Alex Massie

A Message from Gordon Brown

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El Gordo addresses the nation:

This government will never stop fighting for ordinary people in these extraordinary times.

Today I have reshaped the government around three clear priorities. Cleaning up politics, getting through this downturn fairly and giving people greater control over their public services.

We need a clean up of our politics in this country. Politicians must serve the public, and not themselves. We will act quickly to bring in an independent regulator to scrutinise the behaviour of our MPs. We will introduce a tough, legally binding code of conduct for MPs. In addition every single expense claim made by MPs of all parties over the last four years will be scrutinised by an independent audit panel. But we must go further and look at issues about how we elect our MPs and how we open up all public bodies to the closest public scrutiny.

We will continue to intervene decisively on the economy. When people are suffering you cannot have a “do nothing” approach to the recession. You cannot cut your way out of recession, you can only grow your way out. And in the coming weeks we will outline our plan to build Britain’s future. A plan for building new sources of growth, new jobs, new homes and new infrastructure.

Finally, we can only build Britain’s future if we have not only a strong economy but good public services that can meet the challenges of the future. So the third leg of our strategy for building Britain’s future is the next stage of reform in public services, a reform driven by one central principle that everyone and not a privileged few have a fair chance to succeed. And this will depend crucially on putting much greater power in the hands of patients and parents.

I have chosen a determined and strong Cabinet that will fight hard for British people in these difficult times and deliver upon these three crucial priorities.

I would be interested in hearing your views on these priorities and the changes we have made.

Really? I should think the Prime Minister might be best advised to avoid public opinion for the next few days. Unless, that is, he decides to listen to it and call an election. Incidentally, note how well this message scores on the Brown Bingo card...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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