Gordon Brown gave a solid speech today.  On housing, the NHS,
fighting child poverty, opposing racism, being on the side of rural
communities, making Britain a world leader in climate change and
neighbourhood policing he made all of the right noises.  He should not
be underestimated.

New Deputy Leader Harriet Harman will be Party Chair.  Long-time
Brownite Douglas Alexander will be General Election co-ordinator.

Used many traditional Tory words like "duty", "trust", "aspiration" and "security".

Heavy emphasis at the end of the speech that he will be the change that the country wants – not the Tories.

Once the smokescreen of the next few days and weeks has cleared,
however, he cannot escape from his record.  Here are ten lowlights:

  1. More than 100 extra taxes – stealthily imposed – so that our tax burden has risen above that of Germany;
  2. Gold reserves sold at the low point of the market;
  3. His £100bn raid on pensions;
  4. His underfunding of the armed forces that meant Blair had to fight a war on a peacetime budget;
  5. His underfunding of prisons that lies at the heart of the law and order crisis in Britain;
  6. Extraordinary waste from the Dome to the Olympics and everything inbetween;
  7. Missed child poverty targets;
  8. The HIPS fiasco;
  9. A neglect of green issues in every Budget until very recently;
  10. A broken promise on giving the British people a referendum on the EU draft treaty.


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