who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Another push for Blair as World Bank president. Tony Blair should have the job. After standing down as British prime minister in late June he should take up the reins of power at the World Bank. This according to Edward Mortimer writing in today's FT. Mortimer weighs some of the arguments for and against but somehow he and the FT's editors fail to mention that this idea was first proposed a month ago by Larry Elliot writing in rival UK paper The Guardian.

Again we urge journalists to check worldbankpresident.org as a matter of due diligence before filing their pieces.

Anyway on Blair Mortimer lists the following pros and cons.

Blair is "still at the height of his powers and is a familiar figure on the world stage. He has also proved, far beyond the call of duty, his affection for the US and his loyalty as an ally".

"For many people - not least in his own country - that loyalty counts against him. Many who objected toMr Wolfowitz's appointment as inappropriate, because of his involvement in advocating and planning the Iraq war, might see giving the job to Mr Blair as a repetition of the same mistake. Yet I suspect this objection would not be pressed hard. Before he went to the bank, Mr Wolfowitz was not well-known for any strong interest in economic development or the welfare of the world's poor. Mr Blair is".

Some colleagues in UK-based NGOs are doubtful that Blair is the man for this job. But they would certainly agree with Mortimer that Blair is a more serious candidate than many of those from the other side of the Atlantic whose names have started to be bandied about.

And with Mortimer's conclusion that: "by making this imaginative proposal, Mr Bush would do something to redeem his own international reputation and take the wind from the sails of his European critics. He would be breaking with a bad tradition, according to which leading international officials are chosen for their nationality".

Alex Wilks ~ May 14, 2007

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