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Miliband bashes Brown

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Pity that he couldn’t have managed this when in government eh?

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Considering that the Prince of Darkness has revealed that Brown did everything that he could to woo David Miliband to his right hand side when in government, the South Shields MP politely declined the invitation, apparently Brown feared a leadership fight against Miliband, yet young David never did quite have the stomach for it in the first place.

One has to wonder at the ultimate ambitions of our MP, who has found it increasingly difficult to visit South Shields since the ill fated Brown called the election,  and also wonder at his inability to articulate himself as Labour’s fortunes nosedived under the unelected Scotsman’s leadership. Now Miliband feels free to point out the high handedness, the weaknesses, and the failure to renew Labour’s political offer, he says that he didn’t feel ready to be a Prime Minister when we all expected him to lead a  bloodless coup against Brown, and that in his judgement he thought his decision to acquiesce was in the country’s best interests – history has shown that it was probably not in the Labour Party’s best interest.

I find it incredible that he and other Cabinet ministers felt powerless at the time that Brown and Darling decided to abolish the 10p tax rate, a decision which met widespread derision in the country, were they all living in morbid fear of the then Prime Minister? By agreeing to the “settled will” within the higher reaches of the Labour Party that they should stick with Brown he reveals a mentality since exposed in the newspapers that many of them were expecting a heavy defeat and preparing then for a period in opposition.

I find this terribly odd when the chances are that a change in leader may well have resulted in a much closer result in May. Miliband acknowledges that the Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition is strengthening its grip on power and is unlikely to be unseated or damaged in the near future, and then bizarrely states that Labour must remain the party of economic competence! I ask you, after the mountains of debt, the huge budget deficit, the growth in unemployment, the destruction of savings and pensions, and the reduction in Britain’s credit rating, competence David?

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Cameron’s Tories should stay in Opposition

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Purely in the “national interest” of course.

If the current whoring of the Liberal Democratic vote plays out in Labour’s/Mandelsons/Miliband’s interest, the Conservatives would be well advised to desist from any further negotiations with “Calamity Clegg” and be prepared for a further short period in Opposition. The whole scenario being played out in front of us is unseemly and a rotten foretaste of what proportional representation would bring at just about every election.

There are only a few small areas where the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats share common ground, on civil liberties, and smaller taxes, so perhaps it would be better to allow them to form a coalition of the losers and realign Conservative policies a little further away from the centre ground. I had argued for the past three years that standing in the middle of the road was the best place to get knocked over and I’ve been proved right, three parties fighting over a centralist ideal have managed to carve out about a third of the pie each, perhaps if we’d had a better choice with sharper dividing lines we may have got a decisive result.

To a greater extent Cameron and his tight knit circle of lieutenants have been the authors of their own misfortune, they have allowed a 40%+ poll position to be frittered away by clinging on to the hope that the British people were ready for change, a change from Gordon Brown, but perhaps not too great of a change. They are wrong, we don’t need a change of management we need a change of direction, a complete change of options and choices, not more of the same with a better looking wrapper!

Perhaps if the Conservatives had taken a far tougher line over Europe instead of just hoping that the Lisbon question would resolve itself before the election (which it did, but not to our benefit) then perhaps they could have got a pre election agreement from UKIP, that alone might have got them an additional 21 seats and secured the required majority that they were looking for.

Perhaps if they had been more willing to talk with complete frankness about the huge debt crisis and not been afraid to outline in further detail the huge necessity for far greater reductions in public spending, they might have done better. Instead they allowed Gordon Brown to drag them onto his playing field to defend minuscule cuts to Labour’s £1.5 trillion of debt!

Perhaps if they hadn’t agreed to let Clegg take part in the Prime Ministerial Debates we wouldn’t be seeing the leader of the failed Liberal Democrats, who lost five of their seats, prostituting his voters in a purely self interested manner to force a form of proportional representation upon us, a subject which was hardly on our minds last Thursday when we cast our votes.

Perhaps if he’d left individual Conservative Associations alone and allowed them to choose their own candidates autonomously, as in the past, he wouldn’t be in the embarrassing situation of watching 62 of his original 100 “A listers” being defeated at the polls. Another likely source of winnable seats that would help bring a majority.

Perhaps if he’d addressed the fears over immigration a little more succinctly instead of just sneering at Clegg’s amnesty, he wouldn’t be left with so many tight Labour marginals in the north-west.

And so, we find ourselves in a situation where millions of voters thought that they were doing their best by perhaps voting Conservative for the first time, or Liberal Democrat in the hope that they would bring an end to Labour’s dreadful government, and the end result of the poor choices found in the middle of the road is – Gordon Brown staying in Downing Street for a few more months and the prospects of South Shields own MP David Miliband becoming Prime Minister later in the year. A second successive Labour Prime Minister who did not face the daunting scrutiny of the electorate before assuming office – just great! I guess we should be hugely thankful that Miliband wants to face an election by members of the Labour Party – whoopee.

This failure to offer real diverse choice at the election has produced a very bleak day for our democracy, we could indeed see a coalition of the losers as Labour (net losses 91 seats) joins the Lib-Dems (net losses 5 seats) and the six Scottish Nationalists (no gains) and  about six others who will all be wanting their pound of flesh in the form of guaranteed spending in the Celtic fringes; in other words England (with the Tory majority) will have to face the brunt of any cuts!

Quite simply Nick Clegg is not as nice as he appeared on Television, between himself, Gordon Brown, Lord Mandelson, and Ed Balls they will revert to naked party ambition and the “national interest” can go hang.

It is a measure of Gordon Brown’s loose grip on reality that he sought to depict his decision to stand down later this year as a noble act of self-sacrifice made in the national interest. The truth is that this was an act of quite staggering cynicism based on naked party advantage. With the incomprehensible connivance of Nick Clegg – whose reputation will surely never recover – Mr Brown is effectively seeking to nullify the result of last week’s general election. Blinded by his tribal loathing of the Conservatives, he is ready to risk everything – and we use that term advisedly – to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street.

This unelected leader of the Labour Party will remain Prime Minister, even though his party secured two million fewer votes and 48 fewer seats than the Tories. He will then hand over at a time of his choosing to a new Labour leader. At that point, the United Kingdom will find itself governed by a Labour prime minister the country has not elected, succeeding a Labour prime minister neither the country nor his party elected. Even by Labour’s standards, this is self-serving and unscrupulous.

Since last Friday we have lived with the fiction that Mr Brown was simply doing his constitutional duty by staying at the helm until a new government could be formed, acting in the national interest. Now we see that all the time he has been acting in his and his party’s interest, defying the verdict of the electorate by trying to create a coalition of the election losers. This is a bleak day for our democracy.

Because of this political posturing, and because the Conservatives were well ahead, but did not win the election, I’d be happier if they now allowed Labour to continue in office in the sure knowledge that the people would agree with former Labour Home Secretaries David Blunkett who said that the Liberal Democrats are behaving “like every harlot in history”, and John Reid who warned  that a Labour-Lib Dem coalition would result in “mutually assured destruction” for both parties.

Such a coalition will not have stability nor the required numbers to carry major legislation through the Commons, a new Labour leader and Prime Minister would want an early election and a chance to win a majority of his/her own. By then the Conservatives might have learned how to hold on to a poll lead and to get off the centre ground, they don’t belong there and the British people would prefer a more clear cut choice between the major parties. And of course the people will exact their bitter revenge on those who formed the losers’ coalition.

Update

Of course much of what I wrote was written in the heat of the moment this morning at a time when I was convinced that the Liberal Democrats had reneged on a good opportunity and decided to prop up a dead duck Labour government. I’m guessing that to some extent Nick Clegg might have been feeling a bit circumspect as well after the mauling he received from the press today. I have been proved wrong and now is the time to eat humble pie, David Cameron is officially installed as the Prime Minister and it seems that Nick Clegg may be elevated to Deputy PM. Of course if the deal HAD gone the other way I would still favour a short period in opposition as I am convinced that a Lib-Lab pact would prove disastrous for both parties and would have led to a landslide Tory victory within a year. I honestly would have preferred that than seeing the Conservatives struggling to survive as a minority government.

However, we now have a coalition government and it will be very interesting to see (a) who gets the plum positions, (b) it’s programme to be set out in The Queen’s Speech, and (c) how her Majesty’s Opposition react, regroup, and reform after the departure of Gordon Brown.

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Elvis is found alive and well…..

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……In Brown’s bunker!

I mean, just how cookie can Labour’s spin doctors get, have Mandy and “bad Al” Campbell been popping on the wrong medicine or something? To use an Elvis impersonator looks almost as embarrassing as asking the unelected Scottish Prime Minister to gurn smile for the cameras.

From “things can only get better” to “when everything I do is wrong”,  – they’ll have us believe that he “don’t have a wooden heart” next!

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Written by curly

April 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Who has the nerve to do what Britain requires?

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The problem with politicians is that they court popularity

So Lord Mandy is today lambasting the Conservative Leader for economic illiteracy as Labour still promises to halve the budget deficit within four years, Cameron initially appeared to favour swift sharp cost cutting with George Osborne (but ring fencing the popular parts of the state), then he dithered and suggested that so long as we make a start that’ll be alright – oh do come on, both of you!

We all know that the budget deficit built by Brown is far too huge to maintain, we all know the national debt is an utter embarrassment and a millstone around our necks, the markets know that current spending plans simply cannot be sustained without tax increases. What most of us passed over without noticing last weekend is that Britain’s credit worthiness is being damaged, our banks and public finances are seen a s a greater risk by international markets, Standard and Poors have downgraded our ratings. Unless politicians get an immediate grip on the spending problem and stop borrowing to spend, banks will have to start charging higher interest rates to lend money to each other and government, this will cause higher interest rates for small and medium sized enterprises when they are lucky enough to get a loan from a bank. Higher interest charges will lead to poorer investment, and even fewer jobs, and the downgrading has already led to pressure on the pound making life even harder for our exporters.

Gordon Brown’s stewardship of the economy has seen over £trillion printed and pumped into the financial sector, saddling our grandchildren with public debts that they won’t even have known existed, as well as being the last major economy to drag itself out of recession (and the jury is still out on that one), gold reserves depleted prior to a massive hike in values, pension schemes robbed of future value, and now a national credit worthiness worse than places such as Chile, Portugal, Belgium, and Italy.

It’s high time that our politicians stopped fishing around for the soft easy votes and laid out the facts, openly, honestly, and candidly, our economy is in a debt spiral still, and the only way to make headway in reducing the debts is to bring an end to much of the spending, This plain truth is evident to everyone who has struggled with their household budgets during this long Labour induced recession, so it ought to be just as obvious to political leaders on both sides of the divide. They need a steely nerve to make tough immediate decisions, they need to face the fact that we are not out of recession yet and that a 0.1% growth rate is the swallow that doesn’t make a spring or summer (and even that figure is a best estimate.)

With an election on the way the likes of Brown and his master Mandelson will continue to talk of a double dip recession whilst Cameron and Osborne wrangle over painfully obvious options should they take power, the truth is simple, removing some of the support from the economy will make life tougher, doing nothing for a while will drive up interest rates further and make it even harder to promote growth and slow recovery too, but it has to be done. There is no credit to be gained by shying away from the truth.

Popularity may well win a few friends but popularity does not of it’s own make a good politician.

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Written by curly

February 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Dear Mandy

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An open letter to Peter Mandelson regarding the newly announced Digital Economy Bill. Found this video on Twitter, hoping I help to make it viral.

Lyrics:

Dear Peter Mandelson,

I’ve been following your recent policy proposals, so now they’ve gone through, I thought I’d contribute some vocals. The focal point of my criticism’s the ridiculous decision to bring in a system where you flick a switch and disconnect the internet when it’s suspected that intellectual infringement has been detected, even if the relatives they live with definitely didn’t. I think it’s in your best interest to bin this, yes? ‘Cause isn’t it a respected institution that we’re considered innocent unless different is proven? Er, excuse me – how can you excuse exclusion when you’ve not pursued a definite conclusion?

You’re picking on the little man, the Lilliputian; now there’s a pain in my gulliver and it’s confusing. You’re swift to treat your citizens with such little human humour it’s no wonder that we’re disilliusioned. This resolution’s gonna end in revolution just like any other governance that doesn’t accept evolution. To be perfectly honest, m’lord, there’d be less intrusion if you curtly abolished the law and left us to it.

And why do games require safety ratings, but any age can see adult-aimed plays and paintings? It’s state censorship, the same as Beijing; but even China thinks a pirate isn’t worth the time of day for chasing. I think Chairman Mao would say the same thing – since you became secretary, it’s like the state’s your plaything. You made a massive sacrifice, invaded loads of privacy, but if I wanted to download, there’d be no hope of finding me. I could take my mobile phone to the local library, and utilise the free wireless to find the file I need. Then what are you going to try – to disconnect their ISP? You might as well just burn the books on rights to speech.

Dear Mandy, stay away from my family. Yours considerably angrily, Dan Bull. Dear Mandy, stay away from my family. Yours considerably angrily, Dan Bull.

Who’ll profit from the Digital Economy Bill? Not the public, but the profiteers probably will. Who’ll profit from the Digital Economy Bill? Not the public, but the puppeteers probably will. I’ve talked about how intellectual property kills and you’re still just concerned with who’s copping the bill. It’s quite obvious you’ve been lobbied until the copy holders got control, and you’re probably their shill. It’s not your problem when you’re positioned on top of the hill, in your property that probably cost a couple of mil. But wake up and smell the coffee, the milk is going off and you’re not bothered ’cause your coffers are filled.

Lord, it’s time you took an honesty pill, and acknowledged the majority aren’t horribly thrilled. So what if I watched a torrented comedy film? I don’t need to now my country’s just become a Brazil. You know the truth, Orwell spoke his views, your House broke the news and all Hell’s broken loose. The utopia we hoped for is overdue, so could you help out a little bit and don’t be stupid?

The onus is on you to show us you aren’t using your throne in a way the voters don’t approve. I know you’re very close to David Geffen, so maybe his interests have given you a hazed perception. Hey, do you reckon you’d win today’s election, considering you’re chasing this amidst a great recession? Deception’s the politician’s favourite weapon but we’re already jaded from one too many painful lessons.

Dear Mandy, stay away from my family. Yours considerably angrily, Dan Bull. Dear Mandy, stay away from my family.

Yours considerably angrily,
Dan Bull.

P.S. I love you, Mandy x

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Written by curly

November 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Start preparing plan B

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Miliband brothers

Miliband brothers were talk of the weekend.

Following Lord High Almighty Everything’s visit to South Shields on Friday evening, our MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, along with his younger brother Ed have been the talk of the weekend. Various newspapers and commentators have jumped on the bandwagon that has started to roll towards Brussels with David Miliband on board, yet despite his denial in being interested – don’t politicians always deny interest? – the world and his dog now firmly believe that Miliband the Elder will be heading for the EU as it’s Foreign Minister (sorry High Representative of the Commission) as Labour gets turfed out of office at the next election.

If the intense speculation all turns out to be true, then one could perhaps then understand David Miliband’s recent attacks on the Conservatives, painting them out to be almost anti-semitic Jew hating baby killing Nazi types, after all he may as well try and cosy up to the remnants of the EPP, he may need support in other parts of Europe to bolster a bid for the big job. As Dan Hannan points out:

No wonder David Miliband has been waging his jejune campaign against the ECR, a campaign so malicious and misleading that the Latvian Government has called in our ambassador to protest. Suddenly, it all makes sense: what the Foreign Secretary is really after is a promotion. If that means sacrificing British interests in order to cosy up to the EPP, so be it.

In the current climate, with all parties proposing ministerial pay cuts, what national politician wouldn’t gladly slither to a new post in Brussels, complete with housing allowance, personal chauffeur, entertainment allowance, tax-free salary and all the rest? Especially when he expects his party to be voted out of office within a few months.

Yes, quite, the opportunity must have an awful lot of appeal.

Curly, like others, is gradually coming round to the view that Gordon Brown will not be allowed to lead Labour to an electoral disaster, and that sometime in the early part of 2010 he will be forced to admit to his Cabinet colleagues that he is an electoral liability and that his health has deteriorated to the point where it would be wise to allow someone else to carry the flag for Labour. Paul Linford in his column for The Journal suspects the same scenario:

I wrote several months ago now that I did not believe Mr Brown would lead Labour into the General Election if it became clear that the only consequence of that would be a catastrophic defeat.

The recent drip-drip-drip of information about the Prime Minister’s health, some of it emanating from within Downing Street itself, seems to confirm that an exit strategy is being carefully devised.

One slogan heard doing the rounds this week was “New Year, New Leader” – and once again, the name of Miliband seems to be in the frame.

The question of course is which Miliband?

The two sons of Ralph have done exceptionally well for themselves, weaned into the political class in the roles of advisors, researchers, and bag carriers as the NuLabour project was formed under Blair and Brown, given patronage and moved into safe Labour seats in South Shields and Doncaster North, neither of the brothers has had a job outside of politics (which is all too common in all parties these days). Both now of Cabinet rank in a government facing the agony of watching it’s own death. If Lord Mandelson had used his time profitably in the EU, and there is no reason to believe that he hasn’t networked extensively, then he ought to know exactly which ears to drip poison advice into, to further the prospects of one David Miliband succeeding to a highly paid position the High Representative for the EU, just in case EU leaders lean away from appointing Tony Blair as their President.

Should Mandelson win that battle then perhaps, seeing defeat awaiting Labour, he will gently suggest to the one eyed son of the manse that it’s time to play the health card and make way for Ed Miliband to lead the party in the next election and in Opposition. Such a move may rescue Labour’s position in the polls as a young new leader goes head to head with a young new leader of the Conservatives, ultimately of course, it will be the record of twelve years in government and a wrecked economy that will lose it all for Labour.

But, no need to be feeling negative, if all of this speculation materialises then both Miliband brothers will be sitting pretty in much better paid employment than they have at present.

As far as South Shields is concerned, David Miliband would have to give up this seat and the Labour Party would need to find a new candidate to fight the general election, in something of a hurry. Now image, just imagine, that South Tyneside Council Leader Iain Malcolm got the call (he has wanted to represent his home town in the Commons for some years), then the Conservative’s Karen Allen and others would need to have a “plan B” prepared and ready to use. Because, if Labour’s candidate was to be Iain Malcolm, we can be virtually guaranteed that an Independent candidate would enter the fray, giving electors a further choice and creating further electoral confusion with the possible permutations in the anti-Labour split.

Positive outcomes for the Milibands may end up leaving negative thoughts in South Shields, and also at Westminster where David Cameron would also need a “plan B” to deal with the possible prospect of Europe’s top two positions being occupied by the leading architects of NuLabour.

Update

A “Stop Miliband” campaign has already started.

stop miliband

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The South Shields lecture

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Labour stalwarts stayed away

Whilst South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband hosted the Business Secretary Lord High Almighty Everything Mandelson at Harton Technology College in South Shields, for the Labour party’s annual “lecture”. Curly couldn’t make his mind up whether or not it would be worthwhile to attend and realised he would give Scott Duffy a major headache by making a late request for tickets, in any case Watford vs Sheffield Wednesday was probably more entertaining. Anyway, it was interesting to note, from those that I bumped into last night, that some Labour councillors deliberately and quite happily snubbed them both by staying away, yet it seems the meeting was infiltrated by some local Conservatives.

Perhaps they are fed up to the back teeth of the MP’s expenses scandal, or the failure of the government to make inroads with the recession, or Mandy’s attempts to sell off Royal Mail, or maybe they feel sore for the loss of 350 South Tyneside Council jobs as the likes of Miliband and Mandelson sit in a Cabinet which has overspent so much that it can no longer afford to finance local government.

Or maybe they are just fed up with softy southerners making such a big deal over fish and chips!

Moving slightly off topic Mike Smithson at Political Betting seems to suggest that yesterday’s meeting may have provided an opportunity for a tete a tete between David Miliband and “kingmaker” Mandelson, after a piece by The Mole supporting the notion that Gordon Brown could be replaced by one of the Miliband brothers. One to keep an eye on, he suggests.

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Written by curly

October 24, 2009 at 10:26 am

Miliband lined up for EU post (2)

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Further speculation over South Shields’ MP’s future.

Remember I posted this a few days ago?

Well it seems that Jon Snow at Channel 4 is thinking the same way, as is David Charter in The Times:

At the same time, there is increasing talk that the best candidate for the other job on offer, that of high representative for foreign affairs – a potentially more important job than the presidency itself – could be offered to Britain’s foreign secretary, David Miliband, whose ratings in Europe have been in the ascendancy for the past six months.

All the while Mike Smithson is almost asserting that the “Prince of Darkness”, Lord Mandelson, (who is due in South Shields on Friday to give the annual lecture to the Labour Party this week) is gradually moving his support away from Gordon Brown over to David Miliband. We will need to pin our lugs back for any coded words at Harton Technology College! (That is if Mandy can be heard above the noise of a gaggle of demonstrators from the anti war groups and the keep the Metro out of private hands red/green group.)

No doubt if David Miliband decides to entertain Mandelson at Coleman’s fish and chip restaurant in Ocean Road this Friday, he’ll not be mentioning the urban myth about guacamole when the mushy peas make an appearance!

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Written by curly

October 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Mandy to face protestors

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South Shields visit sparks action

I understand that when Lord Mandelson arrives in South Shields for the Labour Party’s annual “lecture” at Harton Technology College on 23rd October with the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, he will be met and greeted with a protest from the Stop the War Coalition.

Whilst not sympathising with their broad politics I am getting increasingly concerned at the loss of British lives in the two campaigns we are involved in. We still seem to have no exit strategy for Iraq and the recent campaign in Helmand province, Afghanistan, to secure a free and fair election does not appear to have achieved it’s aims. Karzai appears to be on the verge of being elected in a ballot as rigged as that recently held in Iran!

William Hague the Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary has said:

“Britain, the U.S. and other Nato allies provided security so that the election could take place. Britain increased its troops in Afghanistan specifically to help ensure that Afghan people could cast their votes fearlessly. For this, our troops have paid a price in blood.”

If the next Afghan government is compromised and built on corrupt electoral practices, there will be little support for us, too. Given the widespread reports of irregularities, we believe that Nato governments, including the U.S. and Britain, cannot remain on the sidelines.”

If this election is proved to have been won with widespread fraudulent methods then we must commit to a re-run, then commit to a timetable leading to a withdrawal to allow the Afghan people to run their own affairs and provide for their own security. I cannot accept that we must keep spilling British blood because the Prime Minister tells us that our streets will be safer, I happen to believe our home security will improve immensely once we have negotiated the difficult path of withdrawal.

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Written by curly

September 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm

A divergance of views

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Perhaps Mandelson is right, they are missing the spin doctors of old.

Darling says he will carry on spending the money he hasn’t got – Brown says he will cut spending.

Mr Brown will deny he is redrawing his favourite “dividing line” – contrasting “Labour investment versus Tory cuts”. However, he has come under pressure from Cabinet ministers, led by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to change his language on public spending amid fears that Labour could lose the argument.

Looks and sounds like a Labour government without any clear direction.

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Written by curly

August 31, 2009 at 10:32 am