Could there be an urgent international role for Gordon?

Could there be an urgent international role for Gordon?

What’s the world going to do post-Copenhagen?

I was very struck by the Indy on Sunday’s, John Rentoul, in his blog on Gordon Brown’s performance in Copenhagen – for of all the left of centre commentators he is one of the biggest and most consistent critics of the PM.

He wrote: “The relative failure of the Copenhagen summit has a more parochial implication: Gordon Brown won’t get the credit he so richly deserves for a feat of negotiating energy and skill that helped to solve all the main issues apart from the big one, the great stonewall of China.

The lazy assumptions that I shared – that Brown hates international meetings, that he is shy, awkward and rude, and therefore a poor negotiator – turn out to be wrong. I am told by his spin doctors that he used his relationship with Barack Obama to help save the summit as it approached meltdown on Wednesday and Thursday. They tell me that he chaired difficult meetings brilliantly, and that he chaired so many of them, with such energy and stamina, that he seemed to be directing the whole show.

What is really extraordinary is that they are right. Just because they are the Prime Minister’s spin doctors does not mean that they should always be disbelieved. Because I have also spoken to other people who have no interest in talking Brown up but who have seen him in action. They say that he is really good at the multi-dimensional chess of international summitry; that, as chairman of many of the key meetings, he has proved himself an effective judge of summit psychology, allowing people to feel that they have had their say but keeping the business moving along…”

From Rentoul that is praise indeed. And if that is recognised internationally then maybe Brown could be seen as the ideal candidate for a new role that could be created – possibly at the follow-up gathering that takes place in Bonn in the New Year? I know we’ve speculated along these lines before and there was similar talk ahead of last April’s G20 meeting in relation to international financial regulation.

But could, and this is a wild guess, a move happen that means that Labour is led by somebody else into the general election?

It should be noted that like many others PBers I have open betting positions on him not being leader at election time!

Mike Smithson

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