James Forsyth

It is Brown and Balls versus Darling and Mandelson again

It is Brown and Balls versus Darling and Mandelson again
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If there was a story in the Sunday papers of a split between David Cameron and the two most senior figures in the shadow Cabinet over economic strategy it would be the talk of the town. But because it is about Brown and Balls versus Darling and Mandelson it is on the inside pages; it is as if the split over economic policy between these four men is priced into Labour’s standing.

Patrick Hennessy reports that Brown and Balls would like to use the Budget as a pre-election springboard, announcing larger than scheduled increases in public spending and challenging the Tories to match them. Such a move would be economically reckless—if you doubt this just read the letter from 20 economists in The Sunday Times—and Darling and Mandelson clearly realise the damage that would be done by such a move; it could even precipitate a crisis in the bond markets before the election.