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By Philippe Legrain ADD COMMENTS

Andrew Rawnsley on Britain’s embattled prime minister:

More and more critics contend that Gordon Brown’s fundamental weakness
is not knowing what he wants to do with power. I disagree. His core
purpose is easily stated and could provide a solid theme for his
premiership. He believes that it is morally right and economically
imperative to help everyone to maximise their opportunities and make
the fullest use of their talents. What he’s struggled to do is articulate that theme in a way which resonates with the country or even makes sense to his troops.

Struggled to articulate? You can say that again.

If Brown’s core purpose really is what Rawnsley claims it is, then I share it wholeheartedly. But I’m not sure Rawnsley is right.

I think Brown’s problem goes beyond a palpable inability to communicate. It is that he has been so obsessed for so long with wresting the crown from Tony Blair that he has lost sight of the bigger picture – and even if he did suddenly find, or rediscover, a purpose beyond narrow ambition (and now survival), he does not have the leadership qualities needed to deliver it.

Posted 08 Jun 2008 in Blog

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