"To his huge credit, Gordon Brown is turning his back on the big-money interests that held his predecessor in thrall and is signalling that Britain’s first supercasino is dead in the water. Admittedly, Blair’s wretched gambling policy had already become a farce. Only weeks after Manchester was awarded the licence to run this vast new opportunity to exploit the weak and vulnerable, the House of Lords threw out the proposal – and with it, plans for 16 smaller casinos.
But that doesn’t alter the significance of what Mr Brown had to say on the subject yesterday. He doesn’t repeat Downing Street’s arrogant claim last March that the gambling industry is still ‘very much alive’, despite the Parliamentary vote. He acknowledges frankly that there is ‘no consensus’ in either the Commons or the Lords. He knows most voters don’t want a supercasino. And unlike Mr Blair, he is listening."
Gordon Brown’s friend Paul Dacre may have been positive about IDS’ marriage report yesterday but today’s leader shows that The Mail’s affection for the new Prime Minister remains strong.
David Cameron has attacked the manner of the supercasino u-turn – announced at PMQs in response to a question from a Labour backbencher. The Conservative leader said it contradicted Brown’s declared wish for a return to Cabinet government: "Suddenly the Government’s policy is torn up on the sort of whim of an answer at Prime Minister’s questions." I’d prefer the Tories to simply welcome the u-turn and the abandonment of a supercasino that Hugo Swire did so much to successfully oppose.