POLITICS

George Osborne Given Absurdly Lavish Praise In Brazilian Newspaper

06/02/2014 13:20 GMT | Updated 06/02/2014 16:59 GMT
Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Chancellor George Osborne gives a speech on the economy during his visit to manufacturing company Sertec, Coleshill in Birmingham.

George Osborne may have his critics in Britain but he will be more than delighted to know he is a "transformer" who has "never stopped to amaze".

In an editorial for the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo titled "Follow George Osborne" (Siga George Osborne), communications mogul Nizan Guanaes describes meeting "a young skinny guy with English rosy cheeks" at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He goes on to praise Osborne's "verve", describing him as a "playmaker who debates with strong opinions, although not as popular as Churchill and Thatcher."

"The name of the illustrious man, unknown to me, was the Honourable George Osborne."

Osborne has been an "interesting character since childhood", according to Guanaes.

"Born into the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, he started life with the name Gideon, but at age 13, in a small act of defiance, he went to his mother and said, 'I do not like the name Gideon and want to change.' And she responded: 'I don’t like Gideon either.' Gideon then changed his name to George, in honour of his grandfather, a war hero. So even with this first small and reform, he never stopped to amaze," he writes.

"He is the Minister of Finance, but hasn’t studied economics. He studied history. And he was appointed commander of the British economy at the age of 38. His first steps were to create a department of fiscal responsibility, cut costs, and reduce the size of government. And it was by doing these unpopular things that – in such a short time – he has put his country on the track it is today..."

"The world needs leaders who know how to communicate to do what is difficult and unpopular, but necessary."

Guanaes rounds off advising readers to follow the chancellor's career, concluding: "A 13 year old boy who changed his own name is certainly a transformer, and the world needs them desperately."

Not everyone in Brazil is as evangelical about the "illustrious" chancellor. Otávio Dias, editor in chief of Brasil Post [the Brazilian Huffington Post], said that he thought Guanaes' comments were "quite superficial".

He said: "He met him in Davos and seems to be impressed by his attitude, but didn't really tried to get more information about his history as a public man. Having changed his name when he was a teen doesn't mean that he (or anybody) is special.

"Implementing unpopular things like cutting costs and reducing the size of the government is not a measure for deciding if someone is worthy our attention. Maybe yes, maybe no. Those measures, although probably necessary in most cases, are very old and classic. Where is the innovation there?"