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Make our sums add up.

I don't think I can. Excellent post Editor.

In Michael Fish's defence here, I thought he was refering to talk of a hurricane in Florida. Of course weve all heard that before but I think its important to throw it out there. Poor Michael Fish...

Whatever plans the Tories came up with the govt would claim they didn't add up. This govt has the least regard for truth or intellectual integrity of any we've ever had. You could write books about it. And in fact people have.

That's very good Editor. It's time these made up figures were exposed. What about his black hole being filled with borrowed from the Pre Budget Report, and when he accuses Cameron of not listening, what about him not listening to the electrate when they want a referendum on the EU treaty.

A bit harsh on old Michael Fish, Editor - he does his best even if he is from the BBC!!

Great Cameronian twist at the end. Could almost say - "New World. Old Politics. Change Required." Actually I think I prefer your version...

I would remind him of the sack every Nurse and Doctor lie he told in the 2005 general election, and ask him how many doctors and nurses his give away on our budget rebate that Margaret Thatcher negotiated would buy.

Best response is to point out the £150bn black hole in our public finances that Gordon Brown's own uncosted spending has created.

If Brown wants to talk about black holes in spending plans I think the Tories should welcome it.
If we define a financial black hole as "spending more than you earn" then Brown is on really weak territory here.
Since 2000 (when he stopped following Tory spending plans) Brown has borrowed over £100 BILLION to fund government expenditure. Whatever he says about golden rules and sustainable borrowing can't disguise the facts that he has consistently had to increase borrowing to meet a "black hole" between his expenditure and revenue.
In the recent PBR Alastair Darling announced that net government borrowing over the next 3 years will be £15 billion A YEAR.
This government, during the longest and most sustained economic boom in living memory, has managed to run an average deficit of £10-£15 billion a year - which makes a so-called Tory black hole of only £6 billion look positively prudent.
To win this argument the Tories need to make people realise how small a number £6 billion pounds is. Some more examples:
Gordon Brown was the first UK Chancellor to spend a billion pounds a day.
The current government budget is over half a TRILLION pounds a year, of which somewhere over £100 BILLION goes on quangoes.
In the last ten years Labour has spent close to FIVE TRILLION pounds.
In the PBR Gordon Darling estimated that he could save £6 Billion on procurement alone, a further £21.5 billion on "efficiency savings" and £30 billion from flogging off government assets.
£6 billion is (very roughly) 0.1% of annual government expenditure under Labour - that makes it pretty much a rounding error for an organisation that spends £550+ billion every year.
Brown is on shaky ground here and he knows it - the only reason he's using the "economic stability" argument is its the only one he's got left.

Actually - I mean, I do like your suggestion very much - I think we might be getting close to that tipping point where detailed rebuttals of Brown's charges aren't necessary, because the contempt in which he's held is growing. So sometimes better for David to say "if the prime minister wishes to use this session to mislead people, that's fine: I'm going to continue to ask him to defend his record".

Since Brown told the commons that Cameron was "misleading people", and the Speaker didn't rule him out of order, we should accuse Brown of misleading people every week.

How about the £40bn 'black hole' thats become Northern Rock? How many "sacked doctors'n'nurses" does that represent?

The government has blown half the annual NHS budget to pump us a failed business, all in order to preserve its voter base in the North East. Scandlous!

Michael Fish would make a better Prime Minister than Gordon Brown!

From memory something of the order of £60 B is classified as "sundry/other" expenditure in the budget.

I do like the idea of accusing brown of misleading both parliament and the electorate. How will Gorballs Mick react?

I think that Michael Fish has demonstrated over the years that he can stand up for himself!

It will be interesting to see whether such an appropriate and witty comment is allowed to be aired by anybody from the Conservative Party, I would put money on someone from Labour pre-empting them!!

Sub-Prime Minister Brown @12:13

I'm afraid the Northern Rock £40bn is not a 'black hole', but a relatively safe subordinated loan facility.

"Golden Rule? Only a Golden Fool would tip off the market before selling our nation's gold reserves! That black hole was real, and cost our nation x billion, the equivalent of x new hospitals and x new nurses.

No wonder the Prime Minister wrote to Carol Vorderman, wishing she had helped with his sums. Does he not realise, the only countdown we want, is the countdown to a general election so we can finally give Britain the change it needs?"

On behalf of the labour Party let me endorse this "rebuttal" which, of course, is not a rebuttal at all, so indicating that the PM is correct.

Bluster is no answer. Ask Neil kinnock.

Its a great response as is. Its about time that one of the central planks of our attack was Labour's consistent incompetence

Could always chuck in

£12bn Missing Trader VAT Fraud
£1 trillion public sector pension deficit
One Referendum promised, Zero delivered!

"One Referendum promised, Zero delivered!"

Well in a few weeks time, that will probably apply to Labour, the LibDems and the Tories, TaxCutter, so best keep schtum on that particular issue. ;-)

"is not a rebuttal at all, so indicating that the PM is correct."

Erm, just because one person (in your view) has not produced a rebuttal does not mean that some other person couldn't. Logic.

Also, I think it is fair to point out that the current govt has no credibility whatever when it comes to sound public financing, or indeed telling the truth.

Correct about what Labour voter? Do you really want to get into an argument on behalf of Brown and his honesty re financial data? I wouldn't do that,not if I were you.You know as well as I do, you'd lose.

Not sure about the Michael Fish comment. Surely Michael Fish is the Michael Fish of forecasting?

I think highlighting Government waste is certainly the way to go. David Cameron needs to reel off snappy and wounding examples of Government wastage, and relate them back to that £6bn figure, both convincing the public that £6bn is a relatively easy sum of money to be saved from a £600bn+ budget (which it is), and contaminating the £6bn quote from further glib overuse by linking it to negatives for the Government.

It really is time now for Cameron/Osborne to to rubbish Brown in the manner outlined above. Do not give his points credibility by answering them directly. Patronise him but do not take him seriously. This will cause a complete mental collapse on his part.

Michael Fish reminds me of Michael Foot sometimes - they have some physical similarities.
I wonder what political views the former holds - I don't think he'll take kindly to the above, especially if he happens to be a Conservative! :D

Excellent ammunition, Editor. The problem up to now is that our side, George Osborne included, has not been able to produce facts and figures like those immediately they are required. Like "l'esprit de l'escalier", the damning riposte is no good half an hour late.
All tory front benchers should learn the Editor's figures by heart, so as to be able to trot them out when needed.
Better, get Jeff Randall to provide GO with the ammunition.

The Big Black Hole as pointed out elsewhere is the figure by which Grumpy missed his borrowing targets while Chancellor, a fashion Dearest seems happy to follow. I think the cumulative figure is now £70bn OVER what he planned.

A simple rebuttal to the £6bn black hole charge would be,

£6bn? £6bn? What about the £70bn of EXTRA borrowing the Prime Minister had to take on in his years as Chancellor? His successor is now trying to match him, but he's borrowing it only to give it back out again to Northern Rock".

And if they go bust, Lucy, I bet we don't get it back once a "deal" to save NR has been cooked, just like it was for Rover, to save the seats of those MPs where the staff live and work.

I seem to recall that at Darling's mini budget his estimates on borrowing were out, i.e. he had a black hole. No problem, he just proposed to borrow some more. I just think the Tories need to point out that since there isn't a general election they don't need to have detailed policies.

Of course, as has been pointed out, Brown would say Tory proposals don't add up whatever the policies.

Micheal fish n'est dein hurrican forkasten!!!

Ist Gill Biles!!!


Der 'Wrong MAn'!!!:D (Fish nichten Brown) Ironikien, non?

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