James Forsyth

Brown and Cameron’s Commons clash serves as the warm-up for tonight’s debate

Brown and Cameron’s Commons clash serves as the warm-up for tonight’s debate
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Gordon Brown and David Cameron have just been facing each other in the Commons chamber. Brown was notionally reporting back on the European summit meeting, but in relaity Brown and Cameron were setting the stage for the Chancellor’s debate tonight.

Cameron claimed that there was a new dividing line in British politics, the Tories for ‘efficency and aspiration’ and Labour for ‘waste and taxes.’ Brown claimed that the Tories were indulging in panic measures and that their plans announced today would ‘withdraw the support that is necessary for the economy to have a sustained recovery.’ Brown might have some Keynesian economists on his side when he says this. But it is hard to argue that spending what your own Budget called wasteful is necessary for a sustained recovery.

After this morning, we can expect the Tories’ announcement on National Insurance to be a massive part of tonight’s debate. Osborne’s timing means that he’ll be arguing on turf of his choosing.