Gordon Brown against prosperity

In: Uncategorized

25 Sep 2006

Those who did not listen carefully to Gordon Brown’s
“> speech at the Labour Party conference today
might have got the impression he was against Western intervention in the third world. But a close reading shows the Labour chancellor is railing against affluence:

“I make this promise: tackling climate change must not be the excuse for rich countries to impose a new environmental colonialism: sheltering an unsustainable prosperity at the expense of the development of the poor.”

In other words prosperity in the rich countries is “unsustainable”. And somehow it detracts from development in the poor countries (it should also be noted that Brown’s definition of development is an exceedingly narrow one).

Earlier in the speech there is another hint that what he really wants is changing behaviour – presumably to limit consumption or at least the growth in consumption:

“let me say candidly of the environment: Yes it is about personal and collective responsibility to change our behaviour, and I know too that governments across the world have been too slow to recognise the threat of climate change.”

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