What Brown Would Do in No 10: We Know about His Economic Policies. but Where Does the Chancellor Stand on Wars, Israel, Schools, and Law and Order? John Kampfner Reveals the Hidden Agenda of the Next PM

By Kampfner, John | New Statesman (1996), May 24, 2004 | Go to article overview

What Brown Would Do in No 10: We Know about His Economic Policies. but Where Does the Chancellor Stand on Wars, Israel, Schools, and Law and Order? John Kampfner Reveals the Hidden Agenda of the Next PM


Kampfner, John, New Statesman (1996)


He has been biting his nails, waiting for his moment. Gordon Brown has, over the past seven years, run much of the government's domestic agenda. His record on economic management, poverty reduction and international debt relief, his views on welfare, enterprise and public services are well documented. And yet there remain whole swathes of policy, especially foreign affairs, which he has observed from the sidelines, often with frustration. So how would he conduct Britain's relations with the rest of the world and how would he deal with those aspects of public policy that have yet to come under his thumb? Here is a guide to the hidden policy world of the prime minister-in-waiting.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For all his public protestations of support, Brown has drawn some sharply critical conclusions about the way Tony Blair has conducted foreign policy. The processes have been, in his view, as alarming as the outcomes. Blair's reliance on personal relations and his belief in his powers of persuasion have struck the Brown camp as naive, at best. Granted the benefit of hindsight, the Brown approach during the frantic weeks before the Iraq war would have been to stick with the UN process, to see the relationship between the British Prime Minister and US president as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Brown would have insisted, I am told, on a second UN resolution, and would not have acquiesced on multilateral action so quickly.

Brown has a well-chronicled affection for America and was heavily influenced by the economic thinking of the New Democrats in the early to mid-1990s. Yet he feels Blair underplayed his hand with the Americans. "Tony operates on the basis of influence," says one official who has seen the two men close up in the international arena. "Gordon operates on the basis of interest."

Would Brown have gone to war against Saddam Hussein? Possibly, but a Brown government might have insisted as a condition for its support on a slower timetable, and have taken a far less personalised and rhetorically moralising approach to the conflict. As for future military deployments, Brown has not been converted to the school of thought that saw Kosovo as a moral template for humanitarian intervention. He kept his public proclamations of support for that conflict to a bare minimum, but behind the scenes was furious that Blair seemed to want a blank cheque for military spending in return for persuading Bill Clinton to take part.

Brown has long viewed the military establishment as one of the worst exponents of financial irresponsibility. He has little time also for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an institution, although he would be keen to cherry pick those officials he respects into his inner sanctum. Whenever he travels abroad, Brown makes a point of not staying at the residences of British ambassadors, to avoid being taken "captive" by the FCO. Brown has learned from Blair's mistakes and would not, I am told, take the word of his intelligence chiefs as gospel.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On Israel, the otherwise pragmatic Brown is curiously passionate. He is strongly influenced by the experience of his father, who as a Church of Scotland pastor visited the Jewish homeland several times during the early, idealistic years of its establishment. Brown, like Blair, was identified by the Israeli embassy as an up-and-coming politician and from the early 1990s was assiduously cultivated. In recent years, he has been at least as enthusiastic as Blair in attending meetings of Labour Friends of Israel. His views about the peace process are, however, meticulously middle-of-the-road, adhering to the standard template of a two-state solution. The extent to which Brown as PM would challenge Israel over issues such as settlements, targeted killings and bulldozing of houses would provide an early test of his priorities.

What of other areas of what briefly came to be known as an ethical foreign policy? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Brown Would Do in No 10: We Know about His Economic Policies. but Where Does the Chancellor Stand on Wars, Israel, Schools, and Law and Order? John Kampfner Reveals the Hidden Agenda of the Next PM
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.