Bad News for Banks Is Great News for Brown

British PM gets poll boost in crisis, silencing critics
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 12:20 PM CDT
President Bush, right, with the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 26, 2008.    (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – In America the financial crisis has dealt yet another blow to an already unpopular President Bush. But in Britain, collapsing banks and volatile markets are the best thing to happen to Gordon Brown in recent months. In reasserting his global economic know-how, the prime minister, who is reportedly preparing an American-style bailout, has seen his once dismal poll numbers climb fast, reports the Daily Mail.

Finance remains one of Brown's strong suits: He served for 10 years as Tony Blair's chancellor, running the Treasury with an essentially free hand. While he still wouldn't win an election if it were called today, the PM is now polling higher than the Tories on economic competence for the first time in months. The crisis has also silenced Brown's critics inside the Labour Party, who only a few weeks ago were publicly trying to force him out.