Our Labour reforms.The test of a substantial, meaningful speech is one that stands the test of time. A mere five and a half years later, this speech sounds shallow and hubristic. Brown's economic reputation deserves to lie in tatters. By the end of this year it won't just be me and the Conservatives who are saying so. The whole country will realise it. Judging by the polls, more and more people have come to that conclusion already.
All of which have added to employment costs and discouraged employers from creating jobs.
Bank of England independence.
Ok, I'll give you that one. Although in the last six months you've done your best to undermine it and claw back control. In any case, it was the MPC you made independent, not the whole Bank.
A symmetrical inflation target.
Which has regularly been breached.
Long term fiscal rules.
And what happened to them when the going got tough? You threw them out of the window just after you despatched Prudence.
The obligations of the New Deal.
Which has been an expensive flop.
Long term fundamental Labour reforms. Opposed by the Tories.
Quite rightly, too.
These reforms show that our economic strength didn't just happen, we made it happen. Labour values made it happen.
Economic strength came out because of the foundations laid by Ken Clarke and the fact that you followed Tory spending plans for three years.
Don't ever let people tell you this happened because we were lucky, it happened because we are Labour.
Tony Blair said a few weeks ago that it did indeed happen because you were lucky. I think I'll take his word over yours.
It's because we understood a Labour truth, that recessions hit pensioners, the low paid, small businesses;
Actually, recessions hit everyone. Particularly you. In the ballot box.
It's because we recognised a Labour reality, that high and volatile inflation may help the speculator but hurts the poor; it's because we were driven forward by a Labour cause, rooted in our beliefs, that economic stability matters most to hard working families;
That phrase again. Actually, stability matters to everyone equally.
It's because we never forgot where we come from and where we want to take Britain.
Meaningless drivel. You're taking us towards bankruptcy.
And I tell you honestly that if we had built our policies on the shifting sands of Tory short-termism and not on the solid rock of Labour responsibility and long term planning, if we had followed the Tory road - the Tories against Bank independence, the Tories against our fiscal rules; even today Tories demanding public spending cuts and then vouchers and charges - let us tell the British people that under the Tories Britain would again be in recession today.
Er, and we are where now exactly?
Where, instead, Britain with Labour is growing and I can tell you today with Labour that our economy will grow even stronger in the months to come.
Pity about the years...
And what our economic policy is proving is that you do not defeat the Tories by imitation or just by better presentation but by Labour policies and Labour reforms grounded in Labour values.
And as long as I am Chancellor I will never ask you to abandon fiscal responsibility.
Is that hollow laughter I hear at the back?
Never to set aside economic discipline.
Never to abandon long term reform for quick fixes.
Sorry, my sides are now splitting.
Never to succumb to Tory short termism.
No, just stick to Labour short termism and hope no one notices.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Brownonomics: What a Difference 6 Years Make
While I am at Upton Park shouting my mouth off at Craig Bellamy, do enjoy this extract from Gordon Brown's 2003 Labour Party Conference speech which a reader sent me last night. I thought it deserved a light fisking...