presided over the largest peace-time deficit in British history; he failed to put into place even the most basic plans for the reduction of that deficit and, further, advocated increasing it still further. He was, perhaps, the least emotionally intelligent Prime Minister of modern times (Heath might run him close here) and was notoriously bad at working outside a small group of hangers-on.

He was also a tribalist to the very core of his being, every plan and policy being chiefly designed to screw the Tories. The idea that David Cameron should now expend international political capital in an almost certainly doomed attempt to install Brown in a comfortable retirement job is laughable.

It is also a testimony to the remarkable insularity of the British press and political classes. There was never a chance that the IMF job would go to a Brit, least of all one with as much baggage as Brown. Cameron was right to dismiss it, and if he couldn’t resist taking one last slap at the political corpse of his old rival well, who’s to blame him?

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