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The difference of a year

Nick Robinson | 08:59 UK time, Monday, 23 June 2008

A year ago, Gordon of the Treasury was packing. He was about to make the longest journey of his life - moving next door from No 11 to No 10.

Gordon Brown and Alistair DarlingAfter a decade of being restricted to governing the economy, Gordon Brown was now making plans to govern everything else. He and his closest advisers took for granted that he would carry with him the lexicon of the Brown decade - prudence, stability, no boom and bust. They were preparing to unveil what he would call "a new government with new priorities".

What a difference a year makes. It is the old priorities of an old government that are at the heart of Gordon Brown's new problems. No surprise then that some in No 10 are arguing that a new economic plan should be the centrepiece of an autumn fightback.

They have concluded that the old tunes are sounding dated. They believe that it's no longer enough to declare that the man who steered the economy away from the rocks for 10 years will be able to do so again. Instead, I'm told, the public is to be presented with a new analysis: explaining why the PM is not merely whistling in the wind when he predicts that the British economy will weather the current storm; setting out how future decisions on tax and spending; on the environment, education and skills will help prepare Britain for a better economic future.

Now, this raises a mighty big question. A question highlighted by the fact that a cabinet reshuffle is said to have been pencilled in for around the same time. Does a new economic plan need a new chancellor? It's a question some close to the PM are pondering.

The arguments for a change are simple. Alistair Darling, it's said, has not established himself as a strong independent figure in the City, the country or in Parliament. The last thing the government needs at this time, the argument goes, is a cautious conservative chancellor.

The arguments against begin with sympathy for a man who, many of his colleagues believe, has calmly and stoically taken the rap for the PM's mistakes -whether a Budget dictated by the election that never was or the unwillingness to accept there were losers from scrapping the 10p tax rate.

The debate soon turns, of course, to who would take over - Alan Johnson, some say, would have the popular touch and is English, to boot. So too, David Miliband who's bright enough to easily make the switch from the Foreign Office. Promote either and Gordon Brown would be promoting a man who could soon replace him. Why not then the man he may want to succeed him - his old economic adviser Ed Balls? Blairites are not alone in thinking of many reasons why not.

Darling, an old friend and trusted ally of Brown's, may well survive in his job but a question some are pushing this for the summer is whether Gordon Brown should lay down his friend for his political life.

This is the script of my essay on this morning's Today programme.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    "Does a new economic plan need a new chancellor?"


    What it really needs is a new Government with a new Prime Minister to go with a new Chancellor!

  • Comment number 2.

    I heard Nick on the Today prog. If Labour really want to court oblivion, stick Balls in as Chancellor. It would IMHO be madness and the media would love it, just think of the headlines when anything goes wrong........

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick your last argument about a change in chancellor sounds right;

    The arguments for a change are simple. Alistair Darling, it's said, has not established himself as a strong independent figure in the City, the country or in Parliament.

    But unfortunately those self same arguments can be applied to our lame duck PM. Can we not have a reshuffle of government as well?

  • Comment number 4.

    What prudence.

    Brown has taxed and wasted billions. During a decade of unprecedented economic growth he took our borrowing to record levels, and hid massive amounts of debt in the form of PFIs. He sold our gold when prices were at an all time low, raided private pension funds while the massive rise in public sector pensions will have to be paid for by our children well into middle age.

    I just cant wait for the new plan. But it cant be less prudent that the last one can it.

  • Comment number 5.

    If not Alistair Darling then who else?

    Gordon has surrounded himself with political weaklings and frozen out anybody with any talent.

    10 years of backstabbing is coming home to roost. Unfortunately for the public at large, we have nobody with sufficient clout to fill the shoes of Chancellor.

    Whilst we are at it, lets be honest, there are very few with sufficient clout in any ministerial role in this government.

    The train wreck continues.......

  • Comment number 6.

    You want to know how much difference a year makes?

    Gordon Brown seriously believes he will be PM beyond the next election.

    As a former Labour supporter of over 30 years voting all I can say is

    hahahahahahaha - you cannot be serious

  • Comment number 7.

    It is not a new chancellor we need it is a new government !!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    You are a bit late with this one, Nick,
    I noted it last week here:

    Of course a Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards - Ed Miliband was even spotted sitting next to Brown at PMQs.

    I'm just waiting to use the headline: 'Move Over Darling'.

  • Comment number 9.

    I seem to remember Gordon saying recently that there would be no reshuffle and everyone would remain in situ until the GE. Never mind what difference a year makes, in this case its about a week.

  • Comment number 10.


    Your words: "took for granted that he would carry with him the lexicon of the Brown decade - prudence, stability, no boom and bust."

    Prudence was only the "girlfriend" for a couple of years, she was upright and boring then Gordon Brown (son of the Manse) went off the rails and found the new love of his life, an alluring young lady called Profligacy and her sister that he was intimately involved in behind the public's back, PeePee F who also went under the alias of Pee-ef-eye and Peepeepee. Together they all got high on a drug called “Squander" also know by its users as "taxing the hard working families” and “borrow it".

    We now have the withdrawal, the only problem is that the greater the dependency on Squander the harder it is to get off it.

    Welcome to the reality of Brown's Britain; or should I say England because the use of Squander in Health, Education, Law and Transport in other parts of the Union, he passed that on to other users.

  • Comment number 11.

    I realise we're in danger of being in our own "Ivory Tower" as commenters on Nick's blog.

    What I'd be interested in is a) to find out the extent to which the Population at large shares our views - whichever they may be.

    Also b), another is a discussion of something which surfaced at the wedding I was at this weekend.

    IMO there is an incipient crisis facing those with centre-left political views.

    Namely that this Government has failed, but more importantly, the whole centre-left worldview is going down with it.

    Nick, if you (or others) have any views of what will replace this worldview and meet their aspirations - I'd be fascinated to hear it / them.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nothing can help Britain prepare for a better economic future for the simple reason that the political entity 'Britain' is very near the end of its shelf-life.

    I give it three more years at most.

    I do occasionally wonder if it was just me, but I speak to people here in England and I am told - yes, it is over - people can see it {Britain} coming to an end - so why do the politicians at Westminster have such a problem with that?

    After all, it won't be long before they, well, Dave and his motley crew, will be having to handle it.

  • Comment number 13.

    The problem with this all is that you assume that the Government have somehow done something wrong when it comes to governance of the country.

    Yes, politically, GB and his cabinet have made some outstanding mistakes

    Yes, GB sounds weak on issues often, ill at ease, clumsy with his communication.

    But the core - the running of the balance books, the day to day governance (a little of which came out this weekend with the law lords ruling about anonymity) , has this government actually got that wrong?

    As a member of the British Public, I have to say I really don't know.

    I always have had the feeling that government, democratic government especially, has in reality a very small and slow effect on the country - and cannot expect to have more than that. Often government follows rather than leads; chasing the fact and claiming credit where it is good news.

    I don't believe if the Boy David had been in power these last two years we would be in any different position than we are now - we would just be crowing about a different batch of facile political ups and downs.

    Crime is up, not because the justice bills are wrong, but because society (lead by the media) thinks anything goes, and then cries when the anything turns rounds and bites.

    The economy is in a bad way because a handful of traders and speculators (outside of anyone's control) are greedy and opportunistic and don't give a damn.

    Our education is patchy because society is. If you fill a school with children who are not going to be great achievers, you wont get great GCSE results. Media and Ministers think that society is evenly spread, that every area has an equal balance of clever and not so clever. That flies in the face of everything we know about society - but lets ignore that.

    Society cannot survive without government. But Government is good at somethings, and society is better at others. Now we expect government to be responsible for it all, and are suprised when it all falls apart.

    Or, at least we are told it has fallen apart.

  • Comment number 14.

    Surely you're having a laugh, Nick?

    I thought the story doing the rounds -

    (Tories have nothing else better to do than to hope and pray for forgiveness by the voters-and put out nonsense stories)

    was that any Chancellor installed by Gordon would be Gordon's mouthpiece and puppet?

    Are we now to believe (Tory story) that Ed Balls would be a fiercely independent Chancellor kicking ass all over the place?

    Come on, please!

    Just drop the interest rates as inflation is not the problem. The USA is more right than it is wrong, it's whether we dare to do it, or should I say, the Bank of England who have got it spectacularly wrong for two years.

    Alastair Darling isn't the problem. It's the! (couldn't resist)


  • Comment number 15.

    So lets just examine this for a moment. Alistair Darling comes in and takes the flak for policies that Gordon Brown and Ed Balls devised and are now shown to be failing. The solution to this - presumably briefed by No 10 - is that Balls is the man to set a new direction! This is a joke surely. Call Richard Curtis and the BlackAdder team!

  • Comment number 16.

    13 Gurubear

    I suggest you read the book "Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over 1 Trillion Pounds of our Money" by David Craig

    This book puts the boot into many Tory policies from previous adminstrations which have cost the tax payer dearly, but you will find the analysis of this governments record jaw dropping.

    Government should provide a framework for society. This government has expensively failed us whilst boasting about its 'triumphs'.

    I do agree, however, that society has a certain responsibility to itself and we are currently letting our standards slip.

  • Comment number 17.

    Turkeybellyboy @ 11.

    As a left-winger, I have to ask you why you think that NuLab is a centre-left government when in fact it's centre-right.

    Brown and the rest of the NuLab shower are actually running scared from two directions. They've got Cameron snapping at their heels one way and the cast-iron certainty that if they lose the next election, it will be mainly NuLab MPs that bite the dust as opposed to the harder-left MPs as the NuLab MPs tend to be in more marginal seats. In the ensuing civil war that will surely follow, the left will reclaim the party and the entire NuLab 'project' will be dismantled and disposed of.

    Cameron will then show what a weak insipid man he is as the tory party, whilst in government, tears itself apart over europe.

  • Comment number 18.

    Dear Nick,
    Ever since Neville Chamberlain has there been a Primeminister hated as much as Gordon Brown, ====== who still runs the treasury, with his mouth piece Darling.
    There is every indication that Gordon Brown is still pulling the strings, the sooner both go the better. "why"?
    Brown is not up to the job.

  • Comment number 19.

    It is unfortunate that this country is forced to tread water, politically, for the next 18 months while we await the opportunity to throw out this current bunch of wasters(sic).

    It is made all the more tragic, that at a time of increasing economic woes this lot will be shown to be devoid of initiative or guts to steer this country to a even remotely positive outcome.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Gordon has surrounded himself with political weaklings and frozen out anybody with any talent."

    Who, exactly, are you referring to? The problem isn't that the talented people were frozen out, but that they aren't around. Clarke, Reid, Milburn et al hardly count as magnificent and unfairly maligned titans.

    The only particularly capable politicians of that generation who spring to mind are Mo Mowlem and Robin Cook, both of whom are sadly unavailable.

  • Comment number 21.

    13. At 10:18am on 23 Jun 2008, Gurubear wrote:
    "But the core - the running of the balance books, the day to day governance (a little of which came out this weekend with the law lords ruling about anonymity) , has this government actually got that wrong?"

    Err, the books were only balanced by Brown ripping out half of the pages and hiding them.

    That won't change with a new chancellor.

  • Comment number 22.

    This government has made some bad tactical and strategic judgements. There have also been some notable achievements. This country is very different to the one I remember 20 years ago. We have become less tolerant of failure but also less willing to acknowledge success. We demand more individual freedom but resist action for the long term benefit of society.

    Politicians have become isolated in their own little world. They are salesmen dealing in misinformation and sound bites. I don't trust any of them.

    Not everything is the fault of the government. They didn't create the vandals, addicts, layabouts and antisocialists. We all share responsibility for the decay in standards and behaviour.

    Some of the contributors need to take their heads out of their political bottoms, then they might realise not everything is Brown.

  • Comment number 23.

    Alex Salmond and the SNP Government in Scotland are desparate to stop Brown in Westminster squandering any more of the North Sea Oil income.

    Salmond wants 10% of the income form North Sea Oil to be put in a Scottish sovereign fund for future investment in Scotland.

    Salmond has seen how prudently the Norwegians have managed their income from the North Sea fund, and they have built up a huge fund which will serve Norway for decades.

    Those wasters at Westminster have got to be stopped ... it is too late for England but at least the Scottish people have a Government which is fighting for them.

  • Comment number 24.

    At the weekend Alistair Darling was peddling the line that "we have to keep to the 2% pay increase, because higher increases would just lead to higher inflation which would mean prices going up by more than our wages". Either he can't do maths, or he thinks we're all stupid. Someone needs to tell him that prices are already going up by more than wages, which is why people want a better pay settlement.

    Now I fully accept that there may be good economic reasons to keep pay increases at 2% whilst inflation goes well above that but this is not one of them.

    Saying that we shouldn't do something because it might be just as bad as it is now is complete tripe.

  • Comment number 25.

    There are two positions in government that people should be able to respect if not trust, Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    Currently there are very few people who feel genuine repect the PM therefore since the CoE is appointed by the PM there is a credability gap in the eyes of the country. Also because the Brown power base is in the Treasury there is a perceved lack of independence of the CoE in any decision or action he takes, hence the Harry Corbett and Sooty analogy proposed earlier could be justified.

  • Comment number 26.

    Interesting comments so far and I heard your piece on Today this morning. Miliband or Balls as Chancellor would be interesting but would they have the necessary clout as you say with the City? But how important is that? What about clout with the rest of the country, considering the economy is the sum of all parts? Surely a cabinet reshuffle in times of instability (if that is truly where we are at) just sends out signals of panic at the helm? I mean not all the problems are the fault of the government so given another year, Darling may prove himself. At the same time it wouldn't be easy for any Chancellor, who will always be in the shadow of the longest standing Chancellor now Prime Minister. For other woes that have been highlighted in other comments, I think we all have to share the responsibility. New laws and acts that have been passed generally show the lack of trust the government (maybe Parliament) has for the people and in turn we don't trust them nor each other. And that is really highlighted here. We don't trust Brown and company, in turn why should they trust us? The 80's inspired individualism, the 90's continued it and now we are trying to re-capture social cohesion against the previous tide of selfishness. That is the Blair/Brown legacy. Brown/Darling probably should be given a bit more of a chance.

  • Comment number 27.

    A new chancellor will make no difference, for 2 reasons:

    1) Whoever it is will still be forced to do whatever Brown tells him to do; Brown'll never give up running the treasury via his puppets/muppets.

    2) No current Labour MPs have any skills/understanding at all when it comes to the economy or management generally, they're all as mind-blowingly incompetent/negligent as each other, so even if Brown got kicked out his successor wouldn't do any better.

    There's only one solution, and that's a general election to kick labour out en-masse before they destroy what little remains of the country.

    The Iron/Prudent Chancellor? Don't make me laugh; Brown's spent 10 years destroying the economy; the damage he's done to this country is only just beginning to be shown; the real scale of the disaster will only come out when labour are kicked out and their successors can finally get their hands on the real books without all the lies/obfuscation that Brown's put into the public books.

    Brown/Labour have killed our economy; they need booting out right now before they do any more damage.

  • Comment number 28.


    Brown has said again and again that he will steer the country through the current 'economic uncertainties' just as he claims to have done before.

    That was (aparantly) his job as Chancellor last time - so if he is doing it as PM this time what do we need a Chancellor for?

    Brown is clearly a good book-keeper - that is how he managed to cook the books for so long. Only he has any chance of maintaining the tangled web that he weaved (while practising to deceive) and he knows it.

    I don't see any other candidate that could even keep the books, let alone offer leadership and a competent strategic direction.

    The country will be best off if the books are just held together untill our new government takes over.

  • Comment number 29.

    He may possibly replace the puppet but the country's lost faith in the ventriloquist himself.

  • Comment number 30.

    Whatever Brown does or doesn't do matters not.

    Brown and Labour are finished and will be routed at the next election with a Tory landslide.

    The country has simply had enough and wants change.

  • Comment number 31.

    Gordon is the problem.

    For years he has blamed the previous administration for all his ills with boom and bust policies whilst promoting how great he was.

    That clearly wasn't the case and he was just storing up problems for later.

    He has presided over a boom and bust which we haven't seen the full effect of yet and its him that has to go as well as get a new chancellor.Although i am quite amused at seeing him blame the world for our problems now,when we all know the reasons were much closer to home.

  • Comment number 32.

    For the next two years the government will like King Canute attempting to turn back the tide re-launch,review,re-shuffle,spin,blame others,point out irrelevant catastrophes a decade or more ago,denigrate their political opponents,laud their successes and obscure their failures.
    However like all administrations that have been in power for a long period successes get taken for granted, after all is that not what the electorate expected when they were voted into power.It is the failures and the cumulative effect of these failures over years which infect the public pscyhe and make it inevitable that any government effectively sows the seeds of it's own downfall.
    Therefore whether it is Ed Balls or David Milliband or any other prominent Labour politician being propelled into one of the major cabinet seats put simply is irrelevant.Incidentally i agree with adrianfife2's and megapoliticajunkie's remarks on the former gentleman.As for the latter the recent performance on Question Time was not only lightweight but feintly embarrasing .
    It would now take a miracle for the government to break the natural order of events in fact they are powerless to do so ;only the intervention of unforseen circumstances can prevent their relinquishment of power at the next election.
    So like the USA during the close of a two term president we effectively have a lame duck administration in Whitehall for the next two years absorbed with it's futile attempts to cling to power whilst diverting it's attention from the real issues confronting the British peoples.

  • Comment number 33.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!......... I just saw this:

    "Meanwhile new laws could see wolf-whistling builders placed on the sex offenders register. The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill will create a new offence of "communicating indecently", punishable by up to 10 years in jail. "

    There are some dire politicians in the UK.....

  • Comment number 34.

    Surely the problem for Gordon is not Darling. He says he weathered all the previous storms. But in the investment banking world the drums must have been beating over sub-prime mortgages and the knock on derivatives effects. But Gordon did not see it coming despite all of his investment banker friends.

    Then there is the issue of myth - was Gordon a great Chancellor or a lucky Chancellor as Ken Clarke would have it.

    He wasn't awful - but was he great?

    There was pretty well consensus for an independent Bank of England - but it was a good move.

    My own personal experience relates to IR35. A great Brownite attempt to take in extra cash from people doing well with no significant political backlash. The trouble was nobody understood IR35 including the tax inspectors.

    My point is that with Brown there is the image but may be that image derives from people mistaking confusion for brilliance.

  • Comment number 35.


    Just wondering how all this will stack up and what happens if the Labour Party goes into administration because of its financial problems. Does there have to be an election if members of the sitting government suddenly find themselves belonging to a party that no longer exists?
    How can they then represent people who voted for them because of party affiliation?

    If Labour does not have the funds to fight the next election, what happens?

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm sorry I am not able to read any of the other comments, (I'm not quite sure why this is) but I just wanted to say that I thought the article above a fair analysis of the situation, just as New Labour had too much to tackle after the election of 1997, so it would have been easier for Gordon Brown if Blair had resigned after the affair of the "dodgy dossier" and the David Kelly tragedy. He has inherited too much "baggage" from the Blair years.
    But, in my opinion, would be advised in any cabinet reshuffle to appoint a potential rival to chancellor, if he does intend to replace Darling. Governments are invariably judged in retrospect, however unpopular they appear to be at the time. Gordon Brown owes it to us to appoint the best qualified candidate for the job.

  • Comment number 37.

    @35. All that will happen is a little subterfuge, some smoke and mirrors, a lot of self-justification and Hey Presto! - state funded parties.

    That will guarentee the survival of the big two at our expense, keep the LibDems hanging and probably eviscerate Plaid, SNP, UKIP and the BNP etc.

    The reality is that funding for any party should be via it's membership subscriptions only. If they lack appeal then they will shrivel and die.

    But that's the law of market forces and that doesn't apply to the politicians, just joe schmo and his wages, petrol and mortgage.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well, let Gordon have his way, let him play musical chairs, let him imagine he and his party have a future, and let him fantasize about his future role in putting the great back into Great Britain. They're going to re-package themselves again and it won't be the last time before they're booted out of office. My point is, who is really listening? We may never get the chance to really vote in a party we like completely, but we will, in the near future, get a chance to vote out a party we despise completely. It's like one of those old carry-on films, cheap sets, cheap acting, poor scripts, but this time without the fun.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think that anyone in the role as Chancellor, in a Gordon-led Government, will face enourmous difficulties, since in coporate governance parlance we have in Gordon a Chairman who is also Chief Executive, and who was once the Chief Financial Officer. In practice, this means that no one can be critical of past financial management, since this would be interpreted to being a criticism of the Prime Minister.

    Whoever is Chancellor has therefore to be a steady eddie type. Miliband is not Chancellor material. Ed Balls might be, but if he aspires to be the heir then he can't be placed in potential conflict with the PM; his recent utterances that seem to be of a leftward stance are unlikely to be suitable in any event (unless that's the direction Labour is now heading). Alan Johnson is unlikely to be effective enough. So, if it's not Darling, then a Jack Straw might cut it.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'll give you a clue Nick as to who will be the next Chancellor.

    A few weeks ago there was the annual Bilderberg meeting , that suspiciously nobody in the mainstream media ever seem to mention occuring, where Ed Balls attended as well as George Osbourne too.

    Do I need a piece of chalk to spell it out for you Nick?

    Just a bit of an insider tip if you are a betting man as to who the next chancellor will be.

  • Comment number 41.


    Its a Party YOU despise not WE.

    Your opinion not everyone elses.

    Like many on here you cant wait to get the Bullingdon Boys, those Political and Economic Heavyweights in to run the country, a view many DONT share.

    Thank goodness for democracy and a FIVE YEAR Mandate.

    13#Gurubear, a voice of reason, very thoughtful post, but on here if someone gets up with a hangover after drinking 8 pints, the blame lies with the goverment and Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 42.

    The most frustrating thing about this blog entry from Nick is how it highlights the complete futility of 'rearranging the deckchairs' yet again.

    So, who is going to be this weeks Chancellor then?

    The whole concept is deeply flawed.

    Appropriately qualified people must be placed in these Ministerial positions .. they have previously have build up relevant experience and qualifications before being selected for these jobs.

    For example, it is simply insane to put a lawyer. with no relevant experience of finance, in the position of Chancellor.

    When you keep doing this sort of thing, you are not going to get professional outcomes.

    In essence, it is mismanagement on a horrific scale.

  • Comment number 43.

    OK, let me re-phrase it for you: A party most of us despise. Except for, that is, a few tired old troopers like yourself. Surely you must be getting sick of banging your head against that brick wall by now? Doesn't it hurt? I can't imagine what it's like to get up every morning and listen to all that yak yak yak from dear old Gordon, knowing his days are numbered.

  • Comment number 44.

    What a difference a year makes .........
    Like Mugabe, Brown reigns unelected, but fortunately, as yet, we are not actually bashed on the head if we oppose. The trouble is, that unlike Midas, everything Brown touches turns to dross, and he is surrounded by small characters, Milliband, Straw, Darling, and the remains of the Blair Babe Brigade. There is nobody with the wisdom, true experience and honesty to help direct this floudering ship.
    On the horizon, new perils present themselves. Using a pincer movement, democracy is being crushed in the name of national security. Local councils will be even more able to spy on citizens, personal data will be there to be perused by petty officials, and then, not impossibly, sold off for identity fraud. The very reason that these draconian laws were passed, to bolster national security, will actually be used for the opposite purpose.
    The terrible thing is that I cannot visualise anything better in the opposition. David Davis has gone from the Tory party, and one can only see Osbourne, Leftwin, and other inferior hangers-on. The Nat-Libs are a lost cause, so let us pray that as happened in the past, dire days will produce a saviour. Perhaps a new Churchillian figure will come forward - perhaps in the shape of Boris Johnson.

  • Comment number 45.

    @ 44

    Dear God! Casting Boris Johnson in the role of potential saviour just shows how mediocre and febrile most politicians are.

    But then again, at least he's interesting to watch even if it is only for amusement.

    The rest don't even make that grade.

  • Comment number 46.


    It certainly helps if your Chancellor is a city veteran. America's Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, is a former senior executive at a major bank. At the height of the Bear Stearns crisis he was constantly on the phone to all the major financial players urging them not to panic and turn it into a major crisis. Compare America's brutal but decisive handling of Bear Stearns with Darling's dithering over Northern Rock, simply to save Labour MP's in the North East.

  • Comment number 47.

    # 46

    The Americans are a good example in this respect and so are the French, who insist that the people for these prospective roles endure a gruelling learning process first.

    A lot of peopel do think that NR was 'saved' because of political consideratiosn by NL but I do not think that that was the case.

    I think they were more worried about NR falling causing a systemic failure by contagion, i.e. the people rushing to withdraw funds from other banks.

    Possibly bigger banks such as HBoS or Barclays.

    Actually, I suspect that is happening anyway on the quiet, Building Societies such as the Yorkshire and Nationwide are being flooded with cash ... which I think is coming out of banks such as those mentioned above.

    PS. Journalist William Rees-Mogg, writing in today's Times, suggests that as Browns personal approval ratings are so dire, then maybe if the Labour Party asked nicely Tony Blair might come back.

    There is only one answer to that :

    You cannot reheat a souffle.

  • Comment number 48.

    Dear Nick

    Here in Brighton we have a fuel distribution depot, and speaking to drivers, there appears to be a concensus, that the 14% PAY RISE , for Shell tanker Drivers, was given, because the Government intervened, behind the scenes, It was considered too serious a problem to let it escalate,
    So much for 2%, but now inflation IS 4;2% and to keep up, every person on a wage below £35,000 needs 20% to stabilise their income due to prices, the governemnt sat back and did nothing, as it watched the increases go for weeks, So do you blame anyone who wants a significant pay rise,
    after all "the government sat back and did nothing, and has still done nothing."???

  • Comment number 49.

    43# Apology accepted Doctor.

    When times are difficult as they are now a dose of reality is sometimes needed. Many on here can't even accept there are world factors and forces impacting on most economies in exactly the same way as the UK. So blinded are people by their hatred of anything government/Brown that facts would get in the way.

    Opinions are spouted as facts, the more negative the better, any bad news appears to be good news and fans those flames all the more. There is tangible joy in some if the economy takes a hit as it provides moer ammo to sling. BUT, the real thinkers look for solutions or a differnt path. On here the only solution is get rid of Brown and the Government, well what are Cameron and Osbourne offering, can they bring down oil prices? solve the global credit crunch?, change the supply and demand differential in the commodity market?, increase world food production?

    All they offer IMO is empty and shrill rhetoric, oh and an increase in inheritance tax threshold (that should sort things)

  • Comment number 50.

    Do you expect us to accept everything you write, such as 'They believe that it's no longer enough to declare that the man who steered the economy away from the rocks for 10 years will be able to do so again'?

    Who do think is reading this garbage ? There are some of out here who believe it is Brown who has steered us onto the financial rocks in the time he was in the job.

    The UK's financial situation will not be saved, as you suggest by dumping Darling, but by a change of government.

    If you were to call for a general election, you might be surprised by the level of support you would attract from the electorate, instead of from that narrow band of sycophantic Labour supporters you currently satisfy.

    Look outside the box !

  • Comment number 51.

    Strong independant chancellor never happen while Brown is pulling the strings. The last thing Brown needs is for someone to really get to grips with the economy and public spending. The coniption fits he would have if it was shown how he messed things up. He would never allow anyone to hold the purse srings as tight as he did with Blair.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nick, the only changing of the guards that I am aware of is within the Tory party.

    Watch out for the daggers after the farcical Election of David Davis.

    Nick, it's a sunny day, so why don't you go out and sunbath a little. It will do you good. Have a nice day Nick.

  • Comment number 53.

    There isn't a lot of point changing the CofE.
    When Bob Carolgees swapped Spit the Dog for Cough the Cat the writing was already on the wall.
    I think I may go on the dole until 2010 when we can vote in a different bunch

  • Comment number 54.

    What would be the point of having a new Chancellor. He or she would only be a front for Brown who is obviously still the Chancellor.

    Between them the dour Scots, Brown and Darling, have absolutely no charisma and certainly no policies to get anyone excited, let alone themselves.

    Not time for a new Chancellor, time for a new government

  • Comment number 55.


    "So blinded are people by their hatred of anything government/Brown that facts would get in the way."

    What you say is probably true but it is also the reason by Labour will be out at the next election.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ed Balls would be a disaster for the country. But as there is only 18 months before an election, there's only so much damage he can do to the economy. The damage he'll do to Labour's electoral chances will be a delight to watch.

  • Comment number 57.

    In my opinion Brown and Mugabe are both doing ONE thing that is similar. Destroying their countries without the first idea of how to get out of what they are doing. Both are idealists, men who want power for power's sake. Both will cling on to power no matter what.

    Both should go now.

    Lets see the interpretation of this post.

  • Comment number 58.

    Not everything Labour has done is bad but there have been far too many short term stunts and fixes, with too little attention on the boring business of running a competent and consistent administration. No "initiative" is seen through but rapidly overtaken with yet another to grab a headline.

    Making matters worse has been the obsession with a plethora of targets and strategies driven by Treasury meddling and arrogant and ill-informed attempts at micro-managing everything. All that was driven by Brown and he cannot blame anyone else, that the chickens are coming home to roost on his watch. And with each reshuffle and tinkering with departmental organisation, it has been back to the drawing board to replace the uncompleted strategies, business plans, targets etc with another raft. To adopt George Osborne's rather trite slogan, they never finished fixing the roof because they kept changing the shape and the materials every time they looked up and thought of a version that would photograph better - no matter if it kep the rain out.

    And any government in power for so long accumulates too many unfulfilled promises, and the pool of talent for ministerial office dries up. And the unfortunate fact is that Gordon Brown is just so unlikeable. That might not matter if her were respected but all the years of plotting against Blair put paid to that.

  • Comment number 59.

    58 michaelmj

    A perfect summary. I think they can close this subject now!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm afraid the only people who believed in the midas touch of Brown as chancellor were the press eager to suck up to new labour.When the books are finally opened to how much debt this country really has it will surprise only the blinkered press.He only survived by looting the lottery fund and other peoples pension fund(not his own).

  • Comment number 61.


    I think ANY comparison between Brown and Mugabe realy is going to far Mike considering that Mugabe has just orchestrated a campaign of terror and intimidation including Murder. Even to compare their respective democratic mandate is an insult to our democracy if nothing else. Brown, Cameron, Major, Thatcher, take your pick are reasonable human beings by comparison whatver our individual politics.

    As for your other points , what is it about the Tory policies and individuals that you cant wait for the country to benefit from.

  • Comment number 62.

    Alistair Darling has said that "we have to keep to the 2% pay increase, because higher increases would just lead to higher inflation which would mean prices going up by more than our wages"

    Also in the news, MPs might grat themselves a a 68% pay rise to help obscure their dodgy expense claims - and note that this, unlike expenses, is pensionable income!

  • Comment number 63.

    re post No11. If you are discussing centre left ideology at a wedding then the DJ must have been poor!!!

    In my view GB should swap Milliband and Darling around. I think Milliband has looked really out of place as Foreign secretary. With everything kicking off in Zimbabwe at the moment it needs an experienced and reasoned politician like Darling. I think Milliband would make a good chancellor and an excellent counterfoil to George Osborne.

  • Comment number 64.

    #47 JohnConstable: "A lot of peopel do think that NR was 'saved' because of political consideratiosn by NL but I do not think that that was the case.

    I think they were more worried about NR falling causing a systemic failure by contagion, i.e. the people rushing to withdraw funds from other banks."

    I'm sure you're right, but your explanation is hardly original. That was what the government said the reason for their successful intervention was. 'A lot of people' are wrong; they usually are when prayed in aid on this board.

  • Comment number 65.

    #48 solomanbrown: Oh well! If the drivers in Brighton are saying that it must be true, mustn't it? Next time you're talking to them perhaps you'd ask them to let you know where bin Laden is hanging out, so you can let us all know.

    Sorry, shouldn't be sarky, but this sort of comment disturbs my usually stable equilibrium something rotten.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Well Nick your blog has certainly flushed out all the Tory wish full thinkers.
    Do they honestly believe that all these ill thought out ridiculous rantings is how the rest of the country thinks if they do then their living in fantasy land and not showing our country in its best light.
    Have they not heard of moderation in all things, we have even had some rather perculiar individual suggest that mugabwe and Gordon Brown were as bad as each other, this is not only an insult to Gordon but also to the British people, it does'nt matter how some people think of GB, to many of us he is our Prime ministerand we expect him to be treated with respect.
    As each one of them tries to reach for the ultimate insult, so another one thinks Oh! I can think of a better insult than that, the trouble with that of course is that they are all feeding of each other, they have nothing of any real consiquence to say so they just keep babling out the same old rheteric every day no matter what the blog.

    We get comments like " you few old troopers"yes I guess you could call us old troopers but the population is full of old troopers, all who remember the last government of Tory clowns and their all sitting in their backbench seats waiting and hoping that dangerous Dave that wonderful economist, what was it about lamont? and gormless Gidion manage to wrest power from labour ,so that they can step in and take over again, then heaven help us.
    one of these days some of you Tories not all will wake up and realise how lucky you were to have a Labour government.

  • Comment number 68.

    49. You are just as unbalanced as Conservative supporters; according to you nothing is Brown's fault so no one else could do any better. How about cutting the Quango's by half, telling the EU we are no longer going to pay our vastly increased contribution (thank you Mr Blair) or changing the tax system so that the lower paid pay less tax instead of having to pay it first and then beg for it back from incompetent civil servants? There are many more ways that money could be saved and used to reduce taxes and hopefully will be once we have a change of government.
    Try to understand that people have a right to disagree with you, it's called democracy, and once you have grasped the concept it might make you a happier person.

  • Comment number 69.

    Mr Constable @ 47 (et al)

    While it would be very nice to have ministers with expertise, this leads us to a couple of problems. Either, as the Tories found, Liam Fox didn't actually want to be labelled as their health spokesman for his entire career, or we have to go down the American route (as you suggested). The problem is that Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell etc weren't elected and were appointed instead. While I can see the case for actually appointing experts to the senior positions, parliament would be up in arms about unaccountable sofa-government etc. The other alternative is to give any expert a knighthood, but then that means that they are still in the HoL for life even if they resign/are fired/govt is unelected after a couple of years.

    I'm not entirely sure which solution is best, any suggestions anyone else?

    Also, sorry to be slightly boring on this (not to Mr Constable but to others): Given what is going on in Zimbabwe at the moment with rape and torture of political opponents, don't you think it's going too far to be comparing Mr Brown to Mugabe?

  • Comment number 70.

    Grandantidote - comments like "a few old troopers" can easily be justified. All you have to do is look at the blogs, where a rough count has at least 85% of posters at least hostile to Gordon, or look at the polls, which consistently show Gordon in a bad light, or look at recent election results which show Labour plummeting to new depths.

    That's why people who still blindly chant "Gordon is good, Gordon is good" and refuse to accept the major problems he has left us, get referred to as "a few old troopers".

  • Comment number 71.

    Ref Eatonrifle

    Most is fair but are they simply the characteristics of the political game for both sides. Sadly.

    As to what will the Tories offer. The Tories will instinctively move towards reducing big government, crippling taxation, high public spending and reduce waste and therefore improve efficiency. I suspect that these are the Tory policies people want to see the benefit from.

    We have had too many years of high taxation and poor results and massive waste. Not to mention a failure on some fairly key policies. Tough on Crime etc.

    Even if a Tory government takes years to turn the tanker around, at least we wont have full steam ahead on the same course labour have chartered the last 10 years.

    People want change for its sake. That is just what happens when you get things wrong so badly and for so long.

  • Comment number 72.

    Not everything that this government has done over the past decade has been bad, but those who echo Brown in pointing to worldwide events as the sole cause of our current economic misery need to open their eyes a bit more. The price paid for petrol at the pump is FOUR times higher in the UK than it is in Australia. The Aussies have to buy their petrol on the same worldwide market as we do. They just tax it less. The price of fuel at the pumps has a knock on effect for the price of everything transported by road - like your food.

    The incessant tax rises, much of them cleverly hidden from view, were bound to have an impact on our economy eventually, and that point has now been reached, and with impeccable timing just as the world economic situation takes a turn for the worse, making our pain twice as bad as that in other countries - with whom incidentally we have to compete.

    Blind loyalty to a football or cricket team, in spite of poor results, is one thing; applying the same unquestioning loyalty to a political party is just plain daft. Some things may have improved under this government, but the question that has to be asked is: is the price too high? For most "hardworking families" (to quote Mr Brown) the answer is now "yes". A change of chancellor will alter nothing. It is a change of government that we now badly need.

  • Comment number 73.

    Does it really matter who is said to be running things? One figurehead is as good an any other, be he/she called labour or tory. The problems stem from the civil servants behind them - without changing these there will be policy continuity and thus no change.

    Are we not in danger of being conned into believing that changing from Brown to Cameron is any more of a change than from Blair to Brown or indeed Thatcher to Blair?

    I am not saying a plague on all your houses, but asking that we should grow up a bit and understand how thing actually work. Also are we not be taken in by the popular press (and this blog!) by letting them persuade us that Labour to Conservaive is a change at all!

    Mr Boris Johnson is showing us all just how unfitted the present tory party would be if it took power. Even today in his latest howler he lost an adviser due to unfortunate ill judged racial remarks. Clowning around may be amusing but do we want if from a government? They must live in the real world and grow up to be taken seriously.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ref 67 grandantidote

    "Do they honestly believe that all these ill thought out ridiculous rantings is how the rest of the country thinks"

    Sir be serious. The last poll I saw Reuters April 08. puts Labours support at an all time low since records began in 1930.

    Brown's personal ratings, which have fallen from plus 48 last August to minus 37, on a zero midpoint scale.

    I quote "The collapse is the most dramatic of any modern-day prime minister, worse even than Neville Chamberlain who in 1940 dropped from plus 21 to minus 27 after Hitler's invasion of Norway,"

    So hes less popular with the British public than the PM who appeased Hitler.

    Now be fair that is an incredible achievement. And that was before David Davies started crusading for liberty and bumped the Tories up 2 points.

    At least Chamberlain had the decency to fall on his sword.

    But I do accept the Mugabe comparison was bizzar and wrong.

  • Comment number 75.

    Gordon's latest idea to get the Saudi's to sign up to selling their oil below market price, and using their reduced revenues to build our new power stations, so that we will then need even less of their oil in future; must be a very challenging proposal for the Saudi's. The rest of the developed world must be waiting with bated breath for their decision.
    I'm not sure who advised Gordon on this masterpiece of economics, but it sounds very much like Balls to me. New Chancellor? new Chancer more like!

  • Comment number 76.

    Ref 67 grandantidote

    Oh yes and for the purpose of balance and fairness in all things, may I respectfully point out that you are not exactly shy when it comes to banging out the insults.

  • Comment number 77.

    He needs to go, especially after his comments on below inflation wage deals.

    One one hand he tells us all to be sensible and to demand more than (his calculation) the level of inflation. Yet the tanker drivers get 14% over two years and he states that it is "particular to that industry".

    Total utter nonsense.

    We now have the council workers going on strike. Once again the union involved donates to the Labour Party.

    You need a strong chancellor in post, but unfortunately Mr Darling comes across as Gordon's puppet.

    But hopefully Ed Balls will get the job. Then we might see a swift change of Government.

  • Comment number 78.

    Is it not strange that the ones that are nagging and complaining about the Government have nothing to suggest to maybe copy what other countries are doing.

    What are other Governments doing?

    Let's start with Berluscaoni's Government. The Italian government on Saturday defended its decision to use soldiers to patrol cities in an effort to curb crime, rejecting criticism that it will "militarise" the streets.
    "There is a strong call from citizens for better control of the streets, for improved safety," Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa told Sky Italia television.
    "My hope is that particularly in the evening, in the cities, these troops can ensure greater safety."
    The government announced on Friday that up to 2,500 soldiers, some of whom have served in Afghanistan and Kosovo, would be made available for a trial period of six months to bolster the police in difficult urban areas.

    So much for Berlusconi increasing salaries. Good night Nick.

  • Comment number 79.

    71# Russell

    "The Tories will instinctively move towards reducing big government, crippling taxation, high public spending and reduce waste and therefore improve efficiency."

    Your quote Russell, well if this is what they'll do so "instinctively", very strange their spending plans for the first two years are pledged to match Labour's.

    If savings and waste cutting is so desperately needed surely the right thing to do would be to start right away??

    Some instinct!!

    68# Jaydkay

    Without the aid of Google do you even know what a QANGO (no u) is or an example of one, before you arbitarilly take away 50% of them.

    Your post typifies many on here!!

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm not convinced that changing Chancellor would make a difference. If Darling and Milliband were swapped leaving both still holding one of the "great offices" then maybe this would not be interpreted as panic. Why would Milliband want the job anyway? He has enough power to resist the move given Gordon's current ratings.
    Labour MPs could do with a lift though and seeing Milliband run rings around Osborne would boost morale.
    The truth is there is still time. "Events" and orchestrated media hostility have conspired against Brown. There is no way Brown can be as unlucky in the next 18 months as he has been in the last 12. As for the media it looks like the Murdoch empire is going to back Brown again. I look to see the Polls moving back to Labour gently over the Summer.

  • Comment number 81.

    "The debate soon turns, of course, to who would take over - Alan Johnson, some say, would have the popular touch and is English, to boot."

    Since when did being English count as a qualification for being Chancellor of the Exchequer? This would seem to suggest that not being English is a disqualification for the post.

    You expect the United Kingdom to last long on this basis?

  • Comment number 82.

    Come on, David Milliband is out of his depth at the Foreign Office, he has spent his whole life in politics and knows nothing of living in the real world. The problem with this lot is that they got rid of their big hitters and are now left with political chaff.

    Welcome to the reality of Nulabour, 10 wasted years on an interesting experiment, a Trillion pounds wasted, thank you Gordon and his Gofors. It didn't work, the Ministry of Education cannot educate and the Ministry of Health kills thousands every year with MRSA and C. diff.
    At least it saves millions on Pensions.

  • Comment number 83.

    The next Labour leader will almost certainly be Balls, and not only in name. Like Old Mother Hubbard Labour's cupboards are bare.

  • Comment number 84.

    Eatonrifle, I am convinced you are a Labour mole. Perhaps even the PM himself.

  • Comment number 85.

    Darling's future is tied to the Northern Rock fiasco. If the Rock's fortune's improve and the nationalisation goes well then Brown will be able to use that as an example of fiscal competence.
    If there are further problems Brown will sack him to dump the blame on him. As ever the trick with chancellors is to sack them at the right time.

  • Comment number 86.

    Ref 79. Eatonrifle

    You make a good point Sir. But Im not really sure that they have much choice. They have to stick to most of the current commitments and 2 years is nothing in terms of running an economy. 10 years is though. Change takes time.

    Personally I just want them slow down, cut waste and not take on any new crazy initiatives for a while and perhaps put an end to a few projects just about to start. ID Cards for one.

    Can I ask do you really want more of the same. Do you really feel you get value for the taxation and are you really happy with the debt we have.

    Interestingly Qango is more commonly spelt Quango now.

    Much more importantly The UK government's definition is a non-departmental public body or
    "A body which has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm's length from ministers.

    My definition ALOA (Another layer of administration) hasn’t yet been adopted but I live in hope.

    Last year the Cabinet Office stopped publishing detailed breakdown of these 800 or so bodies finances and just provided the overall figures. (The break down was proving to embarrassing). They claim that overall cost was £32 billion. That’s the governments own figures. The Times recently reported the cost was a £100 billion.

    The Carbon Trust pays its chief exec more than £200,000 a year. I think thats more than The PM. Not sure what he get these days. Could be wrong.

    Did you know that the Potato Council has a £6m budget and employs 49 staff. Now I like potatoes, a lot actually as do the kids, we had some really nice ones tonight…. just not so sure they need promoting to this level.

    SO do you think you could find some savings here. I bet you could.

    Oh and go see what you money buys at The article on "can I freeze potatoes" is a great read.

  • Comment number 87.

    Your having a joke are'rt you about Milliband and "Out of his depth"
    Where does that leave Hague then?

    All this fellow has ever known is politics. Plus being able to down 10 pints of beer in his wildest dreams.
    He was an old man at 15 years old.
    A positive geriatric at 30 years old.
    Since Ffion entered the scene, she has injected some form of normallity into his existance and he has appeared to be just a much younger man with the mind set of the ancient, but not aways the wise. Good after dinner talker and comedian, certainly "no doer"

    Hague the would be PM, led the Conservatives to the worst defeat in their entire history, clinging onto "Saving the £".

    He even had Ffion wear a piece of Jewellery of the Pound, allegedly given by him to her, to show both supported the Pound.

    It turned out that Amanda Patell purchased the jewellery and gave it to Ffion to wear.
    Much later this fiasco came to light when the people concerned started chasing to be paid. The joke was on them all.

    Hague ,like a few others on that front bench are as genuine as a £10.00 Rolex.
    Whether they have experience inside or outside of Politics.

    BTW check that little gem out for yourself. Just google Amanda Patell and the GE that Hague fought and lost so badly.
    Do not forget to find out about the jewellery. Makes enjoyable reading for some.
    before you get back to me I do know without youinformimg me that he did get a seat more than John Major. As oppositiong generally recover after being in opposition for one election. Hague and the Tories stayed stagnant. He should have at least made some gains with some which had been the more safer of seats. He did not, that is why I deem his failure greater than that of Major.
    Major at least had the excuse of all the bad baggage the Conservatives were carrying. And he carried the can for that one, not Hague.

  • Comment number 88.

    Russell Homestoel 86# You sound remarkably like a person whose name I have not seen here for a while. That name was Mikepo.

    Are you any relation perhaps, you sound very much alike and seem to contact the same people he did. Is that not quite a remarkable fait accompli?

    Pechance you are his twin brother or his other self ?

  • Comment number 89.

    88 Trudy_Victoria

    Hello kiwilegs, old girl.

    Quite honestly, none of the discussion here matters one jot.

    The unions are going on strike.

    The poor are complaining that they are much worse off.

    The middle classes are complaining they are much worse off.

    Brown is finished.

    Labour is finished.

    And at the rate the Country is going at the moment we are all finished.

    Some government.

    Only dyed in the wool Labour supporters say we are better off under Labour.

    And the polls, even if you don't believe them, or don't want to believe them (C 49%, Lab 26%, Lib 14%) point too a change of government.

    Brown, Milipede, Balls, Darling, Johnson - it doesn't matter who you choose, they are all fighting for their jobs. The only worry is how much more damage they can do in the next two years.

  • Comment number 90.

    #14 Gary Elsby,

    Economics (like electoral predictions, especially in Stoke) is not your strong point is it. Bernacke has signaled the US interest-rates are to rise soon, as has Melvyn King.

    Well, at least you provide some light humour....

  • Comment number 91.

    #89. As I read Trudy_Victoria's blog - here and elsewhere - I also started to suspect that I'd seen this style before. So, Kiwilegs it is!

    And #89, occasionally it doesn't matter what you say. There's people who are so committed to their line of thinking, and so supportive of Gordon, they're worse than the front row of a Cliff Richard concert, although I'd hope they'd maintain a higher standard of dignity and keep everything on.

  • Comment number 92.

    Do we need a new chancellor, according to the pundits it takes 18 months to 2 years for new policy's to have any effect, so lets stick with the lame ducks as it is doubtful if they had a brain between them to come up with a positive and workable solutions.

    Today it was announced that they are having the heads of the energy companies in about the possible 40% price rise in energy. Sounds good but sorry, totally froth. Businesses are there to make profit (no bad thing) and are in competition with each other and you only pass on increased cost if you have to...not rocket science . Lets not kid ourselves this government interference is about as good as a chocolate teapot.

    What is in Government hands is what they take in Taxes VAT etc
    They can reduce the cost of energy by cutting VAT.
    They can reduce the cost of diesel by cutting Duty
    They can cut the cost of Council Tax by cutting out layers and reducing numbers of councilors
    They can reduce the numbers of MPs
    They can reduce the hangers on for MPs
    The list goes on and on so if this government wants to do something ... they can.....but won't

  • Comment number 93.

    To miserable Mikepko@89
    Keep your bad dreams to yourself please and don't wake up in front of your computer to tell us all about it.

    Take a look and see how other countries are coping and get a life.

    Go to school and learn yourself out of the mindless misery that you have put yourself into! Try a course at Uni; anything, and learn something new!

    Finally thank your God that we have a Labour Government and not some bunch of pretentious idiots who used to plunge our country from one recession into another, and lost all of our possessions.

    It's a fine day. Go out and enjoy a bit of sunshine. Get a life.
    Thanks and have a nice day Nick.

  • Comment number 94.

    I doubt that this is kiwilegs in disguise although I take on board your point about the style and the sentiment. The spelling and grammar are just a little too good to be legs herself but I could be wrong!

  • Comment number 95.

    In my opinion I believe we can thank our lucky stars that The Public weren't fooled by initial impressions last Autumn or we might now be looking at another 4 years of stagnation and spin.

  • Comment number 96.

    Ref 88. Trudy_Victoria

    Trudy your hypocrisy is astounding, do you recall your pouring of outrage when I accidentally called you Angela. And that was a typo. You didn’t even accept my humble apology.

    Any how, feel free to come back on the facts and figures on any of the issues any time. Funny how facts and figures are always met with silence.

    Left wing rhetoric and diatribe about the Tories of years gone by can just be countered with the words Wilson, Callahan, Foot, Scargill, Derek Hatton, Lib Lab Pact, Red Robbo etc.

    Interested to know what you thought of And the article on "can I freeze potatoes" or “Why does the potato selection vary in supermarket during the year”

    Super value for 49 million a year. Perhaps every vegetable should have its own Quango and a chief exec on a PMs salary

  • Comment number 97.

    87. Trudy_Victoria


    When did you last hear a speach this good from the opposite side of the dispatch box.

    This was worth 49 million

  • Comment number 98.

    #89 mikepko

    Looks like your posting touched a raw nerve @93.

    Wonder which part of ”NuLabour are going to be booted out in 2010” did Onlywayup get brassed of with.

    By the way Mike - have a nice day!

  • Comment number 99.

    93 onlywayup

    "To miserable Mikepko@89
    Keep your bad dreams to yourself please and don't wake up in front of your computer to tell us all about it.
    Take a look and see how other countries are coping and get a life.
    Go to school and learn yourself out of the mindless misery that you have put yourself into! Try a course at Uni; anything, and learn something new!"

    Onlywayup, I think I have made my point. Your post is of someone completely in denial.

    Actually I'm not miserable at all but very happy working from home in beautiful Gloucestershire. What I am is realistic, and like it or not, Brown and Labour are finished.

    Thanks for the advice. Currently doing an Open University degree in History to add to the qualifications I already have in Industrial Chemistry and Marketing, and read on all types of subjects including the environment, economics and politics.

    Also like fiction so understand Brown and Labour completely.

    Thanks again for your concern, but no matter what I do I just can't change the facts and the mood of the Country.

  • Comment number 100.

    #90 Fluffythoughts:

    Wrong on all acounts, I'm pleased to say.

    First, I'm not wrong and inflation is not the problem. Yes there are instances where inflation has gone up but inflation is also in freefall in a number of key areas.
    Housing and food being two primary cases.

    This leads me to your second mistake in believing that Mervyn King and Ben Bernanke have the collective guts to make things harder in the short term by raising interest rates.

    No chance.

    Alastair Darling is talking a tough battle ahead but he makes no references for a desire to raise rates.

    Inflation is not the immediate problem as Gordon's trip to Saudi Arabia has proven, it is merely a tinkering with the supply chain is all that is needed.

    Talk of a bludgeoning tool of interest rates is is a Neothanderal gimmick trick that is best left to the last Century.

    Yes, I'm from Stoke and how proud they all are of that fact.


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