Gordon’s example to us all

Last night I read a BBC article on Gordon Brown’s earnings since he stopped being Prime Minister a few years ago.  I felt a lump coming to my throat as I read the story.  Ex-PMs typically have lucrative post-government careers with lecture tours and the like.  Gordon Brown has similarly earned 1.4 million pounds in lecture fees and book royalties, but then given it all away.

In the run up to the General Election in 2010 I wrote how I gradually warmed to Gordon Brown during the campaign as it became increasingly clear that he was a man of true integrity.  This is another indication of that integrity, and utterly amazing to see in the modern world.

Of course he was not pretty like David Cameron or Nick Clegg, nor could he control his irritation when faced with objectionable, if popular, views.  In short, not a showman, nor a celebrity, not slick, not ‘political – just a genuinely good man.

It is sad that that is not sufficient to impress the 21st-century voter.

update: (im)migration Holyrood vs Westminster

Since post last week on migration Holyrood vs Westminster, found link on the BBC website to the  the BBC News ‘Reality Check’ on immigration that showed net outflow of non-EU.  That is migration is out of the country not in!  Also Mark Easton’s blog @ the BBC, which gives more info.  Bottom line is that the outflow is even greater then the figure of 8000 given on BBC News.

migration Holyrood vs Westminster

So refreshing watching the Scottish election debate last night.  The audience there saw immigration as  a positive thing, bringing fresh skills and wage earners (and tax payers) to the country.

This is in such sharp contrast to the UK general election leaders debates, where questions about immigration were  all of the “what are you going to do about …” kind and prompted the prospective prime ministers of all parties into a competition as to who could put the boot in most vigorously.  To be fair, the least anti-migrant was Nick Clegg including his memorable attempt to get David Cameron to admit that most migration was from EU countries and so not going to be affected by any of their policies.

After that UK debate the Telegraph challenged Nick Clegg’s claim that 80% of migration was non-EU.  However, BBC News 24 had a sort of ‘facts behind the claims’ slot and in their figures the net non-EU migration was actually negative; that is in the last year there were more non-EU people leaving the country than entering.  Unfortunately BBC News don’t have this information on their web site to link to 🙁  My guess is the difference in the figures depends on whether you take into account student visas where there will be a very large influx and outflux each year, and whether you simply look at  total immigration in a year or net migration.  Certainly the BBC News figures suggested that all the major parties were overestimating the ‘problem’.

The great thing in the Scottish debate was that this was not viewed as a ‘problem’ at all.

warming to Gordon

Yesterday, my postal vote went off and lacking a Plaid Cymru candidate far from my homeland I made do with the best of the rest. This is perhaps the most exciting election in the UK for many years as it seems likely that one result will be a change in the voting system, so that in future elections I will not feel I need to vote ‘tactically’, but more for the people, parties and policies that I most deeply support.

While this did not take me to the Labour fold at this election, one of the most surprising things about the general election campaign has been that throughout it, not withstanding gaffs along the way, I have found myself warming to Gordon Brown

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