“You know, I did ask [Robinson] recently when exactly the prime minister had defined this simply and crudely as Labour investment versus Tory cuts, and Nick was unable to [put] his finger on such a quote.”
The problem, as Nick Robinson rapidly pointed out, was that Gordon Brown has repeatedly put it that crudely.
As for Mandelson’s wise spender line, that’s not particularly new. Gordon Brown told the Labour conference in 1995, “'We want wise spending rather than big spending. We put value-for-money first, and before more money.” If only he had followed his own dictum.