A Feeling of Deja Vu as Brown Chants the Mantra; LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE 2002

Article excerpt

OUTSIDE the Winter Gardens in Blackpool a moving billboard circled round the block on the side of a van, showing two pictures of a pair of hands.

One pair was cradling a new born baby with the words "public service" underneath.

The other was clutching loads of money with the caption "private profit" underneath.

The van was carrying a poster for trade union Unison's campaign to oppose the government's public private finance initiative.

Inside the hall familiar phrases were ringing out. "Prudence for a purpose". "Right and responsibilities". "Full employment for a generation". "A world free from poverty". And most telling of all the phrases "tough choices".

It was Chancellor Gordon Brown on his feet again sounding the mantra he has continuously delivered about Labour's vision.

We've been here before. He'd just flown back overnight from Washington from the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to announce an extra one billion dollars aid to cancel poor countries' debt.

We've been there before too. …