Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Gordon Brown Gaffe The Media Missed!

This morning's newspapers are full of the story about Gordon Brown's gaffe of yesterday when, unaware that his microphone was still on, he privately called the now famous Mrs Duffy a 'bigot'.

But it was his public words which I think are more important, particularly bearing in mind tonight's Leaders Debate. When Gordon Brown was speaking (on camera - the BBC coverage) to Mrs Duffy and she started talking about the debt that Labour had created he responded to her by saying:

"We are going to cut the debt by half in 4 years."

Wasn't this public statement, particularly given tonight's Leaders Debate on the economy, the most newsworthy thing he said?

Why? Because it was the lie that Labour have continually been punting to the British public, but which Gordon Brown, until this point, has avoided repeating himself.

See clip here at approx 2:05:

Labour have no plans to reduce the debt whatsoever. They have a plan to reduce the annual overspend (the difference between the total taxation coming in and total government spending), also known as the annual deficit, but have absolutely no plan whatsoever to reduce the debt. In fact, as John Redwood point out here (see point 8), the fact is that they have a specific plan to DOUBLE the national debt in the next Parliament! And even after the next the end of the next Parliament they still plan to go on increasing the debt!

Labour have no plan to balance the books at all. And now even Gordon is lying to the electorate about it - even when he knows the Cameras and Microphones are on!

I think this issue encapsulates exactly where Cameron needs to hit Gordon hard tonight..

He needs to hit Labour hard on the two most vulnerable points:

1) Lies - 'They lied and spun their way into Government, the lied and spun in Government, and now they lie and spin about..'

2) Their Economic Disaster Story. A massive debt and NO PLAN TO REDUCE THE DEBT - just a plan to double it again.

It is vital that Cameron does not avoid attacking Brown through fear of the accusation that he also has no plans to reduce the debt. He simply needs to remind people of his Conservative Conference Speech in which he made it absolutely clear that Britain needs to pay off it's debt as soon as possible and explain that he has pledged an emergency budget immediately on taking office.

He can also simply remind the electorate that the reason he can't, other than talk about the areas in which he does not want to reduce spending, provide a detailed list of spending cuts until they have had an immediate spending review - something the Labour Government refused to do..

It's not 'positive' to avoid the subject of the national debt - it's 'negative'. It is however 'positive' to recognise the problem that everyone knows is there and recognise the need for a solution.

And anyway, you really can't turn up to a Leader's Debate on the subject of the economy and not talk about it - so you better have an angle. Mrs Duffy has provided not one, but two!


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