Soundbite Brown

“Osborne? Io sono huomo di cortelle e si tu no mascolta io te do na cortelatta.”

George Osborne has said Mr Brown’s attempts to secure a global agreement for a fiscal stimulus package have failed. It pains me to agree with the Shadow Chancellor but he is right.

Many (about 3500) fine words have emerged from last weekend’s G20 meeting. But what has really been achieved except perhaps an agreement to have another meeting in 2009?  Oh yes, there was a  statement that the G20 are going to “harness tax cuts to stimulate the global economy”.  

As Manuel might have said: “Que??”

The good intentions of the G20 will not prevent events such as a fire-sale of stocks by Hedge Fund managers or the accelerating erosion in the value of sterling. The sheer speed of developments within the global economy may create the real danger of politicians’ status  being demoted to that of observers rather than shapers of events because the provisional time for the follow-up G20 meeting is not until April 2009. 

In five months’ time the global economy will be in a VERY different place but meanwhile, the flow of politicians’ platitudes will continue as more financial placebos are dished out.

Brown has always indicated a dislike of political  “sound bites”  but in spite of that, his speechwriters have created some gems. Like an ageing football pundit, Brown has has increasingly relied on tired and crass political soundbites and clichés.

Brown now has a “route map” and that’s about it. “Road map” would have been a better phrase but that one has been taken. “Money map”, “Fiscal map”, “Green map”, “Mouse map”, “Door map” and even “Brown map” are all still available.

“Brown paper” is also an excellent one which has not yet been spotted by Brown’s wordsmiths.

It is a shame that these phrases cannot be registered like websites. Someone could make a fortune.

There have been many fine words but they do not seem to make much sense.

“These are extraordinary times and they require extraordinary measures”. Yep – can’t disagree with that one.  A  fine example of both a cliché and a truism  but Brown might as well have said “We are in deep  s*** and we really should think about getting out of it.”

G20 made a commitment to “boost growth and reform financial markets” is not a world-shattering assertion. Mind-numbing perhaps but definitely NOT world-shattering.

“The G20 are going to strive to draw up a timetable for a new world trade deal”  sounds like a fine statement but  would have sounded better if he’d left out the “strive to” phrase. Is Brown’s route map time-based or not?

Gordon Brown’s pseudo-Churchillian posturing and new world-leader status is looking increasingly silly and maybe a little delusional,  especially if you know that 45% of the world’s financial reserves are in the hands of the BRIC economies = Brazil, Russia, India and China. Currently they appear to be deferring to the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and France who collectively control less than 5% of the the world’s financial reserves.

Brown feels the hand of history on this shoulder (sorry!) and doubtless his writers are polishing a fine new set of clichés.

“Eloquent silence”  would be my favourite.

 

 

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