Monday, November 12, 2007

Gordon Brown, neocon.


An overstatement, perhaps. The more precise formula is that he is a reformist who became a neoliberal. But I think it worth pointing out, in light of the delusions among Labourites that Brown is going to thumb his nose at American policy simply because he isn't quite as far up Bush's arse as Blair was, that Brown has been flirting with the neoconservatives for some time. This weird tendency manifested itself with his statements on Empire as something for Britons to be proud of and stop apologising for (shortly thereafter, Blair had to apologise for and express shame about the Empire's extensive involvement in and coordination of the slave trade). Then there was the friendly review of Irwin Stelzer's volume on neoconservatism (the volume reproduced Blair's 1999 Chicago speech). Then there was the citation of the ultra-reactionary Gertrude Himmelfarb, neocon wife of Irving Kristol, as his guru. Brown is closer to the Democrats than the Republicans, but it is the neoconservative brand of Democrat that he likes. In tonight's white tie speech in front of the Lord Mayor of London and the cream of Britain's capitalist class, Gordon Brown is to support the American government's threats to Iran, boost NATO, attack 'anti-Americanism' etc etc. The neocons are not about to go out of business in Downing Street anytime soon.