"I am the son of a Church of Scotland minister". With those ten words this morning Gordon Brown showed his nervousness about the Tory marriage proposals. Some close to Brown think that the Tory leader's made a strategic mistake by looking retro not modern and pessimistic not optimistic about the future of society. I wonder.
Intellectually, Team Brown are certain that it is right to help children regardless of their parents' decisions and they scorn a tax break which would help just a fraction of all parents and would particularly help better off families whose wives don't work. Politically, I sense a nervousness about whether they've allowed Cameron to adopt the idealistic high moral ground. Jonathan Freedland's column in the Guardian today about the power of the emotional as against the intellectual appeal of politics is worth careful reading.
Of course the traffic is not all one way. Some Tories are nervy that Brown has adopted the union jack and "the British way of life". Political cross-dressing is here to stay.