Saturday, March 28

Mark Mirek Topolanek's words: the road to Hell is paved with stimulus spending

I wish Prime Minister Gordon Brown would stop hopping around the world in the manner of a flea on a hot griddle.

After all the trouble I went to the other day to prepare a welcome gift for his return to Washington, it turned out he'd already come and gone from U.S. shores again.

I guess he decided not to test President Obama's hospitality a second time. Instead of returning to Washington he made a stopover in New York on Wednesday, where he spoke at NYU, the UN, and a breakfast hosted by the Wall Street Journal, which as we all know is now owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The New York appearances did not make headlines so I assume his speeches were more of same that he's delivered every place on the planet except Antarctica to drum up support for his plan to save the world.

Mr Brown made up for the lack of press attention in New York with his appearances in Santiago and Brasilia.

In Santiago, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet embarrassed him when she explained (in English) that Chile's government had put aside money during good economic times to help it through the downturn -- something that the British government had not thought to do.

During his stopover in Brasilia, Mr Brown was informed by Brazil's President, Lula da Silva, that white bankers with blue eyes were entirely to blame for the global financial crisis.

That lets Gordon off the hook -- he's a brown-eyed politician; a one-eyed brown-eyed politician, at that -- but it was one of those moments a leader of the Western World could do without.

If he'd had his wits about him Gordon should have shot back, 'And it was brown-eyed Brazilian bankers who sent the Amazon up in flames with their tweet-brained development policies.'

But I suppose he had few wits left after hearing from his old friend Mervyn King, head of the Bank of England, that Britain could not afford another massive round of fiscal stimulus -- another massive stimulus being a key aspect of Gordon's financial rescue plan.

To add insult to many injuries this past week, on Wednesday Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, said that Obama's fiscal stimulus plans were the "road to hell."

The remark was an obvious criticism of Mr Brown, who has supported President Obama's stimulus plan. Indeed, I seem to recall that he'd boasted that the U.S. fiscal stimulus plan was inspired by his.

I don't like feeling pity for politicians so I'll keep my advice to Gordon Brown brief and gruff: Get a grip, if you don't want the G20 meeting to turn into the Siege of Khartoum.

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