Posted Monday, 14 September 2009 at 13:41
I can't help feeling sorry for Gordon Brown.
The only weapon at his disposal is words. Words which will hang in the air and will eventually be shot down by expectation.
Words like careful, reasonable and cautious: the siblings of Prudence.
His problem is that Mandleson is better with words. He also can't and won't deliver, but it won't really matter. No-one expects him to, it’s not his job.
Gordon met the Union bosses, the people who fund both the Labour party and its general election campaign, and 'bent over backwards' as one union boss reports, to re-assure them that their members jobs are safe.
Well, he has to doesn't he? If Gordon Brown cuts back on public spending and members jobs are lost, that's fewer members of the unions, fewer subscriptions, less money for the unions and less money to fund Labour.
So, Gordon Brown sits there, uncomfortably, somewhere between a rock and a hard place, beer in hand, sandwich on lap knowing there is nothing he can do; he can only say.
He can't fight an election without union money and so he can never action public sector cuts. Unions need the public sector to remain intact and bloated to keep membership high and the coffers full.
Public spending is the very life blood of Labour. Public spending pays the salaries of the union bosses. Public spending is probably paying for the TUC conference this week.
But the voters want public spending cut.
Gordon can't go to the voters without the unions and he can't go to the voters with what they want.
So he gathers together a few words. Words which will create a smoke screen of caution and restraint and with a bit of luck will dupe the public into thinking that he will do just what his words will say he will.
Words which won't upset the union bosses, because they know that's all they are, words which will be forgotten the day after a general election and Mandy will do an even better job. He is just so much more convincing. The perceived faux acrimony between him and Gordon, making his words more genuine and daring.
But we've been here before. last time Labour destroyed the economy following an extended period in office.
These are the words Gordon needs: Cut public spending and then lower taxes. As revenue receipts increase cut taxes further.
Let people earn and spend and SME's grow and supply.
Keep the state small and the people big.
Those words are a knife straight into Labours purse. As with everything in this life, just follow the money, it always pays the piper.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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