Monday, June 30, 2008

Forward to disaster

Two leaders losing the plot and support. One is the Telegraph on Chavez, one is the Guardian on Brown.

Under [name] government has become a one-man show. He takes almost every decision himself, working into the early hours, scrawling his signature on official papers. His ministers are powerless...

Former admirers are increasingly concerned. [One former minister] said: "The person who's in charge of the destiny of our nation has become focused on one aim: to perpetuate himself in power even when this damages the country. Actually, damaging the country favours his aim, because each day we depend more upon the government."

Can you guess which is which?

Those close to him say that [his] response has been to bury himself in work, hunching over the detail: "[He]'s just keeping very busy." Will he go of his own volition? According to one person at the heart of the machine: "Never. He still believes the economy will turn round in time. He's been playing a long game all his life."

Although both have that aura of creeping disaster that surrounds a captain who insists on going full speed ahead towards the iceberg, I don't really mean to compare Brown to Chavez (cheap laughs aside, of course). Chavez has, after all, a base of genuinely loyal supporters, a couple of election wins under his belt and a genuine presence on the international stage.

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