Posts Tagged Gordon Brown

Is Brown a vote winner?

In the last General election, it became a bit of a joke that Tony Blair featured more prominently in Conservative and Lib Dem leaflets than in Labour ones. And Ken Livingstone’s election campaign for Mayor of London similarly ignored Gordon Brown.

But for the Euro election campaign it’s been different. Labour’s election address has a picture of a smiling PM. Labour campaigners were almost too excited when Gordon Brown came to visit Islington this week (yes, that chin-pulling incident was here in N1). Some voters have even had a ‘personal’ letter from the Prime Minister.

Perhaps he should have written instead to the editors of the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian, all of which are now encouraging people to vote Liberal Democrat.

Despite the press and the poll ratings, Labour obviously believe Gordon is an asset. We’ll find out soon if the voters agree.

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£1.3 trillion on bank bailout

UPDATE: in deference to Paul Walter (see comment below) this is the post formerly known as ‘£1.3 trillion we won’t see again’.

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I blogged before about the waste of £31M a day on the useless VAT cut.

Now here’s a piece on how much better the £1.3 trillion squandered by Gordon Brown on bailing out the banks could have been spent – 40 new hospitals, 500 new schools, and so it goes on.

Despite the bailout, the banks are still sacking staff, adding to the unemployment benefit bill and depressing the retail economy. Whereas investing in new infrastructure would create jobs, and give us the money to keep our shops afloat.

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£31M a day – what would you spend it on?

Gordon Brown’s temporary VAT cut is costing us all £31M a day.

For the same money you could buy 31 MRI scanners a day for the NHS. Or 31 new children’s centres.

At £31M a day, that’s nearly £1.3 an hour. Enough for a new adult education centre every hour of a 24 hour day.

Or, as Nick Clegg argues, you could use the total £12.5bn spent on the VAT cut to create 95,000 jobs nationwide.

The VAT cut is a drop in the ocean when retailers are already slashing prices to get the punters in. The Federation of Small Businesses says it’s had no impact at all. This money could have been spent so much better.

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Guardian blog 26 Sept

My latest Guardian blog, looking at pensions, fairness, and Labour’s prospects, is now online.

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A treat in store

More good news for Gordon. I’m sure the photographers are already gearing up to record the happy couple.

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More blues for Brown

With friends like this, it’s not a great week for the Prime Minister.

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Clauses vs causes


Today the EU Reform treaty was signed by all the EU heads of government – kind of. Gordon Brown signed by himself after the group celebrations this morning, presumably hoping distance would lend enchantment to the view.

What Gordon may think is nifty footwork just looks inept to everyone else. Unlike our own Vince Cable, I can’t see the PM making a success of Strictly Come Dancing.

He had a clear choice; sign up with pride, trumpet his ‘red lines’ and make the British case for Europe. Or say ‘I want no part of this’, and refuse to sign. Signing up furtively achieves nothing.

If the treaty turns out to be bad news, Gordon Brown will still be responsible for signing us up to it; if it’s a success he’s airbrushed himself out of the historic photos. Unless he’s planning to do a Purnell, of course…..

The debate over a European treaty referendum rumbles on. I think debates over clauses mask the real issue. Section 28 wasn’t really about the curriculum; it was the last gasp of the homophobes. Clause 4 in the Labour party wasn’t just about economic policy; it was the last gasp of old socialism. If we are to have a referendum – as we should – then let’s have it on the real issue: Europe in or out.

Just because the Prime Minister is coy about where he stands on Europe, that’s no reason to deny we citizens our say.

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