As Nick Clegg emerged as a viable election contender, Gordon Brown gave a stark warning of what Britain could expect from a Liberal government.
'Let's not forget it was the Liberals that created the welfare state,' said Brown, 'and it was Lloyd George that plunged Britain into a major war. Do we really want to go back to the bad old days of world war one?'
Where was Nick Clegg when Lloyd George was creating the welfare state, asked Brown? Clegg looked visibly shaken as Brown warmed to this theme. Why ddn't Nick Clegg point out that the welfare state could become subject to so much abuse, he asked. Let's not forget, said Brown, it was Nick Clegg's party that sent soldiers to the trenches in The Somme with no gas masks or body armour. Under labour, front line troops are much better equipped now, in real terms, said Brown.
The record of the liberals during their last administration was abysmal, argued Brown.
'Don't forget it was the Liberal Party's policies that led to the creation of school boards and this ludicrous notion of fair education and opportunities for everyone, that we are still paying for,' said Brown. 'I'm sure you will agree, it was their irresponsible reform acts that led to universal suffrage, and the beginning of the erosion of democracy by giving the vote to common people. And women.'
Have we all forgotten their attempts to give Ireland back to the Irish, Alistair Campbell told lobby journalists. 'They may have removed their wigs, but they're still Whigs underneath. And as for Lloyd George knowing my father, I think it's a bit of an open secret that Lloyd George "knew" everyone's father!' added Peter Mandelson.
By Zadok The Second
[HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS]