16 February 2009

Jackie Ashley is on something!


Jackie Ashley lets are mind run wild in this article.  She ploughs through the well known issues with Brown and then:

let me pass on a story doing the rounds among a few senior Labour people at Westminster. I can't say it will happen and I am sure Downing Street would deny it, with a hearty, but not necessarily convincing, laugh. But it comes from quite close to the inner core. It's worth bearing in mind.

It starts with the 2 April London G20 summit. This will be an important moment, with lots of red carpet, as leaders queue to be photographed with President Obama. But as the world stares at full-blown depression, with countries such as China and Germany under huge pressure to do more to revive the global economy, it's a lot more important than that. What will actually come out of it? Well, there's one near-certainty: agreement about the need for a new global financial regulator, whether based inside or outside the IMF.

I'm told the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has a favourite candidate to head this new body - Gordon Brown. She is said to be quietly pushing the idea behind the scenes and getting quite a good reaction from other leaders. Obama can be won over, says my source, and even Sarkozy would be pleased to see the man he's been tussling with off the European stage.

So the G20 is turning into a recruitment get together!

Then after thinking matters through for a few nanoseconds:

This brings us to my third reaction - and perhaps biggest objection.

Wait for it:

After the events of the past few weeks, culminating in the Lloyds-HBOS fiasco, Brown's CV as financial regulator is - how shall we put it? - looking a little tarnished. It was meant to be a brilliant coup, keeping both banks in the private sector, limiting taxpayer exposure and showing Brown's deft use of private contacts. That isn't how it looks now.


And finally:

It's a wild thought. But these are wild times.

Indeed they are dear lady.

A few questions that come to mind:

1. Who are these senior people that Jackie has spoken to?  Does she have exclusive access to them?

2. How come no one else has picked up and reported on this?

3. Is she suggesting that Prime Minister would abandon the office to take up this position due to international pressure and his unpopularity at home?

4. How will Brown and other world leaders react if they were asked about it now?

Brown would be ridiculed and treated with contempt by making such a move.

After the election maybe. But now?

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