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Gordon Brown gets a slagging

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In the abscence of an effective opposition, channel 4 are the job...

 

Dispatches - Channel 4 Monday 8pm

Gordon Brown is the Prime Minister-in-waiting, heir apparent to Tony Blair. It's a claim founded on the reputation for 'prudence' he's enjoyed as Chancellor. He has been portrayed as an astute and masterly manager of our economy. But there is another side to Brown's economics which reveals a record of costly errors.

 

Economist Andrew Dilnot looks at where Gordon Brown policies have gone wrong and the consequences for all of us.

 

Dilnot was centrally involved in the debate about UK economic policy in the early 1990s. By the time Labour were swept into power on a landslide election victory in 1997, Dilnot could already see serious flaws and regarded himself as 'the last sceptic in Britain'.

 

In the last eight years, Dilnot has seen much of his scepticism proved right, as Brown has steered the British economy from a budget surplus of nearly £20 billion into a budget deficit of over £30 billion. This £50 billion negative swing in our economic fortunes represents a cost of around £1,000 per year for every adult in Britain. And there's worse to come.

 

Dilnot embarks on a personal journey to uncover the expensive mistakes in Brown's economic policy which have led to failure to transform the health, education and transport systems, inequality going up not down, financial waste and the breaking of Brown's own famous 'Rules'. The consequences of Brown's misjudgements, Dilnot warns, are something we will all ultimately have to pay for.

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That's all very well, but does his hair compare to Charlie Nicholas's??

54022[/snapback]

 

:D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:D

 

I just thought people might be bored of pictures of plastic sheep and fisherman and might enjoy a bit of interesting TV.

Especially on this board where the Tories (well Thatcher at least) get such a bashing and most people on it live in the Labour heartland. I think it's pretty shocking that a chancellor that takes a £20bn budget surplus into a £30bn defecit without an improvement in public services is still generally regarded as prudent.

Edited by Happy Face

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£ 20 Billion...... sounds a lot but the economy is around £ 500 billion in size - we're talking a couple of percent .................

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£ 20 Billion...... sounds a lot but the economy is around £ 500 billion in size - we're talking a couple of percent .................

54029[/snapback]

 

But the swing is over £50 Billion, so we're talking more than 10%.

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This abuse he's getting for writing a scruffy letter to the family of a soldier seems a bit harsh. He can't help being partially-sighted and a bad writer.

 

I would've thought a handwritten note wast far more personal than a typed Downing Street release.

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£ 20 Billion...... sounds a lot but the economy is around £ 500 billion in size - we're talking a couple of percent .................

 

But the swing is over £50 Billion, so we're talking more than 10%.

 

Not that I'm a fan of Brown or Labour but might some of the swing be down to the global financial crisis? I'd also be interested to know how much British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the nation.

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as i've stated in earlier threads, Gordon Brown is NOT the financial wizard he would have us believe. for too long he has spent way beyond this countries means. I understand that he is no longer chancellor and as such has little direct control over how the tax revenue is spent, but the damage was done early in new labours reign when he was. he has consistently sold off the nations assets at low prices (Gold reserves being an example). imo this was done to pay for the huge increase in public sector workers that we have had in the last 13 yrs to try and achieve the "world class services" which they are still trying to achieve.

 

this is not a pop at said workers who for the most part are dedicated, hard working professionals.

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£ 20 Billion...... sounds a lot but the economy is around £ 500 billion in size - we're talking a couple of percent .................

 

But the swing is over £50 Billion, so we're talking more than 10%.

 

Not that I'm a fan of Brown or Labour but might some of the swing be down to the global financial crisis? I'd also be interested to know how much British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the nation.

 

Four years ago when I postd it? None.

 

Remember that Brown helped create the financial crisis.

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This abuse he's getting for writing a scruffy letter to the family of a soldier seems a bit harsh. He can't help being partially-sighted and a bad writer.

 

I would've thought a handwritten note wast far more personal than a typed Downing Street release.

 

Agreed, I can understand the mother's grief and frustrations at her son's death but the fuss being made over this is ridiculous. And recording her telephone call with the PM and selling it to the Sun for their political aims is below the belt.

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This women is a pawn in the Sun's anti-Brown campaign. It's the sickening side of British journalism iyam.

 

 

All sides of british journalism are sickening imo. everyone has their own agenda. you cant blame one or t'other without showing your own bias.

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Guest alex
This women is a pawn in the Sun's anti-Brown campaign. It's the sickening side of British journalism iyam.

 

 

All sides of british journalism are sickening imo. everyone has their own agenda. you cant blame one or t'other without showing your own bias.

He just did though. :lol:

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This women is a pawn in the Sun's anti-Brown campaign. It's the sickening side of British journalism iyam.

 

 

All sides of british journalism are sickening imo. everyone has their own agenda. you cant blame one or t'other without showing your own bias.

He just did though. :lol:

 

The Sun could be using a grieveing women to be getting at Cameron, Clegg or Nick Griffin and I would still think it was scummy behaviour.

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The Sun's coverage has been supportive of the UK's military interventions and the "War on Terror" more generally. On 18 December, 2008, an editorial piece "The Sun Says" titled "Job well done" declared "Britain is leaving Iraq with its head held very high" as well as "Through the commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Iraq, we have shown that Britain DOES still have a major role to play in the world."

 

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/...icle2053657.ece

 

...but there's an election coming up and The Sun's only allegience is to the party that's going to win it.

 

Scum.

Edited by Happy Face

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The Sun's coverage has been supportive of the UK's military interventions and the "War on Terror" more generally. On 18 December, 2008, an editorial piece "The Sun Says" titled "Job well done" declared "Britain is leaving Iraq with its head held very high" as well as "Through the commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Iraq, we have shown that Britain DOES still have a major role to play in the world."

 

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/...icle2053657.ece

 

...but there's an election coming up and The Sun's only alligience is to the party that's going to win it.

 

Scum.

The Kinnock thing in 1992 pretty much gave them carte blanche to determine the mindset of White Van Man for the foreseeable future really.

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The Sun's coverage has been supportive of the UK's military interventions and the "War on Terror" more generally. On 18 December, 2008, an editorial piece "The Sun Says" titled "Job well done" declared "Britain is leaving Iraq with its head held very high" as well as "Through the commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Iraq, we have shown that Britain DOES still have a major role to play in the world."

 

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/...icle2053657.ece

 

...but there's an election coming up and The Sun's only allegience is to the party that's going to win it.

 

Scum.

 

Just to add, I do realise the Sun's support for the occupations themself hasn't wavered and that this is about the bigger issue of Brown's penmanship which renders him incapable of waging such a just massacre any longer, despite his past 'commitment'.

Edited by Happy Face

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Guest alex
Then don't read it and you won't get your knickers in a twist.

Same applies to you and this thread then.

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The Sun's coverage has been supportive of the UK's military interventions and the "War on Terror" more generally. On 18 December, 2008, an editorial piece "The Sun Says" titled "Job well done" declared "Britain is leaving Iraq with its head held very high" as well as "Through the commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Iraq, we have shown that Britain DOES still have a major role to play in the world."

 

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/...icle2053657.ece

 

...but there's an election coming up and The Sun's only allegience is to the party that's going to win it.

 

Scum.

 

I always find it amusing that some people (and the sun itself of course) seem to think the paper actually has a serious influence on the election and that they make their decision and then people follow. When of course they see which way the result is going to go (and we all know that) and kiss the arse of that party whilst taking cheap shots at the party who's going to lose.

 

But in reality they've always been tories deep down, following whatever murdoch tells them and they just temporarilly resided up labours arse when they knew they had no choice because they'd be in power for a while.

Edited by Papa Lazaru

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The Sun sinks to a new low

The Sun has returned to doing what it does best: bashing Labour. And, it seems, at any price

 

It was in the summer of 1995 when, ominously clutching a kettle full of boiling water, Neil Kinnock erupted in fury at Alastair Campbell. The old friends were holidaying in France and the former Labour leader had just learned of Tony Blair's decision to fly to Australia as part of his extensive campaign to win the support of the Sun and its owner, Rupert Murdoch. In his diaries, The Blair Years, Campbell recalls Kinnock saying: "It won't matter if we win as the bankers and stockbrokers have got us already by the f*****g balls. And that is before you take your 30 pieces of silver."

 

A victim of the Sun throughout his leadership of Labour, Kinnock spoke from the heart. "You imagine what it's like having your

head stuck inside a f*****g light bulb then you tell me how I'm supposed to feel when I see you set off halfway round the world to grease him up," he said, referring to the tabloid's front page on polling day in 1992, which declared that, if Kinnock were to win, the last voter to leave the country should "turn the lights off".

 

When Campbell protested that he and Blair had given nothing to Murdoch, Kinnock countered prophetically: "You will. And he will take it. You will get his support and then you will get the support of a few racist b*******, and then you'll lose it again the minute that we are in trouble."

 

An own goal

And so it came to pass. After an awkward 14-year interlude, the Sun has now returned to doing what it does best: bashing Labour. And, it seems, at any price. In giving over the front page to some spelling mistakes made by Gordon Brown in his letter to Jacqui Janes, whose son, Jamie, died after a bomb explosion in Afghanistan on 5 October, the Sun showed no hesitation in exploiting a mother's grief. Even George Pascoe-Watson, until recently the Sun's loyal political editor, has said that the Prime Minister "cares passionately about the care of our troops".

 

And this much is obvious to anybody who reads the full (mysteriously obtained) transcript of Brown's 13-minute phone conversation with Janes on 8 November. Indeed, Pascoe-Watson implied that the Sun may have misjudged the public mood in its reporting of the events, warning of the "danger that public opinion could go against" the paper.

 

Certainly, the consensus among the political and media figures who convened for David Cameron's Hugo Young memorial lecture on 10 November was that the Sun had scored an own goal, and even encouraged sympathy towards the vilified leader. Brown, who in 2002 suffered the loss of his ten-day-old baby daughter, Jennifer Jane, was convincing when he explained earlier in the day: "I'm a parent who understands the feelings when something goes terribly, terribly wrong, and I understand how long it takes to handle the grief that we have all experienced."

 

As for the letter, Alastair Campbell says now: "I have a few of those. I just dug out the one he wrote when my father died. He didn't have to, but he did. It is in the now familiar black felt pen. Some of the words are a bit difficult to read. 'Alastair' with three As looks suspiciously like 'Alistair' with two Is. But it talks about his feelings for his father, and his feelings when he died, and it was a nice gesture at a difficult time for me and my family. Given all the other pressures on a prime minister's time, that meant something. He will be mortified that anyone, least of all the grieving mother of a dead young soldier, might think he would be callous or disregarding of his sacrifice or their suffering. Until a few weeks ago, the Sun would never have thought so either."

 

Which brings us to the bigger political picture behind the sordid headlines - namely, Murdoch's influence on British politics. Campbell was just doing his job when he forged good relations with the Sun. As shown by the paper's vicious campaign against Brown - which echoes the campaign against Kinnock before him, and which will only get worse over the next six months - it does no harm to have the populist paper onside.

 

However, as I have argued here before, Blair and Brown went too far in their attempts to ingratiate themselves with Murdoch. Repeatedly, they betrayed their party's agenda and damaged their own political legacies. Blair, who had a supportive phone conversation with Murdoch on the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, even performed a U-turn on his refusal to back a referendum for the then EU constitution, after being threatened with opposition from the Sun and the Times. Even Cameron has learned - after himself promising in the Sun, in 2007, a Europe referendum - that devising policy to please Murdoch is neither practical nor a sign of good judgement.

 

Lessons learned

To get the full story of Murdoch's influence, I have for years sought to uncover details of his contacts with Labour leaders through the Freedom of Information Act. The reality is that New Labour never needed Murdoch's support: the proprietor is a businessman above all else, and backs who he thinks will win - as he did when the Sun came out for the Tories at the end of the Labour party conference in September. For decades, politicians of all sides have ceded influence to Murdoch unnecessarily because they have failed to see that they could afford to remain true to their instincts, as he'd be forced to back them if they were electorally successful.

 

In the end, Kinnock was right: Murdoch has abandoned Labour now that it has hit "trouble". The lesson for the party between now and polling day is that it must trust its instincts and be itself. After all, it can be sure the Sun will.

 

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/20...murdoch-kinnock

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;)

 

ffs, a lot of people on here seem to think that the labour party is a victim here, convieniently forgetting the last 13 (or is it 14) yrs of shit. what the sun has done is absolutely no surprise to me.

Edited by AvatarAxeman

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