Gordon Brown comes to Strasbourg

March 24th:  Today we had the privilege of hearing Gordon Brown address the European parliament in Strasbourg, to tell us how he planned to save the world at the G20 (and to assure us that the UK’s dire economic position was nothing to do with him).  This was followed by a formal debate in which the only speakers were Group leaders — so French MEP Joseph Daul, President of the EPP Group, spoke for the Conservatives, and we could well have had no Conservative speaker at all.
 
But into the breach stepped Dan Hannan, who managed to secure the three minutes speaking time available to the Non Inscrit.  He used the time well.  See his speech at the top of this blog post. Of course I had pitched for the time, but it went to Dan because he’d had fewer turns at these set pieces (I had three innings against Tony Blair during the British Presidency), and I was delighted to provide Dan with moral support.
 
It was noteworthy that the most effusive praise for Brown’s speech came from Martin Schultz MEP, leader of the Socialist group, who insisted that socialists agreed with every word.  So we know where Brown is coming from.
 
The speech I never gave: just in case, I’d prepared a speech anyway.  Here is the speech I did not get to deliver:
 
Prime Minister:
 
As a British Conservative, I welcome your robust commitment to free trade and your opposition to protectionism.  I recall that your previous Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, earned the grudging respect of colleagues, and fought with vigour and determination, if without success, for a conclusion to the Doha Round. 
 
It would be good to hear from you what your new Commissioner Lady Ashton has achieved on this front.
 
Many times, Prime Minister, you announced the end of Boom & Bust, and you must be congratulated on achieving the first half of that project.  You have certainly ended the Boom.  Ending the Bust may be more problematic.
 
As Margaret Thatcher famously remarked: “The trouble with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money”.
 
One prominent British commentator has said that the only difference between Gordon Brown and American financier Bernard Madoff is that Madoff is going to jail.  Both took large sums of money from a great many people, on a false prospectus.  Both left their victims with nothing to show for it but a mountain of debt.
 
But there is one other difference: at least Madoff had the decency to express regret.
 
This is a crisis of debt, Prime Minister, yet your preferred solution is yet more spending, yet more debt.  You are like the alcoholic who believes that one last bottle of whisky will solve his problems.
 
Be in no doubt, Prime Minister, that the Day of Reckoning will come.  I suspect it will come in May next year.

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1 Response to Gordon Brown comes to Strasbourg

  1. Richard J says:

    Dont know what he had for breakfast, but Hannon was firing on high octane turbocharged cylinders.

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