Gordon Brown might be overstating his case when he ignores his Thatcherite inheritance and a benign global economic environment, and takes sole credit for Britain’s rather good economic performance during his tenure at No. 11. But, asked whether they are better off now than a decade ago, most Britons would have to agree that in material terms their lives have improved during Brown’s tenure at the Treasury, and that his decisions to keep Britain out of the euro and to grant a sort of independence to the Bank of England (Brown still selects the Bank’s inflation target, and decides whether the Governor is to be reappointed or let out to pasture) were good policies indeed.
It’s six years since I wrote in The Spectator about my broken right ankle, humiliatingly sustained when I slipped while arguing with a swimming-pool attendant in a French ski resort. The joke among British patients in the hospital in Grenoble, all of them with much worse injuries than mine, was that it was better to stay where we were, where staff knew about broken bones and where there was a comfortable hostel for patients’ relatives, rather than return to the bosom of the NHS where we might catch MRSA.
Both Brown and Cameron face separate backbench mutinies as the revived EU Constitution — now called the Lisbon Treaty — comes before the Commons, says Fraser Nelson. Which of them will end up looking like John Major in the ghastly Maastricht era?Only one thought has consoled Gordon Brown throughout the horrors of the European Union Reform Treaty. He had always expected a mauling for agreeing it, and had no choice but to sign the wretched document in Lisbon.
Rod Liddle says that the notion of ‘compulsory donations’ is oxymoronic and the pinnacle of the medical profession’s zeal to get its hands on our corpsesThe question is, I suppose, hypothetical in my case. Or beyond even hypothetical. They are not going to want the liver of someone who opens a bottle of Rioja just as Naughtie announces it’s time for Thought for the Day. I find it impossible to listen to that vapid, platitudinous drivel without some form of sustenance close to hand.