Today the Prime Minister Gordon Brown is going to address the Trades’ Union Congress in Liverpool. If reports that are leaking out are to be believed he is going to start talking about cuts to public services.
Shadow Chancellor, George Osbourne has been on Sky News this morning and said: “Let's remember for months after months I've come into this studio and had a good vigorous debate about why we need to cut spending.
“We have made the argument that the national debt is a huge problem, and this is the huge issue in the recovery - how do we get the debt under control and protect our front line services so we can get the economy growing again.
“It's been a hard fought battle but I think today after months of fighting Gordon Brown's about to give in.”
Labour are desperate to paint a Cameron-led Conservative government as a group who will slash and burn their way through Whitehall. Yesterday Lord Mandelson began to soften the ground for the Prime Minister’s Policy u-turn and lay out the new electoral battleground that Labour must believe they can win on. In an address yesterday to leading left-wing think tank Progress Mandelson said: “The Tories and their friends are yearning for people to think that because there is a need for public spending constraint in the future we face an era of deep, savage, indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts whoever is in power. The Tories contemplate this with thinly disguised zeal because as a matter of principle they want to create a ‘small state’. We, in contrast, will continue to work hard to create the economic conditions that will enable us to maintain frontline service delivery.”
What a load of rubbish. I spoke to the Rt. Hon. Ken Clarke, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on Saturday afternoon and he affirmed that the Conservative Party would be surgical in their approach of bringing the public purse back under control, that the pledge to increase spending on the NHS, in real terms, by point two percent remained firm and necessary with an aging population. We discussed a number of other issues and I was very impressed at his grasp of what needs to happen, his understanding of the dangers presented by a ‘double-whammy’ of spending cuts from the Treasury and reversal of quantitative easing (printing money) by the Bank of England.
In the final analysis I trust the Conservative who delivered a tremendous economic legacy squandered by Labour in the last twelve years.