Is it just me or is the spectacle of a series of Labour Ministers not quite resigning over a policy that they were cheering about on its announcement over a year ago faintly ridiculous and unedifying?

In the last budget that he delivered, Gordon Brown announced a headline ‘tax cut’ to great cheers from the Labour benches. Cutting the headline rate by 2p was paid for by scrapping the 10p tax bracket payable on the first £2,230 of taxable earnings. Of course commentators saw further than the back-slapping backbenchers, understanding that this would have a disproportionate effect on the less well-off. 5.3 million families will be affected by this change that has just come into effect with one in five families being worse off by anything up to £464 each year. Gordon explained it away as simplifying the tax system, despite the fact that he had introduced this extra tax bracket himself a few years before.

Smug Labour MPs looking forward to an autumn election have turned into a cynical bunch of politicians staring at the abyss. Seventy of these people have signed an Early Day Motion objecting to the move, some junior ministers have taken the commanding step that must make their constituents proud, of writing to the Prime Minister. Angela Smith, PPS to Yvette Cooper, resigned, spoke to Gordon who interrupted his photoshoot with the various presidential
hopefuls in the US and promptly caught the bottling bug explaining that ‘resigning her position was not envisaged.’ I love hate to say “I told you so!”

We are standing on the edge of an economic precipice. Trust Gordon Brown to want to push us forward. See you at the bottom.