Brown in town
View a video of Gordon Brown’s lecture (accessible to staff and students only).
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned against “the ideas of the last generation becoming the tyranny of the next” when he spoke to students and staff at the University of St Andrews this week (Thursday 10 February 2011).
Addressing a full-house audience of 350 in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre, St Andrews, the former PM and Britain’s longest-serving Chancellor of the Exchequer made an impassioned plea for fresh thinking to “establish the institutions of global society” and build a better world.
Mr Brown cautioned that the balance of world economic power was shifting away from the USA and Europe and that Britain needed to think very seriously about how it might transition to the next stage. He argued that the country could succeed if it was to focus on becoming a producer of value-added, technology driven products and services.
That meant investing in education. “Brain power”, he said, was vital to the UK’s future economic wellbeing.
“There has to be a balance between deficit reduction and investment in education and new technologies,” he said.
“The ideas of the last generation can become the tyranny of future generations. I do fear for the future if it means we are to return to the short-sighted austerity politics of the 1930s.”
After the lecture, Mr Brown chatted to members of the audience and signed copies of his book “Beyond the Crash.”
He made a special point of meeting and talking to pupils participating in the REACH Scotland Project which has been set up to encourage wider participation in selective universities. The pupils from Buckhaven High School and St Andrews RC High School, Kirkcaldy, all considering studying economics, had been special guests of the University at the lecture. More information about the REACH Project can be found at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/reach
Issued by the Press Office
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