Brown's performance at yesterday's Prime Ministers Questions was breath-taking. Does he really think we'll believe his lies about future public spending growth (see previous posts eg here)? Does he really think we're that dumb?
The Major and I have been trying to remember if Gordo has ever told us the truth about anything. Consider his record:
- 10p tax rate fiasco - lied
- Abolished boom and bust - lied
- Government debt - lied
- EU constitution referendum - lied
- Immigration - lied
- Climate change - lied
- Choice of Chancellor - lied
- Abandoned election - lied
Frankly we're struggling, although the Major suspects this may be true:
The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown): "This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further such meetings later today."
So why does he lie so much?
Yes, we understand he's a liar, and that's what liars do. But surely he must have some inkling of how his lies land with the rest of us. Surely he couldn't have climbed to the top of the greasy pole without having at least some inkling. Could he?
And he's got so bad at it. In his early days as Chancellor he used to lie all the time, but he was better at it. His double-counting and dense statistical mendacity had a certain class - it was the work of a craftsman.
But now he's just pants. His lies about public spending growth are so thin and easy to disprove. Frankly, it's pathetic to behold.
The real question of course is whether he himself understands the difference between truth and lies. As we've said before, the scariest possibility is that he actually believes his own version of reality.
The rest of us may hear the Governor of the Bank of England, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the credit rating agencies, and at least 364 economists, saying spending cuts are essential to save Britain from the knacker's yard. But Brown may simply believe they are all wrong.
Like many a scary control freak before him, he may think he's the only man who understands the real truth.
PS Yes, there was that other PM who ignored 364 economists, and was subsequently proved right. But Tyler remembers that other PM, and despite his photo-op on the No 10 doorstep, Mr B is no Mrs T.