I’ve got some news for Mr Brown – a man who yesterday managed not to answer a single question honestly or directly on the matter which most affects our nation.
If you want to invoke the patriotism of the British people, you had better start using plain English and using it quickly. Tractor statistics and euphemism – what Alistair Campbell called the Brown “rat at tat tat” - may have been OK when the economy was enjoying your artificial boom (and no one was listening anyway) but now that it is centre stage the audience see through it very quickly.
The British people understand the word tax, they understand the word waste and they understand the word debt – three things which you have made the central features of their economic lives over the past eleven years. They understand the word recession and they understand the word inflation, both of which you told them (dishonestly) you had abolished. And they understand that a plan to get out of debt by increasing borrowing is at best an unlikely solution to a common sense problem.
If you want to gain the respect of the people, you had better start talking plainly and quickly about the true level of debt that we are in (including all the PFI, pension liabilities, bank rescues and other opaque obligations which you have been trying to hide) – and, more importantly, tell us in plain English how you intend to pay for the temporary injection of Christmas tax cuts. Some words you may want to consider – future tax rises, spending cuts, and waste.
And do it quickly, because the blather and innuendo from your Government as reported in the Times this morning:-
He was clearly trying to reassure the markets that the PBR will contain proposals to get the economy back on course after the recession. He added that the need for a fiscal stimulus — “within a medium-term framework of fiscal sustainability” — was accepted across the world.
Employing an alternative euphemism, Lord Mandelson spoke of the need for a “medium-term adjustment” some years ahead. “I’ve already said that, if you take action now to expand borrowing, you know you’ll have to make structural adjustments later on
reminds us more of Stalin than Thatcher. If you don’t get your act together, Mr Brown – I have a feeling that others will.