Peter Hoskin

Brown kicks off 2010 with dividing lines aplenty

Brown kicks off 2010 with dividing lines aplenty
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Clear your diary, invite the relatives over, and huddle around a computer: Gordon Brown will be delivering his New Year’s message – via podcast, on the Downing St website – this evening. Just in case you’ve got other things to be doing, this article in the Telegraph gives you a good taste of what to expect. In summary: dividing lines and optimism. There’s plenty on how the Tories are planning for “a decade of austerity and unfairness” – in contrast to our glorious PM, who predicts falling unemployment, more new businesses and prosperity for all.

Indeed, the snippets that the Telegraph carries indicate just how eager Brown is to deploy a green shoots strategy. It’s easy for him to predict falling unemployment next year – although even that’s not a cert – because we’ll probably be coming out of recession. He’ll want to claim credit for this and a thousand other signs of recovery. The Tories’ mission will be to point out how much of this is a charade; how we were routed in the race to recovery and suffered one of the world’s largest debt explosions in the process. So who will win out? Well, let’s just say that, after twelve years in power, Brown’s is by far the more difficult message to spin.

P.S. A classic “be careful what you wish for” moment from Brown here:

“In my life, I have learnt that there are only really two kinds of people. Those who think things can never change, and those who believe they have to. And I think the vast majority of British people are in the second camp.”