Labour, as he explains it, will be the Sunshine Party in a general election battle against Tory miserabilists.Apparently the basis for this uncharacteristic cheer will be the Prime Minister's prediction of higher than expected levels of growth next year. That is higher than expected by anyone else other than Gordon Brown, including the Her Majesty's Treasury, the CBI, and the OECD. His prediction is that the economy will grow by 1.5% next year, which he thinks will spike the Conservative 'we are all in this together' strategy. Well, what's wrong with this picture?
- The consensus prediction is for much lower growth.
- The election must be called by half-way through next year anyway, allowing little time for increased growth to kick in and before any numbers are calculated.
- Most ordinary people do not base their votes on economic predictions, rather on their own circumstances and experience.
- Unemployment is a lagging indicator, so even if there is higher growth the high unemployment that is the most pernicious effect of recession will be around for quite a while yet.
- A very strong economic recovery after 1992 didn't do John Major's government much good, despite a much longer run up to the 1997 election.
Business as usual for Labour then.