AS GORDON Brown departs, my greatest disappointment in him as a fellow son of the manse was his failure to encourage and sustain the traditional British belief in self-reliance.
But I also recall he raided and wrecked our private pensions, sold off our gold at fire-sale prices and his tax credit system turned the UK into a honey pot for EU migrants.
His failure to oversee the UK finance industry left us vulnerable to the global economic downturn and, by cheering on the likes of Fred Goodwin, he turned our banks into a liability. He did not explain to the electorate the real consequences of the Lisbon Treaty – possibly because he himself did not fully understand it – and refused the promised referendum.
Finally, his vast borrowing for hugely expanded public works and services, with no attempt at improved efficiency, was at the expense of desperately needed strategic industries.
Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews
WITH Gordon Brown’s disappearance from the political scene, the overwhelming feeling is one of a wasted talent. A brilliant, innovative chancellor, in the early years the world seemed at his feet. It is easy to forget, for example, how revolutionary was his decision to allow the Bank of England freedom to set UK interest rates.
The inner demons that consumed most of his political life, his bitterness, rancour and jealousy at Tony Blair’s accession to Number Ten, in the end distracted and destroyed him. The enemy became his rival for the throne, not those on the other side of the House. In the end he destroyed them both. That he was palpably unfit for the office of prime minister when he eventually attained it only makes his story more tragic.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh