Fraser Nelson Commenting on That Guardian Interview:
"The Tories have made, for them, a cardinal mistake in that they admitted the truth - that if you take 10% off the health service or schools or policing, you've cut into the jobs, the services, the expectations. The Conservatives' mask has slipped. They cannot be a centre ground party any more, they can't talk about being mainstream. The choice has become a lot clearer." But won't everyone have to cut public spending, as governments are forced to tighten their belts to pay off debt built up during the recession? "No. It's a myth. Public spending will continue to rise. It's in our figures. We've costed it, and you're paying more in top rate tax to pay for it."
This was a supposedly frank interview, where he slips in this lie. The Wednesday before last, he read out spending totals which, adjusted for inflation, show a cut. It's not a "myth" - it's not even a matter of opinion. Here is what you need to know.
You will not find the total spending figures in the Budget because, staggeringly, Brown made sure they were not included. This is a ruse, designed to stop journalists working out what's happened. But the figures he read out in PMQs for total spending are accurate (you can work them out from the Budget, if you know which sums to add together). Adjust for inflation - again, a fairy easy procedure - and, even before you factor in the IFS figures for debt repayment, it's a cut. Viner wouldn't have wanted to waste time getting dragged down in some statistical battle that anyone reading that magazine piece would skip anyway. But I do hope that every time Brown tries to fool journalists, he will be confronted with the above table. It's not a matter of opinion, but a binary divide. Up is up. Down is down. Only someone as brazen as Brown could pretend otherwise.
That is why you aren't going to lead Labour to another glorious victory Gordon. No-one believes a word that you, or your cabinet of all the jokers, tells us anymore.