During his 13 years in charge of the economy, Gordon Brown has demonstrated the ease with which a golden economic legacy can be wrecked through reckless profligacy. This final Budget finally buried without trace his vainglorious boast to have conquered the economic cycle and ended boom and bust. And just for good measure, it was unveiled against the backdrop of the sort of financial sleaze we associate New Labour’s bestest friend Silvio Berlusconi. Starting with Lobbygate in 1997, we saw Ecclestone’s sweeteners, Mandelson’s dealings, cash for passports, cash for honours, and finally cash for influence. The perennial insistence by Downing Street that “no rules were broken” underlines how pathetic, how grubby, and how wholly lacking in morality they have been.


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