Sunday, June 24, 2007

Meme time

I've been tagged with a Gordon Brown-related meme by Tom "The Green Ribbon" Griffin.

2 things Gordon Brown should be proud of

A sensible monetary policy, based on rules rather than "judgment".
A sensible fiscal policy, based on rules rather than "judgment".

2 things he should apologise for

Supporting the war in Iraq, while pretending that drawing down the whole contingency fund to pay for it every year means "it doesn't cost anything new".

Mulcting the poor to fund tax cuts for the less poor in the last Budget.

2 things that he should do immediately when he becomes PM

Withdraw from Iraq, yesterday.
Start an urgent scenario planning exercise on what to do if/when Pakistan falls apart.

2 things he should do while he is PM.

Kill ID cards and the associated database mania - send the Treasury devils to dig through it.
Restore the fuel-duty escalator, and redistribute the cash.

Tag 8 more bloggers

Dsquared, Bradford Vision, Bradistan Calling, James Nicoll, Dan Hardie, Eurozone Watch, Mark Thoma, and Koranteng.


Koranteng said...

I don't normally do memes and I'm currently boycotting the blog business, but ask and you shall receive (in a fashion):

I don't expect much policy-wise from our Gordon but I hope he can lower the global huhudious quotient. That could be his greatest contribution.

Anyway I'm glad people are talking about him, on this side of the Atlantic, it's as if we're living in a Monty Python joke: "Just don't mention Gordon Brown".

dd said...

I am not a big fan of chain letters either but:

Proud of: his economic forecasting record. His fiscal policy was actually based a lot more on judgement than people think, as he always played silly buggers with those rules when it came down to brass tacks. But under Brown the Treasury became a really excellent forecasting organisation and has consistently got it right. So I'd say his policy was based on (excellent) judgement rather than rules.

Apologise for: PFI, which was his main contribution to the general strip-mining of public trust in the government.

Things to do immediately: I am still pushing a moratorium on new government initiatives, so I'll say that.

Things to do while PM: Build a north-south road across Africa. It's not a particularly good idea but it would probably do more good than harm and at least you could tell whether he'd done it or not.

Alex said...

I should point out that I accidentally murdered a comment from James Nicoll, who was crying off for lack of knowledge.

D^2, you're right about Treasury forecasting. Pretty much every year from 1997 to today the Tories wanked themselves into a lather about some IMF/Item Club/whatever forecast of BROWN'S BLACK HOLE!!!, and the Treasury forecast eventually turned out to be right.

Regarding a road across Africa, you really are bizarrely Edwardian, aren't you? I seem to remember somebody saying this about you on CIF..

dd said...

If one's prepared to regard Keynes as the last of the Edwardians rather than the first of the moderns, then yeah. More like the fag end of Edwardian intellectua, running out of steam and giving up on humanity in the 1930s. All of my favourite literature and most of my favourite music is from that period.

Koranteng said...

Apropos a North-South Africa road, I'm reminded of Cecil Rhodes's telegraph, From Cairo to Capetown

The thing is that the infrastructure is being build but not North-South, rather it is regional integration that is slowly taking place. And the infrastructure is being built by the Chinese.

I know that for 20 years in Ghana, we were told by the traditional donors that there was no point to build dual carriageways - our economies wouldn't support it. Now they are changing their tune and well, those unfussy Chinese have had 15 years slowly building up expertise doing infrastructure in Africa. Now even the DFID is thinking about sanctioning major infrastructure as opposed to the small scale and NGO-focused approach...

dd said...

Yes, the thinking has done a 180 hasn't it - people are gradually realising that dual carriageways are more or less the only roads worth building, because they can support enough value traffic to make the road worth maintaining. It's B-roads and the like that can't be supported.

Anonymous said...

I'd like Alex to comment on TAZARA. If we are talking about trans african railways. And Chinese shit etc.

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