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Gordon Brown
Born in Scotland in 1951, Gordon Brown is the second of three sons. He grew up in the town of Kirkcaldy, an industrial centre famed for its linoleum and mining industries, during a time of rising unemployment and desperate poverty.

Gordon Brown’s parents, John and Elizabeth, were influential figures in his life. His father was a Minister of the Church and played a central part in town life. Mr Brown remembers his father more for his interest in helping people than for his theological zeal. He often helped those in desperate circumstances who saw the minister’s house as their only refuge for help.

Mr Brown recalls his father quoting the words of Martin Luther King: “everyone can be great because everyone can serve”. He has described his parents as “my inspiration, and the reason I am in politics”.

Like many other boys in Scotland, football was Mr Brown’s passion. A keen Raith Rovers supporter from childhood, he earned pocket money by selling programmes for the team. He also produced a newspaper with his brothers, which they sold for charity.

Mr Brown married his wife Sarah at their home in North Queensferry on 3 August 2000. They have two sons, John and Fraser.

Mrs Brown is the president of the children’s charity PiggyBankKids, which supports the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, a project set up in memory of their daughter.
Education and early career

Mr Brown did well at school from an early age. At the age of ten, he joined Kirkcaldy High School, where he excelled at sport and joined in every aspect of school life, quickly becoming popular, and taking an early interest in local political campaigns.

He took his exams a year ahead of his contemporaries - his ‘O’ Levels at 14, his Highers at 15. When he came top of a bursary competition, he went on to university at age 15 - one of the youngest students to go to Edinburgh University since the war.

Mr Brown enjoyed student politics and the debates in the student newspaper, which he edited in a prize-winning year. He also continued with his passion for sport.

Just before he went to university, Mr Brown injured his eye playing for his school team at rugby which eventually resulted in detached retinas in both eyes. He spent much of his early years at university in hospital or recuperating.

Having gained a First Class honours degree and a number of prizes for his studies, Mr Brown became the youngest ever Rector of Edinburgh University in 1972.

In his working life, Mr Brown spent time as a university and college lecturer and also wrote a number of books. His book on James Maxton is about the early Labour MPs and their struggles. ‘Values, Visions and Voices’ is a study of the idealism and zeal of Labour’s early thinkers. And ‘The Real Divide’, written with Robin Cook, is a study of poverty and inequality. More recently, a collection of his speeches has been published as ‘Moving Britain Forward’.

After unsuccessfully fighting Michael Ancram for the Conservative seat of Edinburgh South in 1979, Mr Brown became MP for Dunfermline East in 1983 with a majority of 11,000.
Into Parliament

In 1983, as MP for Dunfermline East and Chair of the Labour Party’s Scottish Council, Mr Brown shared his first office in the House of Commons with Tony Blair and the two became friends.

Mr Brown’s maiden speech was on the growing problem of unemployment, of which he said:

“The chance of a labourer getting a job in my constituency is 150 to 1 against. There is only one vacancy in my local career office for nearly 500 teenagers who have recently left school.”

Identified early on by Neil Kinnock as a rising talent, Mr Brown became Shadow Spokesman for Trade and Industry, working with John Smith, and the two formed a close working relationship. When John Smith became leader, he appointed Gordon Brown to be Shadow Chancellor.

After John Smith’s sudden death, Mr Brown continued to be Shadow Chancellor and backed Tony Blair for the leadership of the Labour Party. Working together they won a landslide majority in 1997.
Chancellor of the Exchequer

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown presided over the longest ever period of growth. He also made the Bank of England independent and delivered an agreement at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005 to support the world’s poorest countries and tackle climate change.

Mr Brown sums his own beliefs up as:

“Every child should have the best start in life, that everybody should have the chance of a job, that nobody should be brought up suffering in poverty. I would call them the beliefs that you associate with civilisation and dignity.”

Entries by Gordon Brown

Four Proposals To Tackle the Growing Militarization of Schools

(21) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 4:20 PM

A couple weeks from now, the world will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the kidnapping of about 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram.

But a mass abduction that was seen a year ago as unprecedented -- sparking justifiable outrage across the world -- now seems, after a series of further...

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How Britain Is Becoming an Isolated Island

(10) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 3:35 PM

LONDON -- Europe is once again divided between East and West -- only this time the fault line runs through the European Union. The eastern members -- most notably Poland and the Baltic states -- are clinging fast to the EU in the face of Russian aggression. At the other...

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How to Make Schools Safe for Children -- Even Where Terrorist Groups Roam

(7) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 6:02 PM

ISLAMABAD -- It is unthinkable that there should have to be a plan to make a school safe. It is even more heartbreaking that the plan has 15 critical points, each of them potentially lifesaving, and it will cost tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars, to fully implement.


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2015 Can Be the Tipping Point for Safe Schools and Children's Education Globally

(2) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 3:09 PM

2014 was a bad year for children and education. My hope is that 2015 will be a tipping point in the other direction. And there is good reason to believe so.

Outrage at the massacre of 132 children in Peshawar, Pakistan late last year has sparked a

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One Reason Millions of Congolese Children Don't Go To School: Fees Parents Can't Afford

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 1:37 PM

While cash may be a little tight around the holiday season, there are some basic expenses most families don't have to budget for. That includes, for example, having to pay fees every day simply for our children to go to school.

But in the Democratic Republic of...

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Schools Can Be Front Line of Fight Against Ebola

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 2:28 PM

A new initiative for safe schools that will combat Ebola has been launched in the wake of a visit to the worst affected areas in West Africa by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and International Finance Corporation CEO Jin-Yong Cai.

The initiative comes as The Global Business...

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It Is Time for an International Children's Court

(9) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 7:53 PM

LONDON -- It is now more than 200 days since 219 Nigerian girls were ambushed in the grounds of their school, kidnapped and forced into captivity by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

This, and a hundred other violations of children's rights from Syria to Sudan, is the theme...

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The Ray of Hope from Nigeria Should Inspire Us to Provide Safe Schools for Every Girl

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2014 | 1:43 PM

LONDON -- Finally, a ray of hope for the more than 270 Chibok girls whose abduction by Boko Haram on April 14 has led to six months of captivity -- six months during which the girls' parents did not even know whether their daughters were dead or alive.

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The International Criminal Court Must Take on ISIS Crimes Against Children

(11) Comments | Posted October 5, 2014 | 8:18 PM

If truth is the first casualty of war, then an early victim is our capacity for outrage.

It is remarkable how little anger or even shock has accompanied or been evoked by last week's damning report, produced jointly by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of...

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#UpForSchool -- Sign the World's Biggest Petition

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 2:33 PM

UNITED NATIONS -- More than 80 percent of people identify with a religious or spiritual community. And these groups have often been some of the most powerful guardians of basic human rights -- providing security, shelter and education. It is now time to harness this historic goodwill and...

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영국의 문제가 아니라 세계화의 문제다

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 7:10 PM

스코틀랜드 독립 주민투표는 정치계에 큰 쇼크를 불러왔다. '연합 영국'의 종말이 가능해진 이 시점에 선진국들의 정치가 도대체 어떻게 돌아가고 있는 건지 의아해하는 목소리가 많다.

우린 유럽 전역에 걸쳐 기초적이고도 새로운 현실에 직면해 있다. 근래에 있었던 유럽 여러 국가의 선거에는 외국인 혐오파, 즉 민족주의파 같은 반(反)이민 세력이 시선을 많이 모았지만, 사실 근래에...

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Le problème de l'Écosse, c'est la globalisation, pas le Royaume-Uni

(3) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 9:55 AM

EDIMBOURG, Ecosse - Le référendum écossais a fait l'effet d'un tremblement de terre politique. Parce qu'il pourrait entraîner la disparition du Royaume-Uni, de nombreux observateurs se demandent ce qui est en train de se passer dans les pays développés industrialisés.

Qui plus est, sur le continent, la situation...

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Levántate, hazte oír y, por el futuro de Escocia, di 'no'

(4) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 1:01 AM

Este post es una versión íntegra del discurso de Gordon Brown este miércoles para la campaña Better Together [Mejor juntos] contra la independencia.

Quiero hablar al pueblo de Escocia sobre la visión patriótica del futuro de esta nación. Estoy orgulloso de la identidad escocesa. Orgulloso de nuestras...

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Scotland's Quarrel Is With Globalization, Not the U.K.

(44) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 1:59 PM

EDINBURGH -- The referendum in Scotland has sent shockwaves through the political system. With talk of the possible end of the United Kingdom in prospect, commentators are asking what is happening to the politics of advanced industrial states.

And across Europe we are having to confront a new, basic truth....

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Alzatevi e abbiate il coraggio di dire, per il futuro della Scozia, "No"

(13) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Questo post è una versione non rimaneggiata del discorso fatto da Gordon Brown alla manifestazione Better Together di mercoledì 17 settembre Maryhill Community Central Hall, prima del referendum di indipendenza scozzese.

Voglio parlare agli Scozzesi della visione patriottica sul futuro della Scozia. Orgoglioso della nostra

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Stand Up and Be Counted and Say, for Scotland's Future, 'No'

(48) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 9:07 AM

This blog is an unedited version of the speech delivered by Gordon Brown at Wednesday's Better Together rally in Maryhill Community Central Hall, ahead of Scotland's referendum on independence

I want to tell the people of Scotland of that patriotic vision of the future of Scotland. Proud of our Scottish...

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Il mondo non dimenticherà quelle ragazze. Non per un giorno. Non per altri 100 giorni

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 7:40 AM

Mercoledì 23 luglio ha segnato una tragica pietra miliare. I 100 giorni di cattività per più di 200 studentesse nigeriane. Per un'adolescente con dei piani, dei sogni e delle ambizioni, 100 giorni devono sembrare un'eternità. E tuttavia, ancora adesso, cosa sia successo alle ragazze disperse di Chibok resta...

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The World Will Not Forget These Girls. Not for One Day. Not for 100 Days.

(10) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 7:08 PM

Wednesday, July 23, marks a tragic milestone. It is the 100th day in captivity for over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. For an adolescent with plans, dreams and ambitions, 100 days must seem longer than an eternity.

And still, even now, there is mystery over what has happened to the lost girls...

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Schools Should Be Safe Havens and Places of Learning Not Theaters of War

(8) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 4:34 PM

Today marks the 80th day of captivity for the more than 200 Chibok girls who have been kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram and held in captivity in remote forests of northern Nigeria.

For nearly 11 weeks, the girls' families have been living through every parent's...

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Let's Work Together to Get Every Child in School by the End of 2015

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Iraqi girls are facing a law that would consider them ready for marriage at nine years old, which could force them out of education for good.

South Sudanese girls are so discriminated against that, in a country of ten million people, there are only 400 14- and 15-year-old...

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