Fraser Nelson

Brown tries to shift the blame for Britain’s economic troubles

Brown tries to shift the blame for Britain's economic troubles
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PMQs opened with perhaps the most worst planted question I have ever heard in the Commons and it’s worth a blog on its own. Robert Flello claimed his constituents “concerned about how economic…” (stumbles, looks at sheet) “em, how global economic issues… affect them. How does my Rt Hon Friend feel these events compare with those of the early 1990s when Britain was plunged into recession after recession?” This Brownite jargon sticks in the jaw so much that not even Labour backbenchers can read it without a script. And spot the key Brownite narrative: that there is “global economic turbulence” which is to be blamed if any bad things happen. The truth is that no other major economy is facing a slowdown as sharp as ours.

Brown replied that “right that people should be concerned what is happening in the global economy” (translated: oi, you at home, you should be worried about GLOBAL economic instability, not our fault, see, is it Darling? ). And then his statistics. Inflation is down to 2.1% —“half the inflation of” America, jobs up 175,000 in the quarter and “up by a quarter of a million over the year”

Now I have blogged before about Brown’s smoke and mirrors over inflation. But I will bet whatever CoffeeHousers want to wager that every one of those new jobs was accounted for by immigration. Think about it: a quarter of a million new jobs over a year, Brown says. Immigration has been running at 400,000 for each of the last five years and 510,000 in 2006. So when he boasts about “the best employment record in history” he can thank immigration – something he does not like to take credit for. Strip away the immigrants and Brown’s record on jobs is dismal – and far worse than Thatcher’s.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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