"A 'national plan' for Britain will be unveiled by Gordon Brown as he tries to fight back after Labour's expected elections rout next month, The Independent has learnt.
The Prime Minister wants the blueprint to be a route map for how the Government will lead the country out of recession and extend its public service reforms. It will cover the economy, industry, health, education and crime.
The aim of the 'national plan' is to show that Labour has not run out of steam after 12 years in office and has a more detailed prospectus than the Tories. Despite Labour's perilous position in opinion polls, Mr Brown is convinced Labour can still hold on to power if the general election could be turned into a choice between the rival policies of the two main parties. 'Gordon Brown has a plan, David Cameron does not,' one of Mr Brown's aides said. 'When the voters realise that, we think they will look at things differently.'
Labour strategists hope that publication of Mr Brown's plan may 'flush out' more Tory policies. They suspect Mr Cameron has decided to try to coast to victory without spelling out his programme. The Tories insist they will unveil more policies in the autumn but say they would have to leave some details until they see the nation's books after an election." The main problem for Brown is that this will be overshadowed by a host of negative coverage. The G20 communiqué and the Budget were similarly hyped as documents which could revive the PM's flagging fortunes - but Smeargate and the expenses scandal have stolen away the column inches, and undermined the Government's ability to spin all the announcements as a coherent package. In the end, they've become so many words and so many wasted pages. And if the leadership speculation reignites after the June elections, you can bet the same will happen with our Dear Leader's glorious national plan.