Brown’s legacy


It is not often that I agree with our incumbent Prime Minister, but on the rare occasion it happens, it is certainly worth mentioning. On Wednesday, Gordon Brown called for the UK’s G8 partners to find a way to break down trade barriers and implement a world trade deal.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Brown stated:

I'll be working very hard with our G8 (Group of Eight) partners and others in the hope that in this 11th hour, where we need a trade deal now or it will be delayed for a great deal of time, we can make urgent progress in the next few days.

Earlier this week at the Google Zeitgeist Conference he spoke along the similar lines. Coming down strongly against protectionism he argued once more for free trade:

The two great protected industries of the moment are the two industries that are causing us the greatest problems today: the oil industry, with a cartel run by Opec; and the food industry, with high levels of subsidy.

It is well known that one of Brown’s personal concerns is poverty. He is absolutely correct in highlighting the iniquity of protectionism, and that it is holding back the economic development of the world.

Brown’s concern is timely. Following President Bush’s departure there is a strong risk that a protectionist Democrat will take the White House. With his growing unpopularity Brown may also be out of office before too long, but if he is capable of leading the world towards a free trade deal, he will leave office having done at something to be proud of.