Stanley's blog

Brown changing colour?

“…I am proud that by a large majority our British Parliament ratified the Lisbon Treaty”.

“And let me repeat: I believe that the European union is uniquely placed to lead in addressing these questions– precisely because we have proved over the last 60 years that we as Europe can meet and master the challenge of cooperation across borders, of coordination between peoples, and of achieving unity out of diversity.”

Believe it or not, these are quotations from British prime minister Gordon Brown’s speech today to the European Parliament. Even given that this is the beginning of a pre-G20 summit tour and a charm offensive in Brussels, the tone of the speech was remarkable. His closing response to MEP interventions was noteworthy. Most important of all were his manner and body language. Gone was the negative attitude. He was clearly enjoying himself, including critical comments. And at the end he ‘gladhanded’ the political group leaders and everyone he met on the way out.

Brown may be a cerebral rather than an emotional European, but that’s no bad thing.

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