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'A budget for jobs'?

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Nick Robinson | 08:14 UK time, Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Any chancellor hopes that their Budget will be remembered for the measures they announce.

budget briefcaseAlistair Darling is all too aware that today's Budget will feature in the history books not because of the policies he unveils but because of the statistics he's obliged to produce - statistics that will confirm that Britain has experienced the deepest recession and the highest level of borrowing since the war.

What will be dubbed "a budget for jobs" will come on the day when a record rise in unemployment is widely predicted. The chancellor will target help on the under-25s, promising those unemployed for over a year either training or work.

To retain economic credibility Mr Darling will announce not just a further squeeze in public spending in future years, but also further future tax rises.

Tax relief on the pension contributions of those on the highest incomes will be clawed back - a move sure to be criticised as penalising those who've saved and to be defended as asking those who can most afford it to make a bigger contribution. (My colleagae Robert Peston recently outlined the arguments for and against this approach.)

Even with lower spending and higher taxes, the chancellor will have to tell the country that he is postponing the date on which he aims to balance the books.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This buget will be remembered as a swan song.


  • Comment number 2.

    'Mr Potato Head' will have to work overtime with the 'Smoke and Mirrors' to convince the public that despite the global hard time we find ourselves in, Btitain is 'well placed'. What concerns me is that you can prove anything with 'statistics' and the 'coincidence' that on the eve of the budget the IMF calculation on the ture extent of the bank bail out is withdrawn as inacurate.

    I cannot believe for one second that the budget will reveal the 'true' picture of this countries financial distress, what I do know, is that as a hard working 40 something, on an average wage and with a few savings that I will be one of those charged with payin for this for the rest of my working life. What a total mess!

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    Nick - you seem certain of the withdrawal of higher rate tax relief. This is a very significant policy step.

    As a lawyer in this area I have asked my senior contact in HMRC this morning to point me to any official announcement. There is none. So who gave you the story, why, and what happened to pre-Budget "purdah" ? Isn't this just the kind of no names lobby briefing brought into disrepute by the Damien McBride affair ? Do you think this is healthy either for our parliamentary democracy or for the editorial independence of the BBC ?

  • Comment number 5.

    Nick.
    You say it will dubbed "a Budget for jobs". An immediate start should be the following vacancies: Prime Minister and Chancellor. The Home Secretary post I assume will be vacant due to the Whitehall efficiency drive to reduce unnecessary expenses.


  • Comment number 6.

    Am I right to assume thats jobs for the conservatives?

  • Comment number 7.

    The very sudden and unexpected announcement by Brown of a, "cut," in MPs expenses leads me to believe we are going to have to pay more to the Govt after today. Brown does not do things for no good reason. Probably, "our pain," is going to be matched by the, "pain," of MPs.

  • Comment number 8.

    in political terms I'm not sure this Budget matters very much - there seems to be so much vitriol now against Brown, swilling around, that I fear he may have become an electoral liability - time for a politician of true talent and unflappability to step up to the plate - time for a certain Harriet Harman - can't come soon enough for me

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Let me get this right.

    Darling will "retain economic credibility" delivering the budget for a Government that came in to power over 10 years ago on a strapline of "Things Can Only Get Better", by telling us today that public sector spending will be cut and taxes will rise - both probably on an unprecedented scale.

    With whom is this supposed to be "credible"? Certainly not us poor, beleaguered citizens who are now faced with at least a decade (if not a generation) of austerity in the wake of the most spectacularly incompetent Government in UK modern history. The British people have been taken for a ride, and some. Brown has been the most dangerous and destructive individual ever to have seized power in this country; bear in mind he was elected neither to lead his Party nor this nation. Brown is a cheat and a fraud, and now we're about to pay the price.

    The Blair/Brown/Balls trio of bandits has an awful lot to answer for; we can only hope that political historians will savage these gangsters in the way that, presumably, the British people will do so at the next election.

  • Comment number 11.

    #4 occasionalranter

    I appreciate what your HMRC contact has told you, however, he is clearly looking in the wrong place for the official announcement. I am sure I saw it on YouTube this morning!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Before the spinning starts, let's point out that more than half of the budget deficit is structural, i.e. there will be a large hole in the annual budget once growth resumes in line with capacity. That is the real story.

    The OECD estimates that 7.2 perentage points of the deficit is structural, which implies a gap between expenditure and revenue of just over 100 billion pounds. 15 billion pounds hard-to-get efficiency savings will not do much for the public finances to get on a sustainable footing.

    Ms Flanders from the bbc has written an excellent piece that 'frames' (Mandelson speak) the budget quite well and would help prevent much spin if every editor and journalist would read it. Just for me to point out that the IFS, which Ms Flanders references among others, is by no means the most bearish on the UK economy and many times uses government data as inputs for its own projections.

    Link to Ms Flanders piece:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8004567.stm



  • Comment number 13.

    The Labour government is at least doing something to offset the recession: the Tories, Lib Dems and assorted experts BBC or otherwise have no answers to this crisis.

    We need a positive input to this crisis: stop the negative responses and let's have an end to doom mongers and those assorted nutters who constantly fill these columns with their banal comments.

  • Comment number 14.

    #4 You are correct. This particular budget is the most leaked of any in my memory. I am surprised that Darling is bothering to go to the House this afternoon.

    Wait a minute, perhaps Darling is going for his attendance allowance?

    In the not too distant future we hope that this "lobby" journalism is eradicated FULL STOP

  • Comment number 15.

    I think Mr Brown is afraid of his own shadow.

    Did anyone see his latest video on the Number 10 website? Not the edited version on the BBC. Never was there a man so ill at ease with himself.

    Completely out of his depth.

  • Comment number 16.

    A budget for jobs, eh?

    Having just watched the case of a guest jobseeker earlier on SKY (not best impressed that staff seem to exist merely to point at PC screens and advise qualified folk to think laterally), I was intrigued by one of the 'solutions' shared by the budget reporter from, I presume, the advance PR pre-budget budget PR.

    Making me wonder how, exactly, will 'more JobCentre staff' help anything, save to take a few more off the unemployment register and onto the public payroll?

    Is 'Jobsworth' an official designation now?.

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    moraymint @ 10

    that's good polemic, I like it - but, of course, the major contributory factor in the downturn, and in the sharp deterioration of the UK's public finances, is the banking meltdown a.k.a. public bailout of the failing private sector - and the two principal causes of the banking meltdown were lax monetary policy (BoE aping the Fed) and the absurd bonus system in the financial services industry (the City aping Wall St) - Brown was just a passenger and any Clown PM would have been the same, maybe more so - the only politician (on either side) that I can think of who may have made a difference is Harriet Harman - I just hope she gets her chance before too long

  • Comment number 19.

    Will the budget for jobs include saving that of Ed Balls?

  • Comment number 20.

    Totally agree with "Moraymint". The PM is a fraudster. "Sagamix" may have the answer with replacing him with Harriet Harman - She is so out of touch to the extent she would be dubbed "Harriet Harmless" .

  • Comment number 21.

    Nick,

    Will you be able to hold this government to account when it does actually post its Budget and we see that they are so far away from their original predictions, and throughout that period when Brown said we were "best placed" to weather the recession?

    Will you be asking questions about the rhetoric they used that is now proved to be wrong?

    Why was Brown's government quite happy to continue to mislead us?

    Why did you go along with the messages that emanated from Downing Street?

    Why did you not ask more searching questions at the time?

    Do you think that you could do anything better if given a second opportunity?

    How about including what Frank Field said whilst you were on holiday?

  • Comment number 22.

    13. At 08:56am on 22 Apr 2009, Roger2009 wrote:
    The Labour government is at least doing something to offset the recession: the Tories, Lib Dems and assorted experts BBC or otherwise have no answers to this crisis.

    ===================================================================

    If that's true then why do Labour steal the tories policies every time they mention them?

    The problem is that this government believes that 'doing something' is the answer to all their problems and its become their mantra. Perhaps they should think before they act, then maybe the bank deals that allowed huge bonuses to continue and shocking pension payouts could have been averted. Doing something only works when its the right something.

    Ready, Fire, Aim springs to mind.



  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    Will Mr Darling deliver this budget to parliament? Or will he simply post a video on youtube as seems to be the vogue for announcements these days?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Nick,

    It is a "budget for jobs" all right - but it is *their* jobs they seem to be concerned about.

    The angle taken by journos on this one depends very much on which side of the briefing spin machine they reside. So a quick look around the Press positions you firmly alongside the Indy, Grauniad and Mirror. How nice it must feel to be associated with the like of Polly Toynbee and Bugsy Maguire.

    If Ally tries to spin this budget the market will know and it'll be curtains for Gordon "Cheshire" Brown before the end of the year.

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sitting next to the Chancellor today will be a man who must be under tremendous personal pressure... pressure that none of us out here can even begin to appreciate. When I saw last night his tortured face every now and again breaking into a false Youtube smile I was taken back to 1974, Watergate and Nixon. Nixon's attempts to communicate at that time were chilling and with the benefit of hindsight, revealed a broken and dysfunctional man. It made me realise that GB is on the ropes and possibly too close to the edge for comfort. I wonder how much more he can take.

  • Comment number 28.

    There used to be a time when the budget was secret...

    Nick has pretty much told us all on what appears to be authority, what's in the budget, so there is not much point tuning in now...it will probably be aired on No10 tv or YouTube given this govts appaling hypocrisy.

    Now, either you are getting leaky stuff in the lobby or this Govt are leaking it themselves...either way, this is worse than what Green was arrested for - it's time for an investigation.

    But there won't be one will there?

    Actually all this stuff printed here and in the past two days could affect markets could it not - which in turn affects money lending and bonds!!

    SO, any news on Damien Green affair?

  • Comment number 29.

    At least if Darling smiles during his financial mismanagement presentation this afternnon it will at least be more comforting than the piranha-like face that the temporary prime minister pulls, as evidenced on his latest You Tube spectacular.

    I'm not sure what expectations to have about this whole procedure. Nobody in government seems to be facing up to the truth, and they seem to be reluctant to treat us all like adults and spell out exactly what the scale of our problems, if indeed they actually know what they are, are and what faces us during the next 10 years. Of course, cynically, most of the present government don't actually care, since they won't be in power in that period, and will be looking forward to their next opportunity to wreck our lives.

  • Comment number 30.

    It will be a ballot furthering the labour party voting system.

    From the Electoral Commision headed ‘Work needed’ to encourage voters
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8011110.stm

    Hidden away in the middle is the following {after a survey of electoral registration officers}:

    Some 37% said they did not meet the standard expected for “maintaining the integrity of registration and absent vote”.

    This was once a Green and Pleasant Land……

  • Comment number 31.

    Nick.

    Is deferring difficult (unpopular) choices not the wrong signal for the markets?

    Up to £200bn of govt. bonds required to finance our debt is alarming (FT report)

    Gordon's 'green', housing and job creation initiatives will not paper over...

    A hole the size of around £1.5 to £2+ trillion (est.- real number unavailable)

  • Comment number 32.

    This is very typical of Brown's deeply flawed personality. He dithers, dallies, procrastinates and hides when a decision on something that is difficult is required. Then he panics, takes totally the wrong decision and announces it in totally the wrong way. That is also very typical behaviour of someone under considerable stress.

    How on earth can a daily allowance be fair? Someone like Charles Kennedy, whose constituency is so far from London that he clearly has to maintain two homes, will be getting the same amount as someone whose constituency is in walking distance.

    Perhaps even more important, MPs are paid a salary, which to those of us out in the sticks who are not used to London salaries is very generous. Anyone else paid a salary expects to turn up at their main workplace to do their job. Now however, or so Brown tells us, MPs should be paid an extra allowance simply to do turn up to do the work they are supposed to do. Can we all ask an arrangement like that?

    Brown has well and truly lost the plot. Since our parliamentary system means, unfortunately, the only people who can do anything about that are his fellow Labour MPs isn't there someone among them with the integrity to start the mechanism that will put him out of his misery? The Conservatives have their "men in grey suits". We are sorely in need of the Labour equivalent.

  • Comment number 33.

    Go to the times website - front page and look at the picture of AD with the headline: Budget to cut thousands of Civil Service jobs

    ...now look at his left hand...

    Very telling!!

  • Comment number 34.

    At #30 I actually meant to say Budget rather than Ballot. But they may well be the same thing. Amazing how the brain works.

  • Comment number 35.

    Nick - whilst we are waiting for the techies in No11 to get their internet connection back so they can post the budget on you tube - you might like to start sniffing out what is hoped to be buried news that Michael Gove is now demanding an apology from Balls regarding his silencing and sacrificing of Ken Boston.

    This all seems very much like the Kelly affair over Iraq does it not!!

    Let me see, do I trust the word of Gove and Boston - or someone with his fingers and his wife's in the tax payers trough who talks Balls?

    No contest really!!

  • Comment number 36.

    "Even with lower spending and higher taxes, the chancellor will have to tell the country that he is postponing the date on which he aims to balance the books."

    ===

    Nick,

    this should read:

    "Even with lower spending and higher taxes, the Chancellor will have to tell the country that he is postponing the date on which the Conservatives will be able to balance the books.



  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    13. At 08:56am on 22 Apr 2009, Roger2009 wrote:
    The Labour government is at least doing something to offset the recession: the Tories, Lib Dems and assorted experts BBC or otherwise have no answers to this crisis.

    We need a positive input to this crisis:

    ===

    Here's something positive: Call an election and get rid of these incompetents.

    How's that?

  • Comment number 40.

    @2 FalmouthBoy wrote:
    ....what I do know, is that as a hard working 40 something, on an average wage and with a few savings that I will be one of those charged with payin for this for the rest of my working life. What a total mess!


    Your right we are in a shocking mess. I'm a professional in my 20's and I have a horrible feeling that I am also going to be paying for this for the rest of my working life. Who knows what the retirement age will be for my generation.

    This mismanagement will have long term consequences. I dont attribute all the blame to Gordan/Tony and Co. (tho they have to carry the lions share).

    I have to say that I dont think that Gordon looks like a well man at the moment. I am concerned that his political ambitions are harming our country and his health.

    I think its time to leave Gordon for everybody's sake, including your own.

    To be honest I think that wide spread reform of our political system needs to happen as the current "2 party system" is not working. Spin, sleaze, smear, false promises, bending the rules, abusing the system, publicity and party lines are harming our country (from all the party groups). As I said on another blog, time for the "party" hats to come off and the games to stop. This country needs serious political work.

  • Comment number 41.

    So the sucessful workers are going to loose the higher tax allowance on their pension but no mention of curtailing the public sector pensions, especially as these people have squandered more money than the bankers over the last 10 years

  • Comment number 42.

    Nick - a budget for jobs

    Is it a budget for Ed Ball's job?

    Your thoughts this am (pre budget) would be appreciated

  • Comment number 43.

    scents @ 26

    How nice it must feel to be associated with the like of Polly Toynbee and Bugsy Maguire

    yeah ... much better to nuzzle up to Richard Littlejohn and Kelvin MacKenzie and "Tell It Like It Is"

    sorry for that particular mental image but, you know

  • Comment number 44.

    "The number of people out of work in the UK rose another 177,000 to 2.1 million between December and February.

    Average earnings rose 0.1% in the year to February, down from January's figure of 1.7%.

    The unemployment rate was 6.7% for the three months to February, up from 6.1% the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8011732.stm

  • Comment number 45.

    I think Darling has a chance today... a chance to make this budget memorable not only for it's admittance of recession, but also its attempts to solve the crisis. It is possible, we could be talking about the Budget that started the rise out of recession with calm, appropriate measures that, while they penalise savers and pensioners, might just get us to a point where book-balancing is not a joke but a possibility.

  • Comment number 46.

    It's not a budget for jobs - it needs to be a budget for sorting out the countries' finances!

    Soundbites about providing training for the long term unemployed and more job centre staff will not fix the problem of our gaping national debt. This budget needs to announce cutbacks in the public sector: That will at least give investors some confidence in gov't paper, at the moment we are going to struggle to sell bonds to anyone!

    It's clear we can't balance the books anytime soon - however we need to lay the foundations for balancing them in the future, and simply playing around with figures (money already announced in the main) will not cut the mustard

  • Comment number 47.

    29. At 09:32am on 22 Apr 2009, herb_igone_ex_tuga wrote:

    At least if Darling smiles during his financial mismanagement presentation this afternnon it will at least be more comforting than the piranha-like face that the temporary prime minister pulls, as evidenced on his latest You Tube spectacular.

    To be fair, I think the technology failed him. It would have looked far less odd if the backing track (a well known rap) had played.

    He was dancing and smiling without the music - anyone would look odd doing that.

  • Comment number 48.

    #13

    "stop the negative responses and let's have an end to doom mongers and those assorted nutters who constantly fill these columns with their banal comments"

    That is about the most banal comment on here - all of the huge gaps in our economy will not be filled by happy thoughts and buying unnecessary consumer goods.



    #8 sagamix - you're the best on these boards. by a mile.


    In other news, call an election...

    ...Wait until Brown has been ousted first though, to give Labour a chance.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45

    Are you a Merchant Banker - in the cockney sense?

    Why should pensioners and savers pay? That' the innocent funding the excesses of the guilty.

    Nice social model you're building there.

  • Comment number 50.

    #45

    Calm APPROPRIATE measures like penalising savers and pensioners. Are you mad - I mean really, are you mad.

    What is calm and approriate about penalising the prudent and those without choice - ie pensioners (esp those with private pensions)? We have had a banking system and this pathetic govt built on debt and we need a state of savers - but you find that is appropriate to punish them for the greedy, self serving 'merchant bankers' inappropriate madness.

    What you mean is that those people are easy targets.

    But that is labour all over isn't it?!

  • Comment number 51.

    This budget will be required to have several days scrutiny before it's awfulness will be apparent. Hidden deep inside will be a mechanism for hurting the population big time whilst pretending to be "green", "good for us" and so on. If jobs are easy to create how come we have so many unemployed? Until we drop our world power ambitions we will continue the slide into a third world nation.

  • Comment number 52.

    #13 Roger2009 Good morning

    ...........We need a positive input to this crisis: stop the negative responses and let's have an end to doom mongers and those assorted nutters who constantly fill these columns with their banal comments......

    I, and quite a few others, will be the "assorted nutters" who constantly fill these columns then. Putting aside the fact a large majority of those same nutters frequently articulate their views extremely well, do you need think one or two might have a point? ie. Gordon Brown is a dead man walking, a lame duck in office who is rapidly running out of ideas and reacting to events rather than shaping them.

    This, in my humble opinion, will be a budget for jobs, no doubt quite a large number of Labour Members of Parliament will be seeking alternative employment before many months. The shame of this is that quite a few decent and hard working Labour members will be amongst that number.

  • Comment number 53.

    #51

    Everything announced by this lot needs several days scrutiny! Nearly all the 'new' policies and injections have turned out to be the same money announced under a different title.....c'est la vie

    I agree with the world power ambitions as well - we should sort our own country out before getting ideas about telling other people how to run their countries

  • Comment number 54.

    Perhaps some newlabour apologist would like to explain exactly how this is a do something budget for jobs and growth..

    This is not new spending we shall hear announced today; we shall be given the bill for the last twelve years of 5% per annum government spending growth... which was not matched by private sector tax receipts.

    This is not a budget - it's the bill for all newlabour's quangoes and enquiries and waste.

    There was always precious little fisacl stimulus in the first place and we are not going to get any now; we are being presented with a monumental bill for a newlabour banquet at which they drank the finest wines and gorged on the finest foods for twelve years and now the rest of us are left to pick up the tab.

    This is a natioanl disgrace and any newlabour apologist who feels like saying otherwise is welcome to have a go... perhaps you could point me in the direction of the nuclear power stations you have not built or the high speed rail network you failed to build or any of the other infrastructure projects that could have improved the efficiency of the economy as you gorged on North Sea oil revenues and stamp duties but forgot to put on the statue book.

    There is no newlabour legacy except this gigantic bill for public sector spending.

    Call an election

  • Comment number 55.

    By this article, Nick, I can only say that you haven't a clue but felt you should put something down anyway.

    As to any pension clawback this would be politically fatal for Labour. They have written political suicide notes in the past and no doubt like to work hard at any such document. I do not believe that even smiley Gordon Brown could be that stupid. I think this is a bit of fear so that we will be happy when it doesn't happen which makes me wonder about what in the Budget has not been leaked.

    We will wait and see shortly.

  • Comment number 56.

    Perhaps one job that the government should now be budgeting for is that currently belonging to Ed Balls - who will need to resign after deliberately misleading Parliament and the public enquiry into the schools SATS fiasco.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3554911/balls-in-trouble.thtml

    Ken Boston, Balls' chosen fall guy, has now spoken out about the lies Balls made about him - damning evidence, and proof that both him and Jim Knight should be looking for new jobs by tomorrow.

    Of course, this being a 'good day to bury bad news', they're probably hoping this will be overlooked by the media...

  • Comment number 57.

    #52

    Spot on.

    Mrs Fredalo bought into the inaugural messages from Brown and thought his handling of the crises which immediately folowed his appointment as PM was excellent. Made for some interesting conversations over the toast as I argued my case that the guy was a walking disaster and that the 'boom' had been built on fictional housing values.

    Mrs Fredalo is a woman who makes up her own mind so was not for being turned by the feeble arguments of her husband.

    Yesterday, quite out of the blue, she announced that "Brown is the worst PM we have ever had".

    I hope and pray that there are millions more like her who have seen the light and get rid of this shower. It seems that every day one concludes it cannot get any worse - but it does.

    Smeargate and now Examgate. Lot's of gates now opening not shutting - the horse has bolted Mr Brown.

  • Comment number 58.

    52. At 11:02am on 22 Apr 2009, Ilicipolero wrote:
    #13 Roger2009 Good morning

    ...........We need a positive input to this crisis: stop the negative responses and let's have an end to doom mongers and those assorted nutters who constantly fill these columns with their banal comments......

    Try telling that to the 40,000+ who have had there house re-posessed or the extra 177,000 people added to the unemployment figures.

    The government has lost the electorates trust and that means it's time for them to go.
    With a new government comes optimism.

    Will this lot leave No 10..................not without riots on the streets or a no confidence vote at Westminster.


  • Comment number 59.

    is this going to be a budget that reflects the true ineptness of the government, or will it be honest fair and will help those in greatest need in this country. we can only wait and see but either way will it be the last budget from this no hope government that has run its course and lost track with reality, many can only hope.
    i personaly would relate this situation to the 1970's and we had it rough then now having wasted all the public funds and sinking us into billions of pounds of debt can anyone pull us out, to be honest looking at those in the house of parliment not a chance.
    we need a change in government fully this party politics has reduced this once great nation to an also ran in world terms a joke.

  • Comment number 60.

    "statistics that will confirm that Britain has experienced the deepest recession and the highest level of borrowing since the war"

    Is there any reason that you decided to use the past tense Nick? If we have "experienced" the recession then that would be good news. Oddly enough the rest of the world seems to think that we are in the middle of the recession. Now I admit that I am not a professional journalist but I would have thought that saying "Britain is experiencing the deepest recession" would be correct.

  • Comment number 61.

    "sagamix wrote:
    in political terms I'm not sure this Budget matters very much - there seems to be so much vitriol now against Brown, swilling around, that I fear he may have become an electoral liability - time for a politician of true talent and unflappability to step up to the plate - time for a certain Harriet Harman - can't come soon enough for me"

    Saga I doubt I am the only one who is starting to believe that you actually work for Harman. If so the question is... "Are you paid by the Labour party or are you on the tax payers pay-roll?"

    She isn't a politician of "true talent" or "unflappability" and the last thing that we need is to have to pay out the future pension for another New Labour Prime Minister.

  • Comment number 62.

    #57 Fredalo,

    I actually thought that he was going to do a good job as well. I thought he did a reasonable job with the foot and mouth outbreak. Of course I have been proved irrefutably wrong time and time again so I am now in agreement with you and mrs Fredalo

    Maybe he should retrain as a vet??

    Can you imagine animal hospital with 'ole Gordy presenting!!

    That would be worth a watch....

  • Comment number 63.

    I agree with those who want Gordon to go now. It's all very well for him to rabbit on about all the spending on health and education and all the rest, and to point to the relatively very low level of public debt until we were hit by what he persists in calling a global disaster. What he seems unable to admit is that the global disaster hit on his watch, so it must be his fault. In any case, he failed miserably to realise that all the experts who were claiming that spreading debt risks globally would almost eliminate the risk of a global crisis were completely wrong, unlike (almost) everyone on this board. He also failed to realise that the people managing private companies had no idea what they were doing, and that the government should have stepped in to tell them how to run their affairs. Ditto with the public, who insisted on taking advantage of the banks' willingness to get themselves up to their necks in debt. Why didn't he realise that the man in Whitehall always knows best, and should tell people how to manage their money? What a plonker!

  • Comment number 64.

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

  • Comment number 65.

    "Budget for jobs" ? eh?!

    If the government are paying for spurious training and false/government jobs purely to hide the true unemployment statistics then it's an anti-jobs budget, because all that money has to come from the people who actually have real jobs, which then makes private companies employ less people because they're more expensive, which then leaves even less money available for the government because there's less tax.

    It's a vicious circle which they still don't understand, and they're just getting us in deeper and deeper.

    Tony Blair will be remembered for starting an illegal war and lying about the evidence.

    Gordon Brown will be remembered for totally annihilating the UK economy through sheer stupidity and arrogance (and he'll also be remembered for giving the money for the war that he knew was illegal purely because he wanted to be PM a bit later on so just went along with it)

    What a great legacy for labour.

    Apart from labour being deposed generally in 2010, I'm also looking forward to Jacqui Smith's "Portillo Moment", along with all the other ministers who don't have constituencies in "I'd vote labour even if they cut off my head" areas.

 

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