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The real big idea in Gordon's speech

  • Paul Mason
  • 22 Jun 06, 11:46 AM

trident203.jpgPity the spinner and the spun to. For 24 of the 36 hours before Gordon Brown made his latest Mansion House speech (read it here or watch it here) I was supposed to be covering it: I had even dug my black tie out of the back of the wardrobe. Then the editors of Newsnight decided Thames Water was a less boring story than Gordon on Globalisation. But in the middle of a reed clump in the Welsh Harp reservoir, Brent, I got a call from Gordon’s people alerting me that – like a well aimed outswinger on a humid day at Trent Bridge – the message of the great man’s speech had curved, late in its trajectory, away from globalisation and towards nuclear annihilation.

Was I aware, the “sources close”, asked me, that the nuclear issue was the “last of the big issues to be sorted out in the next six to eighteen months”? And that this was Gordon speaking “as himself” and “outside his remit as Chancellor”?

Actually yes I was – and having heard the full speech I wish that Gordon Brown’s spinmeisters had actually stuck to the original top line, namely Britain’s role in a globalised economy, because it is on getting that right – rather than maintaining the theoretical ability to outnuke Vladimir Putin – that the UK’s future probably depends...

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