Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Did the President snub Gordon Brown and does it matter?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:49 AM
Original message
Did the President snub Gordon Brown and does it matter?
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 06:53 AM by TheBigotBasher
The hard right and their nasty front groups have been all over Daily Telegraph stories that President Obama snubbed Gordon Brown. Of course, the hard right in the US are trying to spin this as an insult to the greatest ally of the US.

The Telegraph is spinning the story, not to hurt Obama, who carries massive UK popular support, but to hurt Brown, who of course wants to use a his US trip to bolster his opinion poll position.

Some context. The UK is required to have a General Election by June of next year. Gordon Brown is 12 points behind the UK Conservative Party. Gordon Brown is also seen as the chancellor who helped put not just the UK, but also helped to put the US in this economic mess.

The UK partied as a result of "New Labour" playing to the billionaire crowd. New Labour became better friends of the billionaire set than the Conservative Party. Almost all of the World tax havens have links back to City of London. Directly as a result of playing to the billionaire set, $13 trillion of untaxed wealth sits within UK tax havens such as the Jersey Islands.

Global banking was not something even considered in 1997. By 2001 International banking was an accepted fact. The UK economy was a service economy and its wealth was the City. Every major International bank used the City to trade. A strong and the proximity to the UK Eurozone, allowed for even more gains to be made out of currency conversion. Something that would not have happened had the UK joined the Euro.

The transition to a "Service economy" was so complete that the collapse of the last remnants of the UKs remaining mass car industry, did not hurt Labour shortly before the 2005 General Election.

City bonuses led to hyper inflation in the property market. As a result an ex Council 3 bedroom house that was worth 47,000 in Outer London in 1997 hit 400,000 in 2007. In the centre of London flats were selling for more than 1 million and London overtook Hong Kong as the most expensive place to live.

Property prices had been removed from the inflation index. Wage rates were not keeping up with property. To get on the property ladder you had to lie about your earnings. The UK had a sweeter name than sub prime, "self declared mortgages", but they were sub prime. Mortgages were sold not on the value of your home, which of course was your new equity, but on how much you paid each month. The mortgage of 10% deposit and 3 times the value of your earnings was effectively dead. Cars, holidays, luxury goods were bought on the back of ever growing equity.

This was further exacerbated by "buy to let" mortgages. You were able to buy second, third houses, if you could simply prove that you could get a tenant to live in them. With relatively static stock markets and a big tax on pension funds, buy to lets became new pensions.

Government tax revenues were of course buoyed by this. Stamp Duty, a tax on home sales, that had previously only affected the rich, hit almost everyone. Especially in London. Irish Londoners returning to Ireland helped boost the property prices of Ireland.

Then the party stopped. There is no mortgage market now. Approvals are down 90% on last year. If banks return to 3 times lending, UK property prices have a long long way to fall still.

Gordon Brown, as Chancellor, and now as Prime Minister faces the political consequences of this. Blair managed to escape the consequences of a deeply unpopular war and the economy crashing. It is unlikely that Brown will manage that. His own Party may not even keep him in office beyond June.

In the UK Gordon Brown has been saying that all of this mess was caused by America. His message was not quite the same to the US Congress. When he went to see Bush in October, he went with a begging bowl for a quarter of the bank bail out funds. Brown also encouraged Bush to reshape the Paulson plan, from one that may have worked to one that has not. He arrived at Congress, after 12 years of benefiting from a deregulated City and called for International regulation. Where were those calls in 1997?

The UK has no money for any giant recovery programmes. The gains of the boom years were spent. The lines have been snorted and all that is left is the come down. All that has been offered to the UK is a 2.5% drop in sales tax (VAT). From 17.5% to 15%. Even that is temporary. As a result OECD says that the UK is going to be harder hit and face a much longer period on recession than any other Country. The banks have had their bail outs though. Guarantees and loans have been given totalling more than the whole value of the UK GDP. The UK bank bail out is bigger than that of the US.

British voters are not exactly happy. They place the blame for that firmly at the door of Number 10.

Exactly how should a US President, deal with a British PM who has been blaming America for its ills?

Had the President slapped Gordon Brown, his already high popularity in the UK would have been boosted. The Brown government is only marginally more popular than George Bush in the States.

The UK Labour Party is not the Party of Democratic Socialism it once was. Blair expunged that. It is the Party of the billionaire prawn cocktail circuit and the prawns have gone bad. The UK Conservatives are not the Republican Conservatives. Cameron is probably closer to Obama than any Republican. While the Parties, are different, the papers are the same. They largely have the same US / UK ownership. They drive their own agenda, and fill the white space with irrelevance.

The gifts are a side show. Yes Region 1 DVDs do play in the UK. You can buy multi region dvd players for 10 in Tesco. Kids will be happy with model helicopters, especially models of Marine one. I'm not exactly sure of when a President will find time to read a 17 volume book on Churchill, and a pencil sharpener is so welcome. Gift giving was never something big between UK and US dignitaries. They are tokens.

Both Gordon Brown and President Obama have better things to worry about.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. The British burned the White House to the ground in 1814
These prissy Brit publications should be grateful we even allowed the PM into our White House.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. King George was criminally insane.
Had the US have elected McCain after 2 Bush terms, we would have got lawyers to examine whether he was able to declare America independent.


;-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Have you ever seen "The Madness of King George?" It's hilarious.
Apparently he had porphyria, which is a metabolic disease that has neurologic symptoms, chronic acute abdominal pain, skin lesions, sensitivity to light. It's also hereditary. Apparently he had the acute intermittent form of the disease.

So, sometimes he felt like a nut and sometimes he didn't. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. IMO skipping the formal press conference was a good idea.
The whole double podium thing would have been too reminiscent of the Bush & Blair grandstanding.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
asphalt.jungle Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. they don't call ...
The Telegraph the Torygraph for nothing. Same for the Daily Heil (err Mail).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. The Daily Hate
(I like the name daily heil though) became the dictator of the New Labour agenda. Almost all of the knee jerk legislation introduced or planned came as a reaction to their screed. 90 days detention without trial, anti immigration rants by Labour ministers.

Why did the Heil get so much power? The Mirror, previously the home of the Labour Party lost credibility when it printed faked photographs of British soldiers being involved with torture in Iraq. The story had meat, but the photos destroyed the paper. The Mail became the second best selling paper after The Sun. The Sun backed the Blair agenda on almost every issue.

Recently the Daily Hate, is no longer the hate rag it once was. Its place has been taken by The Express.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
asphalt.jungle Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. they have the ignominious distinction of
supporting the Nazis (and the Blackshirts) in the 30's, so they were and always will be considered the Daily Heil.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. You are right- except that the Daily Hate is still a hate-rag, though the Express is too!
As I've said on other threads, America has its right-wing talk-shows, and we in Britain have the tabloid press.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cooolandrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. What has to be noted is there is ill will left over from Blair. Also after 16 yeas of >
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 09:31 AM by cooolandrew

conservatism it was hard to turn back a culture of deregulation. Now the effects are felt of that culture Brown is logically asking for preventative regulations and Brown may well be spending more than US by ratio, but it's for more long term stability. Folks are wanting instant results in the UK that just won't come. Now when Brown mentions it was the America it's only a matter of fact that the likes of global corporations such as AIG did have influence on many world markets but Brown has only made mild reference to this. As in any nation there is political spin. TIme will probably bare Gordon Brown right in his actions and gained bail out funds that would probably mutally benefit America in gaining UK stablity of markets, but even in the UK there isn't always the patients or the understanding of his actions. Certainly it's understandable why some in the UK would oppose him Blair saw a problem coming and threw it into Brown's arms. Also the 12 point gap is partly down to a sentiment of good will to consevatives after the tory leader losing a son with a disability. The cyncism towards the conservative party isn't as profound as in the US as they mostly run the same philosphy but run a slicker operation that still has some inticed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. The 12 point lead was there before Cameron lost his son.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 10:08 AM by TheBigotBasher
If you include guarantees - the size of the bank bail outs is far greater than the cost of the US bank bail outs. Two banks alone have had over 600 billion of bail out money. The overall cost of the banking bail out has added 1.5 trillion to the UK national debt.

With increasing levels of business closures and the size of the bank bail outs, the UK is expecting a very serious summer of discontent, so serious it has the Security Services worried about riots.

The philosophies of Thatcher and Reagan may have been the same, however the Republicans left that when they whole heartedly adopted the Christian Right. The Christian Right do not have a base in the UK.

(added)

As for Brown he was directly responsible for this mess. Primarily breaking the link property prices from the inflation index resulted in wage inflation falling to pretty much zero, however the effects of this were hidden, so that although pay did not go up, people felt richer because their house prices did.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
9. The Torygraph
by the way the British Labour party is not full of cocktail circuit people. A few are who have influence.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Until Blair left
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 09:50 AM by TheBigotBasher
the "prawn cocktail" circuit controlled every aspect of New Labour.

Personified by (and the most hated example of the prawn cocktail circuit)


Peter Mandleson (who had green custard thrown on him)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/06/leila-de...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I was never a fan of Mandy
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. Brown is a lame duck... he presided over most of this mess as it was developing in the banking
so much for 'New' Labour
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Synicus Maximus Donating Member (828 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. Not really a snub. More a tempest in a teapot.
But the gifts seem to show a lack of thoughtfulness.The gifts the Browns gave involved historic and cultural references. Where the ones the Obamas give seem kind of like they sent someone to the gift shop to crab something.
But it will blow over with no effect.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
15. It was bad staff work, I doubt Obama was even consulted about the gifts
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
16. No he didn't, and the Murdoch press is just being ridiculous!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
18. All that's understood- and you're right (mostly)
Even so- would the response be to step in dogshit?

Is David Cameron going to be a front person for more rational policy?


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Is David Cameron going to be a front person for more rational policy?
Is the moon going to be made of green cheese?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. Labour will have some very hard times ahead.
All of the treausury estimates have to be rewritten. Unemployment is likely to hit 3 million. Local Authorities are cutting back on staff. The national debt, which had increased by 10 to 20 billion a year has now had 1.5 trillion added to it. They will lose badly in the coming European elections and Council elections, that will only foster more division with Labour MPs, who have Mandleson in their eyes because of the part privatisation of Royal Mail.

Browns' government looks very much like the last days of the Major government. I would say Cameron is inevitable. Whether he would be any good is a different matter. He has crafted the Conservative Party in his own image and has wrested it from the authoritarian wing of the Party and even the Thatcherites. He still plays to them, such as the stupid drugs policy, but they do not see him as one of them.

The Heil and the Diana conspiracy paper (The Express) are not exactly enthusiastic about Cameron. The Tories because of bad local discipline, managed to get heavily slapped down by Labour with the reviews of Constituency boundaries. As a result Cameron needs a giant lead to secure a majority. The Sun (Murdoch tabloid) backed Labour since 1995. I doubt it will do so again, Murdoch likes to go with the pack as well as lead it. I do not see them enthusiastically backing Cameron, rather they will be enthusiastically against Brown.

So with the electoral system placing them at a disadvantage and a pro, but not enthusiastic press, it will be a very tough challenge for Cameron to pull off a workable majority. I think he will do it though as voters do want to punish the Government, and Brown in particular. The downfall of Thatcher, gave the Conservatives another term, (with a massively reduced majority), if Labour MPs oust Brown I think the electorate would still punish the Government.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:26 AM
Response to Original message
20. Maybe the days of elaborate gift giving as though two elected
officials were potentates should be over?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Bush never gave Blair much as gifts either.
President Clinton gave Blair some cowboy boots. If President Obama had have arranged a big dinner, etc, the hard right would have attacked him for that.

Congress was the best gift Brown or Blair could have had and they both got it. Brown is one of very few Prime Ministers that have been able to add themselves to a very short list given the honour of addressing Congress. That is far more important than some toys for the children.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Aug 21st 2014, 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC