I usually do not think that British politics have much impact on US Politics but a recent event shows how bias against “flyover territory” has infected leftist groupthink on the other side of the pond. The raw display of this is present in the person of Gordon Brown, soon to be former Prime Minister in an attempt to con the people of the UK into blaming someone else (anyone) for the great recession.
In a recent Radio 4 interview, Brown attempts to distract the public during an election of the fact that the current economic crisis is owned 100% lock, stock, and barrel by his Labour government. First, he backs away from claims that the era of “boom and bust” is over by claiming he meant it was over only for downturns caused by inflation. Brown as Tony Blair’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (US equivalent of the US Treasury Secretary) famously claimed to be the “Domestic Prime Minister” for 10 years prior to 2007. Funny how he never qualified this statement of boom and bust being over during good times only if it were an inflation caused downturn. A downturn due to say 9/11 as happened in 2002 must have slipped the Prime Minister’s mind.
The next thing he attempted was to place blame on the cause of the current recession as being outside of the borders of the UK. At one point he says the following:
“What happened was that a global banking crisis meant that something that happened in Mississippi transferred itself right across America then right across through Europe and we had to deal with that crisis and I think we took the action that was necessary to deal with that crisis quickly, restructured our banks, took public control of many of them, made sure that they could actually start lending agan, we’re trying to get them to lend more, and I think the action that we took on these days in October prevented the banking system from collapsing working with other countries.”
This remark about where the recession started is not just factually incorrect but also an insult to the people of Mississippi. This is a state that suffered greatly leading up to the recession with rebuilding huge swaths of destroyed area including over 25 miles of coastline destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Last time I checked Mississippi was not a hotbed of activity for risky mortgages or mortgage backed securities and even if it were would a state of less than 3 million people really bring down the entire global economy? Gordon Brown’s command of macroeconomics must really be overrated.
To check your own facts here is a link to the podcast: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/today/today_20100408-1048a.mp3
Click ahead to 5:50 mark to start listening.
Brown’s flippant remark is an insult to hardworking people of Mississippi who have by and large pulled themselves out of the Katrina disaster by their own bootstraps. Haley Barbour should be receiving an apology for a careless remark and the MSM should be demanding it despite the fact Mississippi is west of the Hudson and Potomac rivers.
Imagine had Brown said this was due to something that happened in New York? Would the Mainstream Media have picked up on the reference and defended New York? Imagine if Brown said it was due to something that happened in another place impacted by Hurrican Katrina like New Orleans?
Big media snobbery and a slight of hand on economic policy on display all to save one’s political skin. I usally do not root for a UK party to win as they all are to the left of my instincts by a long shot since Margaret Thatcher left the stage but I truly hope now David Cameron and the Conservative party give Gordon Brown’s tired Labour government the boot next month. The people of Mississippi will take some solace in it when this dour Scot can go back up to whatever peat burning village he came from.