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Rupert Wyman 19th Apr 2010 - 8:20

Is Gordon Brown "a ditherer"? You decide


Before the recession hit Gordon Brown would have been a hot favourite to win a debate on economic matters.

Brown appeared to have managed the economy successfully for the first 10 years of Labour power. The economy grew at a record rate thus allowing the country to enjoy many boom years. The then chancellor even went as far as to say that there would be "no return to boom and bust".

However, since the global economic crisis, questions have to be asked of how successful his policies were in the end.

The Prime Minister cites global factors for the British economy going into recession and while this may be partly true, with the ever increasing globalisation of the financial markets, questions have to be asked of his role.

Britain took longer to come out of the recession than other leading G8 countries. Plus when the recession first hit the IMF warned that the state of Britain's economy would result in the country suffering more than other advanced economies in the world.

The result of the recession is that the nation's finances are in a mess with a massive budget deficit and huge national debt.

Brown had the most power of any person ever to be in number 11 Downing Street with far reaching powers in domestic politics that were brokered by the Granita Pact that allowed Tony Blair a clear run at the leadership of the Labour Party in 1994.

So in a debate on Britain's economy how will the PM be able to answer the difficult questions?

It is for this reason that Brown should be worried as his General Election campaign so far has been far from a success, with Labour behind the Conservatives in the polls and in some instances the Liberal Democrats too!

Things could even take a turn for the worse in Thursday's final leaders' debate.

If David Cameron and Nick Clegg "gang up" on the PM to expose his record as Chancellor then he will have little chance of winning the all-important debate (5/2).

However, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats' economic policies differ greatly so it could well be an unlikely scenario.

If Brown is to win the debate he has to come across as a man who takes the tough decisions, but it is still doubtful whether the electorate will believe that is the case.

Since Brown became PM he has often struggled with the big decisions like the nationalisation of Northern Rock and whether to call an early General Election in the autumn of 2007.

Former Cabinet member Charles Clarke and current Justice Secretary Jack Straw are among those that have dubbed him a ditherer as well as newspapers from across the political spectrum from the Daily Mail to the Guardian.

In front of the live audience and the millions watching at home on Thursday night will Brown get it right when it matters most, a week before the election, and be able to come across as decisive or will he struggle under the scrutiny?


Please note the above is this writer's personal critique of Gordon Brown not William Hill's opinion.



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