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In the loo, metaphorically speaking


 

Gordon Brown welcomes Stephen Harper back to Europe.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail and other media at 10 Downing St. on the eve of the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, Mr. Brown outlined a “growth strategy for the world” consisting of African development funding, investments in climate-change reduction and reform of global institutions to create a worldwide regulatory framework.

While those ideas have won broad support with the major European nations and U.S. President Barack Obama and are likely to set the agenda at the Italian summit today, they also differ sharply from the aims of Mr. Harper’s government, which has moved away from African aid, avoided a major role in carbon-emissions reduction and shunned the notion of international regulatory bodies.

An updated version of the story softens the Brown v. Harper angle.


 

In the loo, metaphorically speaking

  1. Nowhere in the article does Gordon Brown single out Canada or Prime Minister Harper.

    It looks to me like shoddy journalism of leading a story with opinion rather than fact.

    The first paragraph or the article states: "British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested in an interview that Stephen Harper's government has fallen out of step with the thinking of other major nations on climate and development issues. "

    Can anyone find me an actual quote, or an inference made by Gordon Brown that attacks Harper? At least in the article listed here, I can't find a single one. The atricle headline, and first paragraph, are incredibly misleading.

    Anyone disagree?

  2. "…they also differ sharply from the aims of Mr. Harper's government, which has moved away from African aid, avoided a major role in carbon-emissions reduction and shunned the notion of international regulatory bodies."

    What do you expect from a Machiavellian Evangelical Christian obsessed with power and prestige? Maybe he actually does care about Africa, global warming, and international obligations, but he's just too damned busy making smear ads and mailing pamphlets because someone forgot to tell him that Campaign '08 has ended.

  3. I just listened to the audio posted on the G and M website where a journalist, whom I assume is the author of the article, asks a leading question about how Harper is so evil on Africa blah blah blah.

    Brown totally side-steps the question and talks about his own policies and pursuits.

    So I ask again, despite the fact that the headline and main jist of the article suggests Brown slammed Harper and Canada, I can not find one, not ONE instance where Brown did anything of the sort.

  4. Actually, since Wherry's lead in line sarcastically says "Gordon Brown welcomes Stephen Harper back to Europe", maybe Wherry could point out to me where Gordon Brown makes any statement inferring negatively towards Mr. Harper?

    • RH. You'll note that the Globe has posted an updated version of the story that changes the angle slightly.

  5. Thanks. I notice they removed a lot of their misleading paragraphs, but that you left your "Gordon Brown welcomes Stephen Harper back to Europe".

    Let's all admit that not once did Gordon Brown even mention Mr. Harper's name. I am really shocked at how that story even was posted online at all, and why you chose to link to it.

  6. "Mr. Brown outlined a “growth strategy for the world” consisting of African development funding, investments in climate-change reduction and reform of global institutions to create a worldwide regulatory framework."

    Why doesn't Brown focus on a 'growth strategy' for his country before he gets busy on buggering the world, sorry, I meant 'growth strategy for the world'.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest African aid gets used to purchase Mercedes', guns and fatten Swiss bank accounts.

    Climate change has proven to be a chimera because world temps have gone down this decade, while CO2 admissions have increased, and no models predicted that.

    And why would Canada want to join a "worldwide regulatory framework" when our banks worked just fine, thank you very much.

    Brown is just spouting clapped out ideas from his marxist youth and he can't accept that the world has passed him by. You will be getting kicked to the curb soon, PM Brown, so please stop attempting to do even more damage than you have already done.

    As an aside, there was an article yesterday in The Times (London) that said UK Conservatives and senior public servants held an event the other week that focused on what Libs/Canada did in mid to late 90s to eliminate borrowing and reducing debt. Labour was not interested in attending or listening.

  7. "Mr. Brown outlined a “growth strategy for the world” consisting of African development funding, investments in climate-change reduction and reform of global institutions to create a worldwide regulatory framework."

    Why doesn't Brown focus on a 'growth strategy' for his country before he gets busy on buggering the world, sorry, I meant 'growth strategy for the world'.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest African aid gets used to purchase Mercedes', guns and fatten Swiss bank accounts.

    Climate change has proven to be a chimera because world temps have gone down this decade, while CO2 admissions have increased, and no climate models predicted that.

    And why would Canada want to join a "worldwide regulatory framework" when our banks worked just fine, thank you very much.

    Brown is just spouting clapped out ideas from his marxist youth and he can't accept that the world has passed him by. You will be getting kicked to the curb soon, PM Brown, so please stop attempting to do even more damage than you have already done.

    As an aside, there was an article yesterday in The Times (London) that said UK Conservatives and senior public servants held an event the other week that focused on what Libs/Canada did in mid to late 90s to eliminate borrowing and reducing debt. Labour was not interested in attending or listening.

    • "Why doesn't Brown focus on a 'growth strategy' for his country before he gets busy on buggering the world, sorry, I meant 'growth strategy for the world'."

      I partly appreciate your point, and Brown's particular ideas might be misplaced, but can't we agree that the more dire challenges of our era (political, economic, environmental) are global in scope? While we may be using the wrong strategies to address some problems, it would be foolish for nations to circle their wagons and maintain a strict inner focus.

      Canadian banks may be doing fine for now, but that's of no use to us if the global economy stays in the crapper for a decade (just as one example).

      • "While we may be using the wrong strategies to address some problems, it would be foolish for nations to circle their wagons and maintain a strict inner focus."

        Why would it be foolish for everyone to focus on their own problems? I think that's exactly what we need because there would be fewer problems if governments focused on their own knitting and kept their noses out of what their neighbours are up to. The problem with global solutions is that they don't work because different countries have different issues, cultures, political systems … etc. And when a 'global solution' goes wrong, which it inevitably will, the whole world suffers instead of it being localized in one or two countries.

        • Big agreement from me that local problems need local solutions to work, in most any case. But, there are networks that are greater than the sum of their parts, and so too must be the solutions or mitigations.. Pandemic diseases, international trade, displaced refugee populations, fish stocks, water supplies, oil, wars – all of these are not neatly addressed by insular, parochail national programs in many instances.

          I wouldn't be so quick to say global solutions all fail (as a blanket generalization). There may be enormous problems inherent in everything from international human rights, to vaccinations, to economic trade structures, but the outcome has generally leaned toward positive outcomes in several instances.

          Put another way, if we see the logic in extending our world of social interdepedence beyond our own nuclear family, why should that stop at the artificial boundary of a nation state?

          • I believe there will always be problems that can't be fixed in any meaningful way, no matter how large the government or global solution.

            The problem with drafting 'global solutions' is that the world is not one size fits all. The climate change issue is a perfect example: some countries believe something should be done, mainly western countries, while other countries want to focus on creating wealth for their citizens and screw the climate, mainly second and third world countries. So when a global solution is crafted for this 'problem', lots of horse trading will have to be done and no one will be satisfied because the problem will not really be fixed. Global solutions will always be half-assed at best because there are too many competing points of view/interest.

          • Couldn't the same argument be made against an extended family, village, city, region or nation/state? What's the maximum social unit of utility?

          • "Couldn't the same argument be made against an extended family, village, city, region or nation/state?"

            It could, yes. I agree with your statement and that's why I don't want global anything. Smaller is better, less damage done because it is localized. Give me a few drinks on a Friday night and I will explain to you why Canada and US should be eliminated and each Prov/State should be its own country and the biggest cities should be city states.

            Another reason why I am against global structures, which I forgot to mention earlier, is that it gives pols another way to avoid responsibilities for their actions. Whenever something goes wrong they will say something like 'nothing to do with me, guv, it is the fault of the global body in charge of widgets, honest'.

          • It's one of the greater paradoxes to consider – the human tendency is to work most effectively in small scale collectives, yet we're 'stuck' with dependence upon global structures.

            I think we'd agree on many things in principle, by the way, save for the potential utility of attempted global coordination to address global problems. As much as I'm glad as hell to live in Canada, it gets harder to see our nation as usefully more than a functional union (as opposed to a collective with a unified vision and values). That's ultimately my problem with Trudeau-style liberalism – always trying to force-feed a national identity that probably can't exist.

          • "It's one of the greater paradoxes to consider – the human tendency is to work most effectively in small scale collectives, yet we're 'stuck' with dependence upon global structures."

            I am big fan of Burke's thoughts on 'little platoons' and how they are vital in developing democracy and peoples love of their country. Tocqueville was also concerned about the mediating structures that are between individuals and the State. The bigger the State gets, and the more we focus on individualism, the little platoons slowly disappear and we are cut off my our neighbours/neighbourhood and our reliance on the State increases.

            The problem with Trudeau and others of his ilk is that they expect us to love inanimate objects and/or bureaucracy but very few of us get excited about the Charter or OHIP or CBC.

  8. The article in question has been removed, and the new article has been updated with the removal of all references of Mr. Brown to Mr. Harper.

    I put a complaint into the Globe and Mail this morning, and it was responded to.

    What still bothers me is that Aaron Wherry happily linked to the original article with no critical thought or discussion about the validity of the article. When I repeatedly posted on here that the article was incorrect, he simply posted a link to an updated, but still factually inaccurate article, but made no removal of his own sarcastic "Gordon Brown welcomes Stephen Harper back to Europe".

    Your opening line is a direct reference to an unsubstantiated and false article.

    Maybe I'm being a bit picky here, but I think journalism standards are important and whether the article slammed Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, or Gilles Duceppes I would complain regardless, if some reporter/blogger/journalist incorrectly implied that a foreign leader had criticized them.

  9. I also agree that larger structures of any kind – political, corporate, etc. – too easily become systems divorced from the purposes they are meant to serve, and too easily allow for blame to be assigned to the system instead of the individuals who constitute that same system. (I remain suspicious of any proposed reforms to our governments that include proportional representation for that reason – the plans I've seen dilute the accountability of local representatives, like MPs or MPPs).

    So, we agree on a fair bit. But there still remains the problem of how uncoordinated collectives can address global problems.

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