Orange man develops Brown nose…

LATER this week we could well be in for a show of sycophancy on an unprecedented scale, as Chancellor Gordon Brown (who wants to be Prime Minister) visits Northern Ireland. With Secretary of State Peter Hain currently waging a rather shameless PR campaign to become Deputy Prime Minister, expect the permatanned one’s orange nose to develop an unhealthy ‘Brown’ tint. Unionists might welcome the interest of a prudent Scottish Presbyterian in full Union flag-waving mode, not so sure about nationalists, unless Brown brings some good news as a sweetener…

  • Crataegus

    Here in lies one of the problems of NI Politicians viewing the place as a stop over on the way up or in the case of some down. Long term commitment zero, accountability zero, platitudes by the spade full and kill time until something more interesting turns up. Most importantly take no risks that could damage one’ career.

  • páid

    Well Brown is big on the Union stuff lately (in particular the England / Scotland one) for obvious reasons.

    I’ve never seen persuasive evidence one way or the other about his views on the X Channel union. Obviously as a dourish Scottish Presby, he would feel at home talking to Unionists but I have a suspicion he regards bigotry from whatever source as abominable. As a young man growing up in Edinburgh I think he might have regarded Scottish Tory unionists as slightly worse than Scots Nats.

    We will see.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’ll just be interested to see whether Brown engages in the wider debate – one he has promoted – about British identity at all.

    My guess is that he’ll just play safe, keep to the script and maybe give us some tiny indication of what his intentions here are. An emphasis on the economy seems obvious, so I expect the mantra about how devolution will improve the standard of living etc.

    Wouldn’t it be great if he said something unexpected, say, about corporation tax?

  • Pete Baker

    Or more likely.. play safe, keep to the [wider] script and give no indication at all, gonzo.

  • Crataegus


    Wouldn’t it be great if he said something unexpected, say, about corporation tax?

    That would be a bombshell but afraid I am inclined to agree with Pete. One point that someone could consider is new Enterprise Zones to regenerate those impossible locations like the Shankill, York Road etc.