The PM-in-waiting has problems, at the election he was at his strongest, now the wheels are coming off the moving van that is booked to take him to No. 10. His self-imposed “golden rule” has become a national joke; the public finance black hole is worsening by the month; the economy is struggling to grow by a sluggish 2% – the slowest its been since Labour took office – with manufacturing now officially in recession; the housing market needs a rate cut; suicide bombers adding more damage to the economy; and several of his schemes are imploding. His incomprehensible tax credit scheme, which is supposed to help poor working families, has confused even its administrators to such an extent that they are currently having to pursue 1.9m poor people for the return of overpayments. Dangerously for Brown, his fingerprints are on the plot to renationalise Railtrack.
David Willets reminds us that “Gordon Brown is fond of joking that there are only two categories of Chancellor: those who get out in time and those who fail. Last week’s desperate manoeuvre to fiddle his fiscal rules was the defining moment when he moved from the first category to the second.” And as if it couldn’t get any worse for Brown, the bookies are taking bets on Blair’s FOURTH TERM!