Peter Hoskin

Brown’s post-G20 rhetoric sounds a lot like his pre-G20 rhetoric

Brown's post-G20 rhetoric sounds a lot like his pre-G20 rhetoric
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Yesterday brought plenty of insights into Labour's pre-election strategy - rumours of poster campaigns; a series of attacks on the Tories; and talk of how the Government would use the G20 to refine its domestic message.  But perhaps the most striking aspect of it all was how, fundametally, the approach remains the same.  The emphasis is still on those infamous dividing lines: "investment vs cuts", "nice vs nasty" etc.  And, while there are efforts to wrap a post-G20 bow around some of this, the content is wearily familiar.    

Gordon Brown's interview with the Independent today does little more than confirm this.  Here's the most substantive passage:

"Rehearsing his election lines against the Conservatives, Mr Brown insisted that the end of the free-market consensus – and need for greater regulation – could yet help Labour to neutralise the 'time for change' factor that would normally play strongly for Mr Cameron.

'This is going to be a progressive decade. I think people do understand that some of the problems we had can only be solved, first of all, by governments working together with other governments, nations co-operating with nations. There is a new internationalism, a new strategic role for countries working together to solve common problems.

'There is a recognition that if we don't invest in the future – in areas such as education and the environment – we will not have the future people want to see. Those countries that invest in the future will be the successful countries of the future. Those who simply want to cut public spending, rein back on investment, be isolated in Europe, will not meet the progressive challenges of our times.'" It's probably too late now for some of the alternative strategies that were being mooted - such as Brown apologising - to have a positive effect.  But it's also doubtful whether repackaging the same old lines about "investment" and "do nothing" will do much good for our PM.  Or is he working towards something fresher?  We shall see.