Gordon Brown's big hope is that he will be seen as a refreshing change from Tony Blair when he moves into Ten Downing Street. ConservativeHome Members' Panel members were very concerned that that should not be how voters see things. Members wanted to see the Tory party make Brown share responsibility for all of Tony Blair's failures...
"He is part of the old duet and it is time for someone new."
"Paint him as the old guard and as Blair's right-hand man."
"To make it obvious that he is now as corrupt as Tony Blair."
"Brown is as slippery as Blair."
"Challenge him on his new found enthusiasm for of ID cards and all the other anti - civil liberties neo fascist-measures put in by Nu Labour."
In an article for The Guardian - before last year's General Election - Iain Duncan Smith made similar points:
"Brown and Blair are not honest alternatives. Their personal relations may have been difficult, but for eight years they have cohabited in every major decision. The anti-war left is encouraged to vote for Brown as if he had nothing to do with the overthrow of Saddam. He may have absented himself from the pre-war PR campaign, but as chancellor he found the money to pay for Britain's contribution.
Brown's record is characterised by the same contradictions as Blair's. His budgets have been exercises in deception. Good news is always announced at the dispatch box, bad news hidden in the small print. The IR35 tax hike that impoverished so many IT professionals was dressed up as the closure of a tax loophole. The abolition of the married couples' allowance took place a full year before "compensatory" family benefits were introduced.
The chancellor shares the prime minister's fudged attempts to make Britain both Anglosphere and European nation. He may talk about the weaknesses of continental Europe's economies, but his policies have shifted Britain from the strongly performing US model towards European sclerosis. That is why Britain's long-term growth rate is downwards."
PREVIOUS ENTRY IN THIS SERIES: GORDON BROWN'S RECORD ON WASTE.