Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Real Gordon Brown Stands Up

By Cernig

After yesterday's careful diplomatic dance with Bush in front of the cameras, UK prime minister Gordon Brown continued his visit to the US with visits to Congress and then a private meeting with Bill Clinton.

Today he'll be meeting with the UN's secreatry general to push forward something that's always been a hallmark of Brown's democratic socilaist ideals - ending world poverty.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown will call for action on Tuesday to put the world back on track to meet U.N. goals to slash extreme poverty by 2015.

A day after his first talks with U.S. President George W. Bush, the new leader will give a speech at the United Nations to demonstrate his belief in international cooperation and his determination to improve the lot of the world's poor.

A report released this month on progress so far found most of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals were far from being met.

"Gordon Brown is going to focus on what we need to do to achieve these goals, to get back on track," a British government source said about Brown's speech on Tuesday which he will deliver after meeting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Brown will call for companies and charities to get involved in the drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals, adopted at a U.N. summit in 2000.

The goals include halving the number of people living on less than $1 a day by 2015, achieving universal primary education, reducing child and maternal mortality, stopping the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and halving the number of people without access to clean water and sanitation.

Ban said this month the world would struggle to meet the U.N. goals, but said it could be done if rich countries boosted their international aid budgets.

As Britain's long-serving Chancellor before succeeding Tony Blair as prime minister in June, Brown has long been an advocate for reducing poor countries' debt burden and fighting poverty and disease in the developing world.
And will also push for UN peacekeepers in Darfur. Neither cause is exactly on Dubya's "must-do" list, which points up Brown's main message from this visit - that Britain will no longer be Bush's lapdog but won't throw away an old friendship just because Bush is still in charge. As the Labour party's parliamentary chairman put it, commenting on his leader's visit: "Our relationship with the United States is not about one person in 10 Downing Street and one person in the White House, whether it's Tony Blair and George Bush or now Gordon Brown and George Bush,"..."We have an enduring, important relationship with the United States and no British prime minister is going to throw that away."

The Mirror, the UK newspaper which has always been Brown's biggest supporter and which has been rewarded with increased access to his thinking, goes even further in it's editorial today:
Our "special relationship" with the US has thankfully entered a new phase.

Gordon Brown and George Bush looked business-like yesterday, the suits and ties after their Camp David summit signalling a proper working relationship rather than a cosy one.

The Prime Minister is determined to avoid the error of his predecessor Tony Blair who, after hailing Democrat President Bill Clinton as a friend, seamlessly transferred his loyalty to Republican President George Bush.

The determination of this Premier and the President to seek co-operation, basing the future on shared values and strategic goals, is to be applauded.

Yet the carefully chosen diplomatic words by both men failed to hide what we believe are disagreements, particularly on Iraq.

The withdrawal of British troops should be a Downing Street priority rather than tied to the departure timetable of an ailing President not destined to leave the White House until January 2009.

Mr Brown's admission of a "full and frank" conversation and his failure to reciprocate personal praise showered on him by Mr Bush opened a new international era.

And Britain will be stronger if our leader is not a Yankee poodle.
Brown is undoubtably looking towards the next US president, and will keep his alliance with the US businesslike while Bush is still in charge.

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