David Blackburn

Brown wants to discuss nothing besides the middle class

Brown wants to discuss nothing besides the middle class
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Aspiration is Gordon’s middle name. The Observer has an extensive interview with Brown and though the classification has changed class remains his obsession: Brown wants to fight the election on the middle classes. He spoke of little else. Education and family policy will be defined by Sure Start, child tax credits and the school leaving age; the NHS will offer yet more choice and unaffordable luxuries, such as one to one care.

It may seem peculiar for a man who is synonymous with stealth taxes, and whose time in government will be remembered for the polarisation of society, to frame his arguments in such terms; but his reason is clear: Brown doesn’t want to debate the economy.

The interview contains a plethora of abject clichés about ‘taking tough decisions’ but there’s precious little detail about the future of the economy. I doubt George Osborne would receive such gentle examination. Brown was allowed to assert that he reduced the deficit consistently when Chancellor. Britain’s creditors have £30bn that says otherwise. Also, Downing Street’s notorious control freak and last minute budget editor doesn’t “want to presume what’s in Alistair Darling’s budget”.


I suspect that Labour realise that Brown’s once cherished economic record has gone the way of Lehman Brothers and have urged him to alter his political emphasis. The Tories must assert an alternative economic policy and stress that Brown is personally responsible.