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That's pretty clear point of support for Ken from DC...

Sounds like he is trying to shore up his position so that he can bring him back in to me.

Brown looked rattled. All he could do was repeat the same tired cliches.

Shouldn't that be LAMENT oops sorry I meant LAMONT instead of LAMINT?

Interesting that Brown's already attacking DC re: Clarke. That either means he can't resist such an easy target or Labour fear the return of Clarke?

McBean gets trounced again.




Steve have you been watching the tv with blue tinted glasses?

It was a draw at the best for Dave . I do think Ken Clarke is on his way back .

Labour fear the return of Ken - that's obvious. Cameron on top form. Among many good lines pilloring Brown for "laughing at squandering a golden inheritance" was an excellent taunt - and only too true. Cameron looks young, fresh and ready for the fray with his wits about him. Brown looks tired, beleagured and muddled.

I thought quite a decent DC victory there...

What a plonker Brown his...Only he could say 2no-one is doing what the tories are doing"...on the week he copys our ecomomic ideas and therefore essentially accepts his flagship VAT policy was useless!

Also...it seems Brown's stutter is getting worse again, which i hazard a guess is linked to him losing his confidence again.

gezmond007 is back, yay!!

He scored it a draw (im laughing at his daftness here).

So if he scores it only a draw for Brown, you can pretty much be sure that was a big Cameron win!

Hi DJT I've missed you too !

Amusing post on Guido (also appeared a while back but good to remind everyone):

Brown has a collection of tiny china figurines which he keeps in a shoebox - tiny sheperdesses and horses and farmers and pigs and the like. She says most nights when he’s alone with his aides and the wife he gets them out and plays “farmy-farm” with the little dolls, making the horses jump over tiny hedges etc. He even takes the miniature cows to the Number 10 toilet so they can do “Brownpats” as he makes little mooing noises.

The staff’s big fear is that he will take his “farmy-farm” set to the Commons and be caught on TV playing with it just before PMQs. He’s come pretty close already - during the non-election debate, a miniature sheep apparently fell from his breast pocket onto Ruth Kelly’s hair, and was there right through the broadcast.

Amazingly no one noticed, but they reckon it’s just a matter of time.

David Cameron doesn't come back on Brown's bogus 'tory cuts' attack.

Is this a deliberate tactic?

On a more serious note, I'm surprised Cameron fell into the Ken Clarke quote trap. It would have been better if he'd stay off of the VAT issue which I suspect most people aren't that fussed about.

Sounds to me like the Labour Party is getting rattled at the prospect of the return of Ken Clarke: they have always been scared of him. Cameron dealt with the issue brilliantly, in particular saying that Brown inherited from Clarke a successful economy - a record he has squandered. Ken Clarke remains a huge talent and Cameron should back his instincts and bring him back to the front bench. My view is hardening that this is the right thing to do.

Also, Brown seemed to be assuming that all 50bn of insured loans might have to paid out simultaneously. What does that do for confidence?

Is it me or does Brown appear to have a very strict script he adheres to for PMQs?

When Cameron speaks all Brown does is smile and shake his head.

When Brown speaks he just fires off cliches and name drops.

A 'score draw'? I think not.

Only one of them was actually making any effort to take part.

Of course the VAT blunder is important. It was the centrepiece of the budget and it's proved to be a stupid ploy - short term, wasteful and of no help. Brown was incredibly weak waffling on about an extra fiver in people's pockets. The VAT cut is a clear, specific point that shows up the important fact that Brown is not the economic 'miracle worker' he's cracked up to be. By contrast Brown's attacks are all vague and imprecise - he doesn't land his blows. Cameron does.

John Scott- spot on analysis.

Cameron got off to an awful start. He couldn’t resist having ago at Brown before paying tribute to the soldiers who had died.

It was obvious which was more important to him.

Cameron was excellent here - could do with whittling down the "achieve nothing" soundbites into something simpler, something as repeatable as "do nothing party" (which is a dumb misrepresentation of the Tories but gives Labour confidence in their attacks).

"Mum's eyes, father's nose Gordon brown's debt." Says it all for me. Score draw? I think not. Trounce of Snotty more like!

Having got Brown to not defend their growth figures, Cameron missed the obvious follow up to question what effect this would have to Brown's PSBR, for that too can no longer be defended which would have played into Cameron charge against Brown about competence and the level of debt he's burying us in.

Cameron needs to counter the "unfunded"/"tory cut" attack by pointing out that our proposals are indeed funded by a slowing down of the increase in Government spending to a more responsible level, unlike his proposals which are funded on the never-never by borrowing from our children's future, just like his wasteful spending since he last balanced a budget in 2000-01.

Good but still need to fix on key phrases. Brown may be wrong about it and may annoy with "do-nothing party" but it was quite clever spin when it was first conceived. Its not achieving as much now as Labour appear to be a "do-anything party" but having key messages is important.

"Cameron needs to counter the "unfunded"/"tory cut" attack "

Yes, the simplest route being to point out that as Brown has to increase borrowing to a trillion it means pretty much everything he is doing is unfunded.

Just an observation but....

The PM refused to stand by his chancellor's growth forceasts because they were dependant upon the level of "international co-operation". Or so we are told...


According to the New Labour narrative (repeated by the PM today) the whole world is already copying his financial stimulus plan....


If the world is already following Gordon, how can he possibly complain about levels of "international co-operation" at a later date?

Downing Street can't have it both ways.

Why doesn't cameron ask what the GVN's forecast interest repayments on the £1 trillion national debt will be in 2012?

Then when Brown fails to answer (likely), have the correct answer to hand and then follow up by asking... How many Schools 'n' Hospitals could be built with this sum?

Cameron could have endless fun with this line of questioning. The following week he could ask what the total scheduled debt repayments are for the next Labour GVN (if elected) etc... Ask how much that is per each man, woman and child in this country etc....?

Tom FD - I think MG has come up with the soundbite you were looking for - Labour "the do-anything party".

A fellow tenant thought Browns stammering was funny, especially at the end.

The spending cuts line is easily beatable. The problem is finding the right message and way of saying it.

Jonathan, yes, that was the game that Labour played, as such I am surprised that the Conservatives have been so slow to take up the attack, after all the unfunded £12 billion VAT means cuts in schools 'n' hospitals later.

Look on the BBC website. No pro Labour bias to-day. I note Brown got in the Tories will cut spending, Labour seem to be changing their recorded message from "do nothing" (god knows how he was allowed to get away with it) to "public spending cutting" I noticed a minister saying it more or less irrelevant to the issue in hand earlier this week.

Can we sit on the new recorded message vastly faster than we sat on the last one please.

It's nice to see Brown getting a hammering for his incompetence and mismanagement of the public finances, but his mendacious stonewalling actually plays fairly well to the TV cameras.

Cameron must try to be more unconventional. No idea how he does that. Perhaps by varying his lines of attack a little more. I seem to recall that he was lighter on his feet before Brown's bust - and was more effective consequently.

Ken Clarke needs a peerage tout de suit. Then he can go at it hammer and tongs with Mandy in the plush comfort of red leather and ermine.

Lord Clarke of Strasbourg?

"Look on the BBC website. No pro Labour bias to-day."

Maybe - though they wanted to remind us what Norman Lamont said 18 years ago about green shoots, which might (rather unfairly) make people think "they're all the same".

"Cameron needs to counter the "unfunded"/"tory cut" attack "

Not only Cameron but all conservative spokespeople at every level should brief themselves.

"All public service budgets will be increased but some will not increase as much as Labour has promised. The crucial ones will be ringfenced and all will be managed much more competently".

If people want to get worked up about real cuts in essential public services, why not attack this government for the reductions in hospital beds (now under half the number per 100,000 people provided in similar countries) and the loss of NHS dentists.

David Belchamber, I think the last part of your analysis can be summarised by the phrase:

'Real Cuts Now'

I thought it was a clear victory for Brown. DC didn't make his case persuasively.

I still think the Tories don't have a coherent economic message.

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