Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Brown in Crisis

Is Gordon Brown is an unlucky Prime Minister, or is it his own incompetence that has caused so many disasters in his first few months. We’ve had terrorism, agricultural disaster, floods and a bank run in the first three months. The spin has been that GB has managed these crises effectively, when the media are in a good mood they overlook reality.

Foot and Mouth.
This occurred thanks to the release of dangerous pathogens from a government contractor laboratory, not an accident but the result of a disastrous policy. The government was responsible for the health and safety of the facility. Their attempt to privatise and cut funding in this and other industries has led to many problems, spread of disease in hospitals being one of the best known.

Northern Rock
The Labour Spin has been that they provide a stable economy, an end to boom and bust. Then NR decides to lend lots of money to those who can’t pay, and when that news leaks out a run on the bank is the result. It wasn’t helped by interest rates increases, and an over cosy relationship with the financial regulators who don’t seem to have been awake. So Labour has promised to guarantee every investor in NR, encouraging institutions to take more risks as there is no longer a downside to this. Another disaster is waiting to happen.

We’ve had years of bad decisions by planning authorities, allowing developers to build on the flood plain despite increasing risk. Climate change has been known about for years, competent authority should be preparing for this disaster, not building in areas that are prone to flooding, making things worse for those who live nearby.

I’ve blogged on this before, the problem is made worse by laying sealed surfaces over areas to park cars. There is another way, but authorities need to act, not just do business as usual.

Despite denials from Tony and Gordon its clear that many young Muslims see our disastrous policies on Iraq and the middle east as an injustice. They are wrong to do so but some of the more extreme people think the answer is terrorism. I would say the answer is campaigning against the three main parties whose policies on this are similar and wrong.

So is it bad luck or incompetence? Give them the answer at the next election, which might be some time as Brown seems to have made another mistake on this. After weeks of hyping up the possibility an election, causing frantic activity among the media and the party activists, he changes his mind and looks foolish. Not for the first time, but at last the media is waking up to him.

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