Left Watch

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Labour aim to present this election as a choice between strong Brown and weak Cameron

The Guardian has an interview with Gordon Brown this morning.

We learn that he will keep Darling as Chancellor if he wins the election. Sensible given yesterday's ComRes finding that the Brown/Darling team enjoys a modest lead over Cameron/Osborne when it comes to running the economy... although as we reveal on today's front page an Angus-Reid poll suggests in a straight Brown V Cameron comparison, the Tories win on the economy.

We also learn that Labour will have five pledges at the heart of their campaign; to secure the economy, make it hi-tech, raise living standards, protect services, and strengthen community fairness (BBC). All very vague and much less measurable than pledges from previous elections.

For me the most interesting snippet from the interview is this quote from Brown:

"'Show me a soldier who has made no mistakes and I will show you a soldier who has won no battles.' You have got to be honest that sometimes you do make mistakes. But equally if you are determined to do something, if you've got strong willpower, then you are going to push things forward."

That's how Labour plans to frame this election; Brown as the strong man - flawed but with the will power to get Britain through difficult times. In contrast Cameron will be presented as untested and weak.  That framing will be imposed on all issues, particularly the economy. You can be sure that Mandelson, Campbell, Whelan and the other Labour operators have the discipline to stick to that framing.

Tim Montgomerie