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Gordon Brown: What we need now is One World Government

This will drive the conspiracy theorists mad:

“Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response.

A virtual meeting of the G20 group of developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, will be held on Thursday, but Brown said it would have been preferable to have also included the UN security council.

“This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” he said. “There has to be a coordinated global response.”

For a man who was always accused of lacking a sense of humour, Brown has a long record of calling for global government using the kind of language that drives a certain segment of the suspicious-minded amongst us around the twist. Here he is in 2008, for example, talking about “The New World Order”:

The irony, of course, is that he’s calling in this instance for something that already exists, and is already failing miserably. The world is populated, these days, by international institutions that exist to do almost nothing else except to co-ordinate the global response to various issues – and they’re nearly all having an utterly miserable crisis.

The World Health Organisation, for example, is a global organisation, but it’s headed up by a Chinese puppet and spent months feeding Chinese propaganda about the virus out into the world, instead of the truth about it.

The European Union is not quite a global organisation, but it’s at least responsible for co-ordinating the response internationally amongst half a billion people here in Europe, and it’s not had the best crisis either.

The United Nations, the only truly global organisation, has basically been missing in action, and will presumably only have something to say about the Coronavirus if and when there’s an opportunity to pass a Coronavirus resolution condemning Israel.

By contrast, the most effective actors against the virus have nearly all been nation states, both of the democratic and the not so democratic variety. Singapore, for example, which has the advantage (in this limited circumstance) of being a relatively benign dictatorship, has probably been the most effective opponent of Wuhan’s most famous export:

Yet even as the virus continues its seemingly inexorable spread—ticking upward of 132,500 cases Friday—recoveries in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong are starting to outpace, or catch up with, active cases.

Key to their success so far has been the decision to respond aggressively from the outset.

The last line there is pretty important, in the context of Gordon Brown’s One World Government scheme. For all that conspiracy theorists might think to the contrary, the biggest problem with that kind of scheme is how slow it would be to get anything done. The debates. The translations. The utter misery of watching the Indians and the Pakistanis turn the debate about Coronavirus into another row about Kashmir. If the United Nations had actual power, for example, it would still be a woefully ineffective organisation because they can’t agree on anything, except maybe, as previously mentioned, Israel.

So if you need a fast response to the Coronavirus, One World Government is about the stupidest thing you could support.

But – and here’s the thing – if you’re someone like Gordon Brown, it’s the perfect thing to say. Nobody is ever going to criticise you for going on television and calling for “greater international co-operation”. It’s the easy, cheap, good-guy thing to do. It’s like being a lefty politician here and going on television to argue that “we must protect the vulnerable”. Gee, why did nobody think of that before?

Also, in Gordon’s case, you get the feeling that one advantage of a global governing organisation is the hope/expectation that somebody like him might be asked to run it – respected elder statesman, and all that.

But sorry, Gordon – it’s unlikely. You’ll probably have to wait your turn, as always, while Tony Blair has his go first. If you’ve never seen it and you want a good laugh, here’s William Hague, all the way back in 2008, having great fun with Brown’s life-long problem of being thwarted by Mr. Blair:

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