@INET-BW: Careers

Guess who came for lunch? Gordon Brown. He just strolled in, was in the neighborhood, with the K-9s and the barrel chested security detail. And he is a terrific speaker!

Before I say anything of his message, and because the messenger was a big portion of the message, I was left wondering about careers. It used to be that a politician out of office would travel some (any) desert and return for another fight, another cycle, Churchill and Nixon come to mind. Politicians these days, such as GW Bush, go out of office and into celebrity: they write a book, they go on speaking tours.

Gordon Brown has a book, and he did not forget mentioning it. But he appears to inch towards a different career prospect, other than inspirational speaker: from national statesman he is ready to become a world statesman (Tony Blair is trying that too). The vision offered to the digesting masses was of a world unbalanced by a epoch making transformation, where the West will be dwarfed by the ascending middle class of the South and the East (worryingly not Africa) remaking financial and value flows. His proposal is to continue and conclude what he began but was myopically interrupted by democracy in May 2010: a new set of global agreements that regulate debt and currency adjustments but that also assures continued growth and prosperity for the new world order that is coming on the horizon. …. a new Bretton Woods.

The punchline was pleasant and appropriately sweet: an invitation to the imagination of scholars, with a bit of poetry as fits British eloquence, to envisage the worlds that are coming. We need economic fiction?

Advertisements

One thought on “@INET-BW: Careers

  1. I too was positively surprised by Gordon Brown: the whole speech from memory, well-timed jokes, honest, and a serious message. And to the extent that he discussed the past, he seemed to be genuinely historical in approach in the sense that he tried to understand events and decisions in their contexts, and to point out differences between the present and the past that thus defy the possibility of blindly applying lessons about the past to the present. History in that sense of course is also partly an excuse: “We tried our best but we were partly wrong, like everyone. But that experience puts me in the best position to address the problems du jour.” Anyway, no one’s perfect. Great speech.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s