Daily Archives: November 12, 2008

Jim Pickard

“That is why, when threatened by the global financial turmoil that started in America and has now spread across the world, we in Britain took action to secure our banks and financial system…*

“You know, it started in America, there was a lot of irresponsible lending taking place.” **

“This problem started in America. They have got to sort it out. The Americans have a responsibility to the rest of the world.” ***

November 2008. 10 Downing St. The prime minister, buoyed by the success of his strategy – blaming the US for the downturn – drafts a policy speech…….

“Let us turn to the troubling issue of smoking-related illness and the huge cost of this born by the National Health Service. This is a problem which began in America when tobacco was grown by Native Americans who subsequently sold this product to white settlers for smoking.

“One issue which keeps me lying awake at nights is that of pollution of the environment, of lakes, seas and forests, which has been imported to these shores via the Americans whose citizen Henry Ford invented the modern motor car. Read more

Jim Pickard

George Parker writes sceptically this morning that Gordon Brown is now “billing himself as the high priest of anti-recessionary deficit spending”.

At yesterday’s press conference the PM had the nerve to hint that the Chinese were following his lead….although “Mr Brown’s team stopped short of suggesting any cause and effect inherent in the phone call”.

In fact numerous economies have already carried out tax cuts or public spending increases. Read more

It was a valiant diplomatic effort. But Barack Obama has decided against meeting Gordon Brown at the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Washington. In spite of days of frantic behind the scenes work by British officials, there will be no powwow between the president-elect and the “chancellor of the world”.

Downing Street had hoped such a meeting would be possible. The main consolation will be that Obama has turned down all invitesRead more