Monday, 21 September 2009

Unanswerable Question Really

Mary Riddell, writing in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph, tackles the subject of Gordon Brown's arrival in the US to attend the UN climate change summit.

Questioning whether Brown's 'standing' on the world stage is, and has been, damaged by his loss of popularity at home - and having to face an election within 200 days, one which he is undoubtedly going to lose - Mary Riddell surely misses the point.

Would it not be more pertinent to ask why the taxpayer is funding travel, accommodation and possible entertainment costs for someone to attend a summit on 'climate change', followed by a G20 meeting, when in fact that someone is unable to reflect the views of the country he is supposed to represent; rather that he has to reflect the views of a 'government' to which he is subservient, and a government that, as a result, his electorate were unable to elect, cannot evict from office and is therefore totally unaccountable to said electorate.

Whilst also 'prattling' on about Brown's fortunes at home, Mary Riddell does get one point almost correct when commenting that, on his return to the UK - having tried to save the world again - he will be seen as "a clapped-out, no-hope, couldn't-run-a-whelk-stall leader with time and power trickling through his fingers." No doubt the description she uses is one that describes exactly how other world leaders will view Brown, but we well let Mary Riddell's omission of this minor fact pass.

In fairness, one must not be too critical of Mary Riddell as, in her defense, she is but a 'professional journalist' - surely an oxymoron - who is supposed to enlighten her readers with well researched, forensic writing.

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