Quote [95] – Brown As PM Relationship With The Treasury

In rare moments of calm, he (brown) revelled in long discussions on Snowden, Keynes and the inter-war Treasury with his team, and loved reciting the story of how a Treasury official scrawled the words ‘extravagance’, ‘inflation’ and ‘bankruptcy’ on the cover of Keynes’s co-authored pamphlet We Can Conquer Unemployment. Brown at 10 – Anthony Seldon
Brown’s distrust of Treasury officials went back a long way.  ‘In his early years as Chancellor, Brown and Balls set up a series of structures designed to neutralise the Treasury,’ says a senior mandarin from the department.  Underpinning that was the classic Labour view of the world – that the Treasury would be ‘out to get’ a Labour government’.  By 2009, Brown’s sights had narrowed and ‘towards the end, Brown was seeing the Treasury as an institution which was out to get him personally’.  One official in Number 10 believed that the Treasury ‘would goad Alistair to stand up to him and show “who was the man”’.

Brown felt the Treasury had let itself become ‘petrified’ of the ratings agencies, and the risk of a sovereign debt crisis.  Again, he drew historic parallels, believing that the Treasury of 2010, like the Treasury of the 1930s, was a ‘prisoner of economic orthodoxy’.

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