Saturday, 27 March 2010

Gordon and Alistair's ice cream moment

Gordon Brown is to unveil Labour's 2010 election pledge card today. He speaks to The Guardian and so one can read the interview, the news story, and now the eggs and bacon blog of the interview too.

He says he wants the Labour pledges, which will be enshrined in a new pledge card to be revealed tomorrow, to be readily enforceable. The five pledges are: secure the recovery; raise family living standards; build a hi-tech economy; protect frontline investment in policing, schools, childcare and the NHS – with a new guarantee of cancer test results within a week; and strengthen fairness in communities through controlled immigration, guarantees of education, apprenticeships and jobs for young people and a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Gordon Brown confirming that Alistair Darling would stay as Chancellor if Labour win offers a remarkable echo of the opening of the 2005 campaign - the day of the short ice creams (video) which confirmed Brown's post-election position as Chancellor (and, in effect on that occasion, the leadership succession too).

It is for the same reason as last time. With a post-budget poll showing Brown and Darling now ahead of Cameron and Osborne on the economy, confirming Darling's position is necessary to deploy the Chancellor as an electoral asset.

Labour identified Oliver Letwin as a weak link in 2005. (Poster).

With so much focus on the economy, how much more true is that of George Osborne in 2010.

So Alistair Darling is unassailable. (Of course, you read it here first).

Is George?


PS: In the Telegraph, the fiercely Eurosceptic commentator Simon Heffer explains why he would put up with a Europhile Shadow Chancellor. The Tories need to change to Ken Clarke because "the combination of inexperience, opportunism and stupidity is a lethal cocktail when it comes to trying to work out how to govern". Sorry George. (Spectator editor Fraser Nelson wasn't impressed by Osborne's "weak response" to the budget either).

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