James Forsyth

Nailing Brown’s lies on spending

Nailing Brown's lies on spending
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Matthew Parris is spot on about the challenge facing Cameron from Brown’s statistical dodges on spending:

“But Mr Cameron has a trickier task ahead than may be apparent. A desperate man, Mr Brown is now so entirely shameless that he’s planning to keep . . . dissimulating about “Labour investment” versus “Tory cuts” in the hope that the stupid or ignorant will believe him, and the rest will despair of pinning him down and move on.

So should Mr Cameron simply hope that the Opposition have made their point, and change the subject? Or should he act the club bore and hammer tediously on about the Government’s failure to acknowledge either the mess we’re in, or the spending cuts that are thundering towards us like a runaway train?

He should hammer on. He must bore for Britain. This is so much bigger than any other question facing the nation, so much more urgent, so much more disgraceful, so much more likely to impact on all our lives for a decade to come, that for Mr Cameron to turn aside from the issue in exasperation as Mr Brown fibs, and fibs, and fibs, and persistently refuses to look Parliament or the country in the eye, would be a dereliction of an opposition leader’s duty. It would also miss something about the way the country is feeling: something Mr Brown himself has utterly missed. Britain is ready to think about cuts, even if Mr Brown isn’t ready to talk about them.”

As Andrew Grice writes in The Independent this morning, there is a public appetite for honesty about the state we’re in and the necessary remedies. Cameron should be prepared to hammer home the point about the reality that there will have to be cuts whoever wins until the vast majority of the electorate has got it. This would leave Brown looking like a ‘typical politician’ who won’t level with the public. That’s not a good place to be given the anti-politics mood in the country.  


Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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