By what right do Mr Darling and Mr Brown represent us in talks about the Greek crisis?

It is unusual for the leader of the second largest minority party in the Commons to speak for the country and to represent us in important national discussions. Yet that is what is happening this week-end concerning the current phase of the sovereign debt crisis.

There are good practical reasons why it makes no sense. Let us suppose this week-end the Finance leaders of the main governments wish to discuss putting in place back up facilities for countries at risk, to talk about making larger contributions to the IMF capital, or some other financial commitment from their countries as a stand-by for any developing crisis. Or let us suppose they wish to discuss changing financial law and regulation in each of their countries.

How Can Mr Brown and Mr Darling promise or commit the UK to any such measure, as they have no idea what they could get through the House of Commons if anything from their much enfeebled voting position in the new Commons.

The sovereign debt crisis is serious. Markets world wide have a bad attack of the shakes over it. It requires steady purpose and wise decisions from here by the leading governments and financial regulators. I do not see what is the point of Messrs Brown and Darling pretending they speak for the UK when they do not speak for a majority in Parliament any more. On past form they have always showered public money at any such problem created on their watch. One of the messages from the largest party in the Commons is we no longer have big money to commit, thanks to the massive borrowings the last government ran up.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

20 Comments

  1. Dan
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I suppose the answer is:

    1. Somebody has to.
    2. Nobody else is yet in a position to do so.
    3. Therefore it's them by default.

    If they're sensible, they will be in communication with the Libs and Tories over the course of the talks so as to have an idea of what Parliament will agree to.

    • Robert George
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      No Dan,

      Nobody has to. The bailout deal is a sticth up agreed between France and Germany and only requires(under the new rules) a simple majority to be passed. As the Eurozone has more votes than the non- eurozone (Sweden, UK Poland) it will pass whether we attend or not .

      What Brown should have done is firstly not attended and secondly announced that UK would agree to nothing pending the appointment of a new government. That would have no technical legal effect but is the best that could be done. Merely attending makes UK complicit.

      Your points 2 and 3 are of no effect given my 1.

      Cheers.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    They have absolutely no right at all.
    They have absolutely no power at all.
    Mr Brown should become the Minister of the Kirk, where he should have been all along, and Mr Darling would do really well as a minor Edinburgh lawyer, where he should have been all along.
    I just hope that my dear little country, so humiliated over the many swindles of postal voters and queues of voters denied their rights, won't be committed to the wastage of even more of our rapidly declining pounds.

    PS We invested our life savings for four years and got a princely return yesterday as they matured – £247 for an investment of £7,000!
    You know it makes sense!

    • Mike
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      £7000 life savings? You haven't worked very hard!

  3. JimF
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    They have no mandate to agree anything. If Conservatives as the largest party haven't been consulted about this it's a scandal. Has the Queen/Palace been kept in the loop I wonder?

    • Mike
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      What's the Queen got to do with it? This is supposed to be a democracy. Why is an unelected figurehead involved? I thought Oliver Cromwell sorted that out years ago.

  4. Stronghold Barricade
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    As I understand it, the constitution allows them to be our representatives until someone else turns up with the eviction papers

    I suppose, we would have to ask Mr Gus O'Donnell who appears to have written some material on this situation, but I would query whether the position allowed Brown/Darling to commit to anything which another incoming government could immediately renege on. It would, however, not surprise me to discover that Brown leaves another booby trap in place as part of his scorched earth policy.

  5. Donna W
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Because until a new Government is elected and can command the confidence of Parliament, the current Government remains in power.

    But you know that.

    Unfortunately, Cameron cannot demonstrate that he can command the confidence of Parliament because he has no majority. Until Gordon Brown tries to put the Queens Speech before Parliament and gets voted down, he remains PM.

    If Cameron had kept his promise on a post-ratification Referendum relating to the EU and repatriating powers given away in the Lisbon Treaty without the consent of the electorate, we wouldn't be in this position. Cameron alienated a large proportion of his core vote – which really isn't clever.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    JR: "The sovereign debt crisis is serious."

    Not as serious as a referendum on PR according to the pundits!!

  7. John
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Frankly the way Gordon Brown has acted in far away countries during the past few years I would not be surprised if he came back having promised the Greeks a couple of billion quid of our money in foreign aid grants.

  8. Clothcap
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    He has gone to whisper in people's ear where he can't be overheard "please, please destroy the emails…"
    🙂

    Btw, their discussion isn't about rescuing Greece, its about rescuing the OWG currency. Greece is only a part of the burden that the incompetent egotits have overloaded the gravy train with. Derailment imminent and tomorrow is not soon enough imo.

    [Yes, I noticed but decided to leave it misspelled.]

    • Mike
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      What about ending a sentence with a preposition? Is that ok too?

  9. Phill
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    They of course constitutionally have the right to represent us in those discussions, the government has to continue in this period of uncertainty. I do wonder however if the correct and statesmanlike thing to have done would have been to take Osborne as Churchill had invited Atlee to Potsdam in 1945 prior to the election, this would ensure a smooth transition in any negotiations should a Conservative and Liberal agreement be reached this weekend.

  10. Cindy
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Great points! I will be checking back here often!

  11. APL
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Do I recall wrongly or was it asserted that a bailout of the Euro/Greece by the United Kingdom wouldn't take place?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/

    Well, well!

  12. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    So why not do something practical about it? Fax the EC and the Member States to declare that Brown and Darling no longer represent the UK and that agreements that they enter into will not be honoured. We have all the aces. All we need to do is play them.

  13. Shaun
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    "How Can Mr Brown and Mr Darling promise or commit the UK to any such measure, as they have no idea what they could get through the House of Commons if anything from their much enfeebled voting position in the new Commons."
    They can't. They're still bound by the election purdah rules. So the position they take will be discussed with Osborne and Cable, with the Civil Service providing support and they're not allowed to commit the country to anything that the next government would have to adhere to or that would require legislation.

    Shaun

  14. Clothcap
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    John, the problem with Greece is described in detail in Der Spiegel. The EU clowns are desperate to keep their EUSSR objective intact at any cost (to us).

    More deception and or idiocy in the UK. The day after Brown was despatched, we see the environment and climate change position intact in the new assemblage. A pity Cleese isn't in the line up, having shown his ability to gain an income from taking the piss in the role of minister of silly walks. One wonders why not a minister of earthquakes, volcanoes and extra-terrestrial threats? I shouldn't continue with that line of thought, Cameron may take the notion seriously.
    But seriously, as the UK has seen no weather or climate that is outside normal boundaries (noise) why on Earth is a gang green minister is necessary?
    I.e.The planet has seen no significant warming for 15 years (ergo models wrong 15 from 21 years), there is no credible evidence that CO2 additions, let alone ACO2 is harmful to the climate, (mounting evidence of the reverse in fact), no stored heat in the oceans (despite Trenberth's deep sea dive), Venusian heat is not due to CO2, ice caps are thickening, sea ice is recovering, polar heat (that is not caused by CO2) makes polar bears productive, rain forests appear immune to drought (deep roots maybe) but their destruction seems to cause them and other significant effects climatically and weather wise, sea levels are insignificantly affected by fresh water addition and when a tinker-free assessment of last century surface warming is produced likely 0.5C is all that can be asserted and that is within the range expected (without human contribution) as LIA recovery.
    I wonder now that biofuel and wind turbines have been shown to produce more CO2 than they save, will end users be expected to foot the bill for buying Al's carbon credits? Much of the money that has been invested in such indulgences went to sponsoring both biofuel and wind energy. Were the CO2 nonsense, that includes acidification to be real, we would be sponsoring Al to invest in climate damaging tech.
    The IPCC has been shown up as a deceptive propaganda front for UNEP's agenda. Its founders and various leaders back to Houghton and Strong need to face a court imo.
    Obama, Gore, Strong and Soros are connected to the CCX. Gore, Strong, Soros, Blair, Gates and many other influential people are CoR members, see green-agenda.com for a partial list. Rompuy, Soros, Blair, Brown, H. Clinton and many others are Bilderberg group participants. Both orgs have stated world gov agendas. CoR rules the UN (that has a world gov agenda) and advises the EC/EU (that has a federalisation and world gov agenda) and has many members in both. Bilderberg looks to be in control of the EC.

    The farce/hoax/scam/con equals or even exceeds C. L. Dodgson's fantasies in scope and improbability.

    Me? I'm enjoying the climate/weather while the warmth lasts, as are my plants.
    (Mike, proof read please.)

  15. Clothcap
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    The Der Spiegel article link:
    Is It Already Too Late to Save Greece? http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518

    A lot of the factors I mentioned have been discussed in WUWT. For any particular item of interest I would be happy to furnish links to papers, articles and discussions.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page