I am sure almost everyone who would be reading this blog (unless you accidentally stumbled upon it), knows that Tony Blair steps down today and his successor, Gordon Brown, becomes PM. He wanted to be PM ten years ago, but Blair beat him to the punch. From what information I have garnered, Brown is more intelligent than Blair, but, as I saw him give a speech on CSpan, he definitely lacks Blair's charisma, which has been so useful in foreign relations. Speaking of which, Brown's foreign relations policy seems to be pretty much the same as Blair's, at least, as pertains to Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not think there is much perceptible difference in domestic issues either, although I am not sure here. For the differences between the two, the New York Times reports (for entire article, hit the hyperlink on "Tony Blair"): "The new Prime Minister has promised accelerated domestic reform on schools, housing and public health and changes in the way Britain goes to war, giving parliament more of a say. In a series of written responses published in The Independent newspaper today, Mr. Brown acknowledged that “mistakes were made in our planning for what happened after the removal of Saddam and I think it’s important to learn the lessons and to go forward.”" I do recall all of these issues arising from his speech when he gained leadership of the Labour Party. Let's see what speeches today brings.
Brown, though, has a tough sell in the next few months. He must appear different than Blair, he must be something new or bring something new to the table, but he cannot be too critical of Blair. So, we have a person whose policies are basically the same as Blair's, but he lacks Blair's baggage and his charisma. On the other hand, personality-wise, he seems like a person who is not going to be subservient to Bush (Blair is called "Bush's Poodle" in the UK). Here's the question of the day: how long will Brown last? Or, in other words, since I cannot file this post under religion or antiquity, should I put it with phenomena or ephemera (I am leaning towards the latter).