Brown is getting it right on the recession, but is anybody listening?

A quick flick round the Sundays shows a neat split between support for Tory cuts and Labour spending. The Conservatives are coming out more and more macho about cuts though on the details if you saw him this morning, you’d have to agree that Cameron was pathetic. Despite their rhetoric, on specifics they’re as scared as Labour and people can see through that. Only recently dismissed as impossibly crude, Gordon Brown’s neo-Keynesianism which has already gained some traction, is raising some cheers among candid friends like Will Hutton.

One strength is that he is assembling an array of policies that are right. This, along with his astonishing tenacity, makes it so hard for his party to junk him. And here’s the rub. The country may find it has the same difficulty….For over the last few weeks, the subterranean balance of the deep argument has begun to swing back to Brown. …. he got it wrong during the boom, but his fiscal strategy is now right…An economy beset by large private debt, low inflation, negligible private sector demand, collapsing asset prices and a broken banking system faces very different problems to the British economy of 1979. The growth in public debt that the Tories decry has been essential to heading off a full-blown depression.

In the Indy, Hamish McRae the neutral commentator, even dares to question the gloomy GDP figures.

A more confident –looking Alistair Darling this morning confirmed that VAT would revert to 17.5 % in the New Year along with a top 50% tax rate. Tomorrow he puts pressure on the banks to increase lending. In spite of Norwich’s 16% swing, its not in the bag for the Tories yet – though you would hardly expect the Sunday Times’ Martin Ivens to agree.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London