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Opinion

Brown has his eye on the ball

It’s good to see that the world’s leading finance ministers slum it on the same flights as us mere mortals to the IMF/World Bank meetings. For who should be on the Virgin flight from London Heathrow to Washington, DC, than UK chancellor Gordon Brown?

Of course Euromoney didn’t discover this on the flight itself, as we were in cattle class while Brown and his aides were no doubt enjoying the free champagne in business or first. His presence on the flight only became apparent when Euromoney was suddenly standing next to the chancellor on the shuttle link between the plane and Dulles airport straight after landing.

Euromoney was hoping to garner some insights into the G7 meeting due to take place the following day. But Brown is canny enough to know not to discuss politics in public. Instead he spent the five-minute journey talking to his aides about more personal matters – Scottish football results.

His interest lay particularly in the fate of Raith Rovers, the team he has supported since his school days – he recently gave £5,000 of his own money to a planned community buy-out of the club. Sometimes, though, being a politician has its advantages at airports.

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