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Gordon goes where Dave can’t

10 September 2007

11:23 AM

10 September 2007

11:23 AM

“British jobs for British workers”: Gordon Brown has road-tested this muscular phrase many times before, not least when he accepted the Labour leadership in Manchester in front of a Union Flag the size of a small constituency. But today, at the TUC, he puts patriotic flesh on the bones promising an “extra 500,000 British jobs for British workers". Half of these somewhat mysterious positions will come from partnerships between employers and local Jobcentre Plus offices, in which employers give commitments to hire, train and recruit British people who are either inactive or unemployed. Meanwhile, as we read in yesterday’s papers, language restrictions will be introduced for migrant workers. A double whammy, indeed. Imagine if Michael Howard had proposed such a package of measures at the last election, or David Cameron did so now: the screams from Labour about “lurching to the Right” would be deafening. But that is the calculation Mr Brown makes: Labour can play this card, and the Tories can’t. Such are the harsh realities of political life.


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