Everyone got a bit excited on the last thread. Can we make this thread more focused on the substance of Brown’s big state vision for Britain?
Here’s my assessment of Brown’s speech.
The good points for Labour: Brown looked like a man in control – of his party, of the national agenda. By not referring to the opposition he looked like he was above party politics. We know that he’s intensely political but that’s not necessarily the impression that most voters will get from tonight’s news bulletins. The blue background was in many ways trivial but its intention was to confuse voters – particularly conservative voters. He’s a formidable political opponent. Much more formidable than many of us thought.
It was a speech from a big government politician: From grants for students to more childcare to more social housing to the elimination of third world diseases – this is a man who has faith in the power of government. Every Conservative thinking of voting Labour should remember that and remember the words of Tony Woodley, joint General Secretary of the Unite union. In response to the speech, Mr Woodley told PA: "It is the most Labour speech we have heard for a decade."
If Gordon Brown is re-elected we will see Britain continue to change in all of the ways evident from the last decade…
- There will be more taxes and more spending and more waste.
- More and more people will be dependent upon the state for earnings, benefits and childcare.
- More powers will cross the English Channel to the EU.
- Nothing will be done to address the Constitutional imbalances produced by devolution to Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Many Conservatives are less than keen on Project Cameron. What we have to remember, however, is that David Cameron is the only man who can stop Brown from winning and gradually undoing the work of Margaret Thatcher. It’s always better to be in government than out of office – unable to influence the course of our country. We all need to remember that in these important few weeks. Five more years of Labour – with Brown in charge and none of Blair’s reformism – will create a population that will be so state-dependent that a real Conservative Party will find it very difficult to win a majority again. It’s all happening by stealth – there are no big announcements – but it’s happening.