Wednesday, 27 June 2007

BRITAIN'S NEW PM: BROWN NOW SERVING...


WHAT DO I CARE?

Basically, about 3 things:

1. That Gordon Brown, who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, sounded the most committed western decision-maker to the Millennium Development Goals and mainstream so-called "pro-poor" policies, keeps and extends that commitment (ideally by giving more centre stage to African-based concerns increasingly distancing themselves from "Bono-style" charity campaigns...) and effectively stands and delivers on it;

2. That he succeeds at achieving a speedy withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and wisely guides Blair on his new role as putative Middle East peace broker (also hoping that he manages to get Alan Johnston out of there alive);

3. That he manages to put an halt to what emerged in the last few years of New Labour's government as new "facts of life" in Britain, e.g. gun and knife crime and what seems a general deterioration of council services everywhere, particularly bearing in mind that he was the man responsible for increasing council tax to the unprecedented levels witnessed in the last decade.

That said, I wish him the best of luck in, as he promised today in his inauguration speech, "trying (his) utmost" in "the work of change"!

WHAT DO I CARE?

Basically, about 3 things:

1. That Gordon Brown, who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, sounded the most committed western decision-maker to the Millennium Development Goals and mainstream so-called "pro-poor" policies, keeps and extends that commitment (ideally by giving more centre stage to African-based concerns increasingly distancing themselves from "Bono-style" charity campaigns...) and effectively stands and delivers on it;

2. That he succeeds at achieving a speedy withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and wisely guides Blair on his new role as putative Middle East peace broker (also hoping that he manages to get Alan Johnston out of there alive);

3. That he manages to put an halt to what emerged in the last few years of New Labour's government as new "facts of life" in Britain, e.g. gun and knife crime and what seems a general deterioration of council services everywhere, particularly bearing in mind that he was the man responsible for increasing council tax to the unprecedented levels witnessed in the last decade.

That said, I wish him the best of luck in, as he promised today in his inauguration speech, "trying (his) utmost" in "the work of change"!

4 comments:

Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for the comment on my US of Africa post, but it needs a little more clarification. I will leave a response to your brief comment at my place sometime today.

Re: the new PM Gordon Brown

It will be interesting to see what he does better regarding Item Nr. 1, he doesn't have much leverage in the Iraq & Afghanistan wars which are both clearly widening as correctly predicted by some experts, and Item Nr. 3 is an "internal issue" that doesn't concern us.

Whatever he does, we will be watching Gordon Brown's leadership in Europe and abroad very closely, much closer than the government(s) of Tony Blair. If we don't like what we see, you (citizens of the U.K.) will know it in very clear terms. Ask the French and the Germans, they know what I'm talking about.

Koluki said...

Hi BRE, it's always a pleasure having you here!

I'll get back to the US of A issue after reading your comment.

Now, re. Brown's premiership:

I guess everybody is waiting to see what he "really" does on nr. 1;
On nr. 2, he certainly doesn't have leverage enough to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan overnight, but he certainly has the power to decide to withdraw his troops which, along with the other "coalition" forces, in my opinion are the main causal factor behind their predicted widening;
Nr. 3 is an item that concerns me insofar as I am taxed in this country... I don't know which 'us' you're talking about, but the people most affected by gun crime (and this is an absolutely new phenomenon in this country, at least by the dimensions it has assumed in the last few years particularly in cities like London and Birmingham), are mostly from the black and other ethnic minority communities, which obviously include Africans...

Anyway, whatever Brown does, he will always be constrained by the limits to his mandate (both in terms of time and political scrutiny) because he is not an elected leader after all... So, you guys, in France, Germany and elsewhere, please try not to be too hard on him, at least not harder than you were on Tony Blair, who had two full mandates in the last decade...

P.S.: On something totally unrelated: I saw a few days ago a comment of yours in Black Looks, saying you had never heard of Kimpa Vita. Now, yesterday I noticed in your blogroll 'A Fistfull of Euros', which immediately reminded me of the place where I found a text on her some 2 or 3 years ago and posted here together with the letters from D. Afonso of Kongo to the king of Portugal (to which I think I called your attention a few months ago), but could not remember at the time where I had got it from...
I'm a bit short on time at the moment, but I will visit that blog and try to retrace it there.

Black River Eagle said...

Thank you for such a detailed response. Remember I am from the colonies (U.S.A.) so when I talk about us I usually mean the U.S. Being from the colonies and having a fairly good understanding of my country's long history with Europe forces me to (almost) always look at what's coming out of "old Europe" with a great deal of skepticism and mistrust. I must admit that there have been some marked improvements over the past 60 years in select European countries but it is not yet a "continental phenomenon" that applies to all governments and citizens here. I normally write about my feelings toward Europe and Europeans in the comments section of my friend Jörg Wolf's Atlantic Review blog (Berlin), a blog authored by 3 Fulbright scholars that deals primarily with the "transatlantic love/hate affair" between Europe and the U.S.A.

I would really appreciate any information on the history of your people down in Angola and your ancestral cousins in the Congo(s) as I am terribly interested in that subject and plan to compose and publish more Black History in Europe & the New World posts for Jewels this year. I've made a note to contact you before we publish so that you may join our team in Germany and perhaps contribute some stuff from the Portuguese historical and literary archives. Portugal is in the headlights re: development assistance and political umdenken toward sub-Saharan Africa at the moment (the EU Presidency) and I am certainly gonna bring up a few outstanding issues with the Portuguese at my place.

Presently reading a lot of articles and posts re: the William Easterly vs. Jeffrey Sachs Show. There's been a burst of articles by leading economists on the subject recently and I often think of your educational background when it has to do with economic theory and history. I'll be posting on that subject soon albeit I am a total ignoramous when it comes to ECONOMICS theory and methods___ as most people are I presume.

Koluki said...

Hi BRE,

Sorry, I haven't been able lately to keep up with our conversation and all the interesting leads you've been leaving here. I hope you'll understand.
But I will certainly get back to you on all this as soon as I can.
For the moment just to say that since I got hold of the Vanity Fair last week I was preparing an article discussing the piece on Jeffrey Sachs appeared there.
All these last few days nightmare didn't let me get really down to it. But it's good that I'm caught unawares by this Easterly/Sachs debate, because I'll probably have something to say on it in my article.
Talk to you soon.