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.