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Forty per cent Mr Brown?

Posted by Helen Monday, November 29, 2004

Gordon Brown has been giving his own version of what he thinks Britain should be like, to Newsweek. This is generally seen as another attempt on the Chancellor’s part to bid for the Labour Party’s leadership and, as it seems at the moment, the premiership. Why he should choose to do so in an American weekly, is a mystery. Perhaps, he did not think anyone will publish him here.

Well, it is a little difficult to take his comments seriously:

"It is by rediscovering our intrinsic strengths - our British values that include our belief in liberty, enterprise and civic duty," Brown said.

"And by celebrating them and by making investment in skills, science and enterprise our priority that the coming decade can be Britain's decade - making Britain one of the new global economy's greatest success stories."
This from a Chancellor, who is universally acknowledged as the man who has piled more taxes on British business than any other in recent history, makes rather queasy reading.

It gets worse:
"The long-term choice we must make is to learn from America, rigorously introduce the right incentives and rewards for risk, and make the changes in the school curriculum and in our colleges and universities necessary to create a revolution in attitudes toward enterprise and wealth creation," he added.
True enough but are we going to get to the interesting fact that most of the legislation that holds back British business is merely implemented by the British parliament, by the civil service and by those wretched agencies?

Ah yes, here it comes:
"And with 40 percent of new regulation coming from Europe, we will continue to resist inflexible barriers to job creation from whatever source they arise," Brown said.
Forty per cent Mr Brown? FORTY PER CENT? We always knew your maths was shaky but this is ridiculous. It is now acknowledged by all (except maybe governmental websites) that something like 70 to 80 per cent of all legislation and regulation comes from the EU and none of it can be rejected by any branch of the British government. One wonders why Mr Brown is so anxious to become Prime Minister.