Tomorrow ConservativeHome launches a website dedicating to holding Gordon Brown accountable for his years as Tony Blair’s head of domestic policy. Today Alan Duncan MP – Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform – sets out a case against the new Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown must be feeling very happy at the moment. After a lifetime of ambition he has finally reached the top of the greasy poll, and his reaction to floods, bombs and foot and mouth have made him, at least for the moment, king of the bouncy castle.
In contrast, after a year in which he could do no wrong, David Cameron is being attacked as someone who can now do nothing right. Each of these positions will not last forever. Politics will soon settle into a clearer and more evenly matched contest. Gordon Brown was always going to prove more formidable than many people thought, but that does not mean that he is unbeatable.
Gordon Brown is a socialist. However hard he might try to hide behind the political cross-dressing of his predecessor, there is something about Gordon Brown which makes him unable to disguise his underlying approach.
Fundamentally, Brown would rather tax something than not. If ever there is a choice between the State doing something and an individual doing it, he’d rather the State did it. In the face of challenges such as poverty or poor pension provision, instead of entrusting solutions to the individual or the market, he would prefer to find solutions through the apparatus of the State.
In the course of a decade of global economic growth, Gordon Brown has
been able to hide the deficiencies of his approach even though the real
cost has been enormous. He is the man who has doubled people’s council
tax and destroyed their pension. He is the man whose tax credits
scheme has wasted billions and forced some of the poorest in our midst
to pay back thousands. He is the man who sold the UK’s gold reserves,
so losing us £7bn. And as taxation and spending have risen to the very
limits, he is the man who instead of recalibrating the UK economy has
squandered the last decade and set aside nothing for a rainy day. All
of this is the antithesis of careful financial management. He has used
his position to buy votes in the sort-term, not help Britain in the
But Gordon Brown is also guilty of another serious political crime. He
is the ultimate propagandist. Spin is in his DNA. Headlines matter
more to him than genuine action. The more perceptive voter can sense
how artificial his manner is. If you can fake sincerity you’ve got it
made…… Tony Blair could fake it: Gordon Brown can’t, and soon this
will show through.
To beat him – as we can and will – we have to be resolute and honest.
For every trick of theirs, we must have a short sharp rejoinder. For
every deceit on their part, we must show belief on ours. We should
concentrate on the long-term, not the day-to-day. Passion and
conviction from us will override Brown’s calculating manner.
Soon Mr Brown will run out of tricks. Then it is game on, and it is our game to win.