Gordon Brown
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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

Los jóvenes contraatacan en un mundo cada vez más peligroso

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 1:15 AM

El espíritu de la juventud, el optimismo y la actitud desafiante de los jóvenes de hoy en día están más vivos que nunca. Los jóvenes están preparados para llevar la lucha por sus derechos a otro nivel.

No había habido tantos niños y adolescentes desplazados, y de tantos países, desde...

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Why 30million Displaced Boys and Girls Urgently Need Our Help This World Humanitarian Day

(10) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 6:03 AM

Today is about action, not just words - it is World Humanitarian Day. It is not a celebration. It is a much-needed recognition of those "who face danger and adversity in order to help others," a clear signal that there IS good in the world and a message...

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The World Is More Dangerous for Young People Today Than Ever. But They Are Fighting Back.

(9) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 3:40 PM

The spirit of youth and the optimism and sheer defiance of young people today is alive and well. They are set to take their fight for rights to a whole new level.

Not since the end of World War II -- exactly 70 years ago -- have so many children...

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Angry Birds Get Angrier

(6) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 4:32 AM

Today the Angry Birds are a little bit angrier. The characters that have become a worldwide gaming phenomenon are flapping even more furiously because 58million children are not in school and learning.

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish creator of Angry Birds, has added a huge boost to the #UpForSchool campaign

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'The Year of the Child' Has Become 'the Year of Fear' for Children

(12) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:46 AM

LONDON -- Is it any wonder that we now call this "the year of fear" for millions of children across the world?

The cries of a starving or distressed child are a harrowing enough sound. The screams of a child caught up in violent conflict are an altogether different...

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Appeals Fall Short as Nepalese Children Suffer

(8) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 2:43 PM

The little red sticker posted to buildings paints a thousand words but only one of those words matter: Condemned.

Strewn across earthquake-hit Nepal, school buildings are being assessed for structural damage. And like so many things the world over, the colors red and green are used as indicators. A green...

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Ruthless $570-Per-Child Traffickers Exploit Nepal Tragedy

(28) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 11:40 AM

The fallout from the Nepal earthquake tragedy, which has killed 8,000 and injured nearly 20,000, worsens by the day.

In a sinister new development parents are being urged to protect children from roaming gangs of ruthless human traffickers, who, it is reported, can earn $570 for every...

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Chega! Os ataques à escolas têm de acabar

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 2:41 PM

Depois de Paquistão, Nigéria e Sudão do Sul, um quarto país se tornou a mais recente vítima de abomináveis ataques terroristas contra estudantes e estabelecimentos educacionais.

Atiradores invadiram a Garissa University College, no Quênia, copiando táticas usadas pelo Estado Islâmico e por grupos africanos e asiáticos ligados à...

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Enough! The Attacks on Schools Must End

(15) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 5:33 PM

After Pakistan, Nigeria and South Sudan, a fourth country has now become the most recent victim of heinous terrorist attacks on students and educational establishments.

Today, when gunmen burst into Garissa University College in Kenya, they copied a tactic used by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda-linked groups in...

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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.

I...

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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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