Brown whimpers in General Assembly speech
Nicola Sturgeon has described Gordon Brown's speech to the General Assembly as a whimper on the mound and questioned the level of influence principles have on the Prime Minister's political decision to scrap the 10 pence tax rate, build a new generation of nuclear weapons on the Clyde and to continue to support the illegal war on Iraq.
The Prime Minister is unlikely to provoke the same controversy as his predecessor did 20 years ago, however Ms Sturgeon, the SNP's Deptute Leader and Deputy First Minister said his speech was more interesting for what it didn't say than for what it did as she pointed to the parallels between Gordon Brown and Mrs Thatcher
Discussing Mr Brown's speech Nicola Sturgeon said;
“If Margaret Thatcher delivered the sermon on the mound, this is the 'whimper on the mound'. Gordon Brown avoided, perhaps sensibly a range of controversial topics where his UK Government is at odds with the Scottish perspective on social and world events.
“Critically he failed to mention the 10p tax fiasco, the illegal war on
Iraq or weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde.
“There may be a substantial difference between the backgrounds of Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown, and indeed their knowledge and understanding of the processes of the Church Of Scotland, however there is little in Margaret Thatcher’s speech of 20 years ago that Gordon Brown – one of whose first acts was to invite Margaret Thatcher to Downing Street, hasn't implied in terms of his own economic policy.
“On the critical area of taxation and redistribution, Margaret Thatcher came to the General Assembly under pressure over her enforcement of the Poll Tax in Scotland. Gordon Brown comes to the General Assembly under pressure having been turned over in his attempt to double taxation on some of the poorest members of our community.
“Gordon Brown chose not to mention weapons of mass destruction and his intention to spend tens of billions on a new generation of nuclear weapons for the River Clyde or his bankrolling of an illegal war in Iraq. On both issues while he can count on the steadfast support of Margaret Thatcher he would be unlikely to command much support in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
“His decision to double taxation for the poorest people in our communities shows the contradiction between Gordon Brown’s moral compass and his practical politics. Did he decide to backtrack because abolishing the 10pence rate is inconsistent with his principles or because he was facing a parliamentary and public revolt as his position became increasingly untenable.
“What concentrated Gordon Brown’s mind was not background belief but recognition that politically he was falling of a cliff.
“As Gordon Brown loses his moral compass there are clearly huge parallels with the fate of Mrs Thatcher. Two years after her sermon on the mound Mrs Thatcher was hussled out of office. Two years on from this address Gordon Brown’s time in office may end with a whimper as he is voted out."