25 August 2009

Brown hands out the autumn hors d'œuvres

In preparation for Mandy’s carefully planned autumn offensive that Brown will act out when he returns on a full-time basis, the Indy has details of the first course that will be served up.  On neatly arranged platters, a list of specific spending cuts will be offered to the assembled masses:

Initially, Mr Brown will seek to establish in voters' minds the key differences between Labour and the Tories – on policy, government intervention to limit the impact of the recession and preserving frontline services. Then he will acknowledge that the Government needs to go beyond the £35bn of efficiency savings it has already promised. The aim will be to show Labour is serious about reducing the deficit, which is set to rocket to £175bn in the current financial year and to £173bn next year.

Cabinet ministers will announce that some projects will be abandoned, shelved or delayed to save money. One admitted yesterday: "Efficiency savings are useful but not a substitute for real savings. There will be things that need to be put off, done more slowly or abandoned altogether."

No specific decisions have yet been taken, but the move will fuel speculation that the Government may delay the £25bn renewal programme for the Trident nuclear weapons system. Aides insist that Mr Brown remains committed to retaining Britain's deterrent.

These nibbles will hardly set the world on fire or wet the appetite for the main course to follow.  There are no game changing morsels amongst these little offerings.  No, of course not.  The Grand Plan is hardly going to be leaked in the dying days of August, but there will be one for sure.

The main course surprise delights in an attempt to wrong foot the Tories will come when Messrs Cameron & Co least expect it.

The serving of the final supper in Brown’s Last Chance Saloon has barely begun.

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