Gordon Brown says we need a Marshall Plan for the developing world. Colin Powell says no way. Is this the basic transatlantic political agenda for the next five years? Are we finally getting down to the global nitty-gritty?
Brown has obviously waited long enough. And feels that if he is to be PM, he has to assert himself as his own man. And taking the high moral ground on Third World debt and wholesale reconstruction is the way to win over his party. After Indonesia, it may well be the way to international prestige too. Riding the wave, as it were...
And Blair wouldn’t say no to having a Gallant Heir riding to the rescue of the world. With his old mentor apparently adding the odd magisterial touch of elder statesmanship, naturally.
So everything would work out fine at home, except for our gum-chewing chums. They don’t like the idea. But Europe and the U.N. do. And Brown likes the idea of Europe. So whether we vote to become a Euro-state or not, we seem to be looking more to the east. Whatever happens in Iraq… And a lot could happen in Iraq.
It's cynical, but to get an idea of who the future political players will be and where the divides will come, we probably have to start looking at who's having a 'good' Tsunami, and who isn't.
Brown and Powell are contradicting each other. Let's start there.