08 March 2009

How Brown will spin failure at the G20

As the speculation continues over the G20 and whether agreement on anything large of small will be reached, Bagehot posts this:

….But it seems to me very unlikely that American leaders will take kindly to being told how to regulate remuneration by a left-wing (as he seems to them) Scot.

This doubt is part of a bigger potential disappointment for Mr Brown: the G20 summit in London in April. Barack Obama endorsed at least some of Mr Brown's agenda for the summit, and as my column argued in the paper this week, some of his regulatory hopes may be realised (though not necessarily at the summit). But Mr Obama is not using the same dramatic vocabulary—"global New Deal"; "grand bargain"—to describe his expectations of the meeting. Downing Street tries to shrug off this difference in rhetorical scale, but it is stark.

Of course, if Mr Brown fails to secure all the remedies he is talking about, he will be able to argue that the recession has been exacerbated by international intransigence. But on balance I fear that, by advertising these sometimes improbable ambitions, he is setting himself up for a fall.

What stands out is the sentence I have highlighted.  Is this a clue on how Brown will spin any failure at the G20?

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