Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown reflects on his career and family with David Axelrod at IOP event

David Axelrod spoke to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday about his passion for politics and the importance of global cooperation in policy-making at a virtual Institute of Politics event.

Brown started the conversation by talking about how her childhood shaped her passion for politics. Growing up in Scotland, he knew he wanted to change the environment around him. “I felt the poverty I saw around me because it was a time of great change – the mining industry was in decline,” he said. “I remember a company a few meters from my house had a factory and 500 people were made redundant in a week. And that really had an influence on me. I thought, ‘You must be able to do something about this.’

Brown also explained his continued motivation to work in politics. “The public service can make a difference. Politics is not a game; it’s about changing things. Politics is about hope. It’s about giving people hope that things can change,” he said.

Brown went on to stress the need to foster global cooperation and combat rising nationalist sentiment between different countries. “We have almost forgotten the fact that we have a global economy, it’s an open global economy,” he said. “You have to have coordinated policies with other countries if you want things to happen. We have seen this during the pandemic; we know exactly that is the problem of climate change. This country cannot solve this problem alone.

To address global issues such as climate change and COVID-19, he advocated for greater cooperation. Speaking specifically about global vaccination against COVID-19, Brown called the current effort “a moral failure of enormous proportions.”

“We have the vaccines. We could bring them to Africa, but there is no money and there has not been enough pressure for us to actually suffer because the virus comes back in a new form,” he said. he declares.

However, Brown noted the importance of mitigating globalization. He said, “You have to deal with globalization, otherwise you get the results we have now, which is massive inequality.

Axelrod also asked Brown about the losses in his personal life and how they affected him. Brown shared that the day before his father died, Brown interrupted a phone call with his father because he was busy with work. “It’s something I will always regret,” Brown said. He then reflected on the impact of his daughter’s death, 11 days after she was born. “When my daughter passed away, it also made me think that family is really important. These things affect you and the time you give to your children is really important,” he said.

Brown ruminated on work-life balance:[Witnessing family death] conveys that there is more to life than work, but it also pushes you to do some of the things you deem important.

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