1. “To be honest, what I've seen offends my Presbyterian conscience.” Is this the first recorded use of the phrase? And what do the Presbyterians think about it?
2. “Do you want 10 percent cuts in your education services at a time when young children, teenagers need more education? Do you want 10 percent cuts in your policing at a time when we actually need to give people visible police presence in their communities? Now these are the issues on which we will fight at General Election.” Oh God, what have I done? He’s taking that 10 percent figure from my piece in the Daily Telegraph last week. And my point (which, yes, I should have been clearer about) was that HIS latest Budget proposes 7 percent cuts – the Tories intend to protect health, so that would make their cuts (at least) 10 percent from April 2011 - April 2014. So Brown is criticising his own Budget. Utterly shameless.
3. “Well I've got to tell you, I was brought up in a household where integrity and telling the truth and doing everything honestly was what really mattered.” It’s strange how Brown’s utter lack of any backstory – he’s been a machine politician since his teenage days – means he has to cling on to utterly unremarkable events to try and humanise himself. Most people were brought up in households where lying were frowned upon, and it’s strange that Brown thinks his upbringing was somehow remarkable.
4. “I've changed the royal prerogative. Parliament can only decide peace and war, Parliament can only decide treaties.” By ‘parliament’ he means ‘the government’ – the whipping system sees to that. The right to declare war was actually signed away by Parliament when we signed the UN Charter. And as for treaties - the Lisbon Treaty being rubberstamped by Labour whips against the wishes on the public is the most egregious example of democratic deficit.
5. “We were praised for being the fastest to act during this recession by the IMF itself.” It all falls into place now. Remember that weird one-sentence piece of praise from the IMF a week ago – which stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of its eviscerating evaluation? I suggested at the time that it been inserted at the behest of Alex Gibbs, Brown’s IMF placeman - this was an Article IV report where such dodgy editing is possible. The purpose of this soundbite was evidently so Brown could quote it later and pretend the IMF was pouring praise over the UK when it the reverse was true.
6. On D-Day: “I've accepted the personal invitation of Mr Sarkozy”. The French say it was not personal, that "it's not up to France to decide who will represent Britain," and that - by implication - Brown chose to come himself. He should have said: “There must be some mistake, Britain’s head of state is a monarch – one who served in uniform in the war, actually – so I will pass on this invitation to Buckingham Palace, where it should have gone in the first place.” But the prospect of an Obama photocall was too alluring. So Brown said ‘yes’ then claimed the invite was to him personally. His excuse is that Stephen Harper from Canada is also turning up, without inviting the Queen. I ask you.