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David Cameron brands Brown's class warfare "petty, spiteful and stupid"

Picture 10 The class war which Gordon Brown et al are waging went into overdrive last week, with Brown suggesting at PMQs that Conservative tax policy had been "dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton".

David Cameron, in a pre-recorded interview for BBC 1's Politics Show from Afghanistan, today hits back at Labour, branding the tactic "petty, spiteful and stupid":

"There isn’t any secret about where I went to school.  I think most people know that, I’m not in the slightest bit embarrassed about it.  I never hide my background or where I’m from or anything about my life like that.  My view is very simple, is that what people are interested in is not where you come from but where you’re going to, what you’ve got to offer, what you’ve got to offer the country.

"Now if Gordon Brown and Mandelson and the rest, if they want to fight a class war, fine, go for it.  It doesn’t work.  It’s a petty, spiteful, stupid thing to do but if that’s what they want to do, you know, go ahead. 

"Frankly I think the country is more interested in, who are these people, are they any good, have they got the right ideas, will they take the country forward, have they got the energy and vigour and dynamism that we so badly need?  And the answer to those questions I believe is yes."

Here's the clip from the interview:

Meanwhile, Shadow Business Secretary Kenneth Clarke uses this piece in the Mail on Sunday to suggest that Labour's use of "the politics of envy as a last resort" was "a major strategic blunder which Gordon, Peter Mandelson and the others will soon come to regret":

Ken Clarke"It appears that whoever dreamt up this attack didn't stop to think about how it might backfire. A bit of research would have shown that the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, went to St Paul's Girls' School, the sister institution of St Paul's School for boys, which my colleague George Osborne attended. Chancellor Alistair Darling was educated at a private Scottish boarding school.

"I went to private school myself, the same one, in fact, as Schools Secretary Ed Balls, Nottingham High School. He attended a few years after me and was a fee-paying pupil, but then he is New Labour. I was an 11-Plus boy, paid for by the State.

"I've seen all this before. Many readers will recall the then Labour Chancellor Denis Healey pledging to tax the rich until the pips squeaked. The old Labour myth was that the Tories backed the rich and the bosses and did not worry about the working class. This attack finally failed for Labour in the past, and it will fail miserably now because it is old-fashioned nonsense in today's society."

Edward Timpson - the victor of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election where Labour's "Tory toff" tactic backfired so spectacularly - is also quoted on the issue in today's Observer:

"Since the byelection last year lots of Labour MPs have come up to me and apologised for what their party did. But now they are at it again. It is an obsession. If that is the best thing they can come up with when there are so many important issues to debate then it is pretty desperate."

Jonathan Isaby


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