Foreign businesses such as Total, and, for us in the North East, Nissan have invested heavily in the UK economy in recent years. Without them, there would be far fewer jobs for British workers. We start picking apart that for short term political gain at our peril. And that is precisely what Gordon Brown did back in 2007 at his first conference speech as Labour leader (just before he drove a wrecking ball through the Labour party with his fiasco over the election that never was).
Brown is a politician who is more driven by spin that even New Labour in overdrive. Blair had a big spin operation as well but there is something different about Brown's. He treats people as if they are stupid and in the process creates far more false claims that come back to haunt him (though admittedly Blair's claims on Iraq were a disaster that never went away.) So with Brown we have the "end of boom and bust", the claim that Britain is best placed to come through the recession and, of course, "British jobs for British workers."
The Ghost of Conference Speeches Past is certainly back to haunt him. Not only was Brown stupid to have lifted a line from the BNP, he was offering something that was illegal, is contrary to the whole direction in which the economy had been moving for generations and is impossible to deliver. Could you imagine the incandescent rage from Brown if President Sarkozy had beaten him to it and called for French jobs for French workers and demanding that British companies with sites in France should be forced to remove any British workers and replace them with French?
Brown is an intelligent guy but that has not given him common sense. His British jobs for British workers demand (note that it was never follwed up by any action to ensure it happened) has come back to haunt him big style and give him an almightly kick up his well spun rear end. And frankly, he deserves every bit of it.
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