Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, on Mumsnet for a webchat

(1128 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 13:53:29

Do post your advance questions here.

notnowbernard Mon 03-May-10 13:54:17

Blimey shock

He's brave...

TheJollyPirate Mon 03-May-10 13:55:08

Brave brave man.

What's your fave biscuit Gordon?

<Thought it best to get that one out of the way>

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 13:55:24

When is David Cameron coming on?

FabIsGoingToGetFit Mon 03-May-10 13:56:40

Oh blimey.

My question is how are your boys doing and do you get to see them enough?

flockwallpaper Mon 03-May-10 13:56:48


So the UK is 900 billion pounds in debt. What cuts would your party make if elected to tackle this?

And please stop treating the electorate as though we are stupid. We can take the bad news - we want the facts.

thesouthsbelle Mon 03-May-10 13:57:11

bloody hell, erm right better get thinking of a good one.

will it be a live chat?

oh why does he see fit to keep taxing the motorists, which prices where I am rising on daily basis.

ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 13:58:13

what really??! shock

i think he ought to have a look at the thread where a lot of us said we had warmed to him for saying that she was 'a bigotted woman' and that it would have been interesting for him to have explored that rather than just given a blanket apology.

oh, and i thought he did rather well in his paxman interview smile

i'm still an undecided voter though...

MmeLindt Mon 03-May-10 14:00:45

Oh, fab.

I would like to know what he plans to do on Friday morning.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 03-May-10 14:02:25

Same question as flockwallpaper.

Can you please give us a straight answer on what you will cut. Please do not mention the Tories or the Lib Dems in your answer - we want to know what you, Gordon Brown, would do if you were re-elected.

scottishmummyofone Mon 03-May-10 14:03:24

Hi Gordon,

assuming you are re-elected (I hope you will be grin) what do you hope to achieve in the first 100 days?

I ask because in American presidential elections, they always seem to focus on the first 100 days after the election...

I hope your boys are doing well, it must be hard being away from them.

re: bigotgate, a lot more people have warmed to you I think. You are only human (and you were right grin)

patienceplease Mon 03-May-10 14:06:55

Hello Gordon,
when are you going to sort out the west-lothian question?
It seems incredibly unfair that MPs in scotland (and now wales I think) can vote on aspects of law for england that do not affect where they are from.

ButterPie Mon 03-May-10 14:10:14

Not much to ask, just Gordon, please, please, don't mess this up, the country needs Labour (or, at a push, Lab/Lib) in government. There will be many people (mainly the more vulnerable) up and down the country weeping at the idea of Prime Minister Cameron.

Oh! I have a question. What do you think of Malcolm Tucker's tweets/column?

rey Mon 03-May-10 14:11:55

Why didn't you pick up the media in reporting the facts wrongly... you said sort of not that she actually was but then again I know the answer to that my real question is when are we going to get a government that actually deals with the problems in society instead of just talking about them? Zero tolerance was looked into once but I guess no-one wanted to upset the bully and hence you get teachers and volunteers understanding the bully and not the victim - do you agree? Rushing so not totally clear but you know what my questions are.

ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 14:14:37

yes 'a sort of bigotted woman'

purepurple Mon 03-May-10 14:16:08

I have already voted Labour because i don't want change and i want to keep the Tories out because I don't trust them. I still remember the Thatcher years and I don't want to go back to greed being the driver of the country.
I want solid, reliable, dependable and trustworthy, and I think that gordon brown is all those things. I have never voted before, but have done this time because i felt it was important to keep the status quo for the economy.
I also want to see continued action on child poverty. I want to see Every Child Matters and Children's Centres to stay. I welcomed the introduction of the EYFS and the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge and the raft of changes in the early years sector and i want to see continued focus on education and helping every child achieve the outcomes of Every child Matters and reach their full potential. Children are the future and they deserve a decent start in life.
Ooh, I sound as if i have just written a manifesto for the Labour party. grin
I do have a couple of points to make though
*withdraw the troops from Afghanistan

*get rid of Hazel Blears

*where are the women in this election? It's very dominated by the men

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 14:19:21

We are a nation in debt. Without mentioning how 'it is gettin better' or avoiding the point what are you going to do to make it better?

Do you agree that some benefits should be cut in order to sort out our debt problem

AND WHY OH WHY haven't I had a reply to my letter I sent you yet? Come on, even something standard?

If you get re-elected where are the cuts going to come from to curb the countrys debt?

Also why since labour has been in power has the country gone politically correct mad? As an Brit born and bred, I feel like a minority in my own country, if people choose to come and live here from another country then that is their decision but they must abide by English rules and traditions after all we would if we chose to live in their country, when will the silliness end and british tradition come back to life?

ButterPie Mon 03-May-10 14:20:09

Yes purepurple i did find it a bit odd that there wasn't any woman on that debate stage at all. Not that we should just get a female PM for the sake of it, obviously, but it does seem odd...

Hassled Mon 03-May-10 14:20:28

I just want to wish you the very best of luck on Thursday. I will have everything well and truly crossed.

CaptainNancy Mon 03-May-10 14:21:45

Wow- short notice!

I want to know Gordon if you ever did "think fish!" ?

purepurple Mon 03-May-10 14:22:04

Good point Muppet, PC is madness. Gordon, will you turn the tide? Why can't I sing Baa Baa Black Sheep and read a story about 3 little pigs? It's not really offensive to anyone is it?

"when will the silliness end and british tradition come back to life?"

I wasn't aware that any of our traditions had died, MuppetsMuggle. That's a highly dubious statement to make.

All I'd like to say, Mr Brown, is good luck.

I really hope the Labour party does well, but I just can't see it happening.

So my question to you is "what one thing do you wish you had done better during this election campaign?"

NotSoRampantRabbit Mon 03-May-10 14:27:43

I have always voted labour and will continue to do so. But I do agree with posters who want to know more about the cuts that will be made next year. I really think that if you can be more explicit about these you will:

Garner more respect.

Force Cameron to be more upfront (which will hopefully shaft him).

I am very worried about what will happen under the Tories. I worked in homelessness for 10 years, starting in 1998 when there were hundreds of homeless people on the streets. Labour have done some fantastic things to support the most vulnerable and socially excluded members of society and have reduced levels of homelessness dramatically. What do you think will happen to the social exclusion agenda under a Conservative Gov?

who says you can't sing baa baa black sheep or tell the story of the 3 little pigs?

evidence please

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 14:28:58

Muppets Muggle - Well said!

I feel that the topic of immigration has been skirted around by almost all political parties. Not one person wants to take the reins and give an honest, committed and carefully considered statement.

This is not racism this is realism. For the people who are not yet affected by these issues, they may not understand the very strong feelings of those who live amidst a nation that has changed so rapidly. You may not have been affected by these issues yet but when it hits your doorstep you will understand the strong emotions this raises, I do not want to be a prophet of doom but if this continues these exact issues and experiences will visit you as well.

My mother-in-law’s family moved here from the Ukraine, my grandfather moved here from Germany and they both understood the opportunities that Britain gave, to work and live in harmony. This mentality seems to have disappeared. It appears that in efforts to make us united, the government has in fact created tension and anger.

Political Correctness has become very one-sided; the recent news story of the Christian man who has been found guilty in court for being unwilling to minister marriage advice to a gay couple is a perfect example of this. I have to ask myself if the story would have gained news coverage if the gentleman in question was Muslim.

The Muslim religion does not approve of homosexuals, they are anti-Semitic, there are no equal rights for women and it is a patriarchal society. Yet if a non Muslim was to air these views (which I am not advocating) they would be perceived as totally radical and bigoted, surely this is the worst kind of discrimination.

As I was keenly interested to find out if I was the only person who saw the similarities between the Muslim faith and the stereotype of one of our political parties, I wrote these Muslim ‘truths’ down and asked people whom they thought it represented. Every single one of them answered –BNP.

I can only come to the conclusion that in light of this information, the teachings of the Quran are very similar to those of the BNP party and horrifyingly, may even supersede it! The question that I ask is why is nobody attacking the Muslims the same way they do the BNP?

Members of Islam4UK should not be able to live in this country, on benefits whilst vocally and physically criticizing Britain and worse. Everyone is too scared to do anything about it in case of repercussions. Fifty years ago they would have been put into prison for treason and branded a traitor; instead the so called ‘British Muslims’ are given a slap on the wrist, or even worse protected by the same police force some abhor.

This country USED to be represented by the bulldog- a symbol representing power and strength, a breed that cannot be toppled. Now we are regarded as a lapdog - soft, soppy, pathetic and eager to please.

My grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and whilst discussing his will with my parents he stated that he has three worries. Two of these were of a personal nature and one was his fear that this country is being ‘invaded.’

There is no sense of duty or pride and even patriotism has become a dirty word.

MintHumbug Mon 03-May-10 14:28:59

I agree with flock and muppet about wanting to know the true extent of cuts or tax rises needed to dig us out of our dire economic situation. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that all of the three main political parties were not being clear with voters over the scale of the cuts needed to get Britain's £167&#8201;billion deficit under control.

I want to know if you are elected to lead the Austerity Government that is coming, which will be the least popular cuts or changes you will need to make?

magentadreamer Mon 03-May-10 14:29:56

As an NHS worker can we really believe that the NHS will be safer in your hands then David Camerons? Cuts will be needed but where do you propose to make these in the NHS?

Would you abolish Key Stage 2 SATS for 10/11 year olds?

"Who would he like to have as next leader of the Labour Party?"

NotSoRampantRabbit Mon 03-May-10 14:30:31

Oh and if you do get in a bold electoral reform agenda would be great. I live in a safe Conservative seat. My vote feels worthless and that makes me cross.


ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 14:31:36

''the teachings of the Quran are very similar to those of the BNP party'' do you mean similar to the bible there?

Muppet - the answer ot your question is because you are a bigot. You feel like a minority in "your own country" because you are a misguided bigot. You are not a minority, unless you actually are, but from the tone of your question, I assume you are white, and you are most certainly NOT a minority.

As for "PC gone mmmamaaaaaaaaddd!" confused This is just the spiel of bigots, annoyed that they can't get away with spouting bile any more.

Gordon - What are the chances of you taking Dave out in a fist fighting smackdown before the election? Someone has to do something!

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 14:34:22

No not at all.

The OT may have some scriptures but they are not followed anymore due to the NT being written.

So I think you will find that the bible that modern day Christians follow and the Quran are VERY different.

theyoungvisiter Mon 03-May-10 14:34:57

See, there's no such thing as one visit to mumsnet. It's so addictive even the PM is back for more.

My question: what do you think would be the effect of a hung parliament, if this happened?

Good luck on the 6th!

LilyBolero Mon 03-May-10 14:35:17

Gordon - good luck on Thursday, I am terrified of the idea of a Cameron led Govt!

What do you think is the 'fairest' form of taxation? And how will you avoid the 'middle income' voters yet again being hammered the most by any changes in taxation. Our household income is 55k, so we are hammered for everything, because most of it is earned by dh (I can't make enough in my work to cover childcare!). But in any sort of 'means tested taxation/benefits', the number of dependents is ignored - from next week or so we will be a house of 2 adults, and 4 children. But the tax system does not ever take this into account.

(Just to add, I do work, but have to work from home as can't afford childcare).

ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 14:36:43

what pffft said.

ahundredtimes Mon 03-May-10 14:37:18

Mr Brown,

I really find the media's approach to you has been damned if you do and damned if you don't - and I want you to know that I hope people mostly see through that, and I think you're a properly good guy with deep personal moral conviction, which as a quality should always be respected. Regardless of how you intend to vote. Thank you, just had to say that. grin

My question is:

How will you curb or control the City's behaviour in the future - to ensure that our whole economy isn't entirely hitched to the financial free-wheeling of the markets?

I know this is a complex question that it might be hard to give an easy answer to - and if you gave a full one, I probably wouldn't understand it smile - but in simple terms, is it possible?

KeithTalent Mon 03-May-10 14:39:31


Islam really isn'e anti-Semitic,

calm down dear

GeorginaWorsley Mon 03-May-10 14:40:24

Why is my NHS trust employer cutting 'front line staff' if the NHS is safe in your hands?
And that is before the election.
By front line I mean nursing staff.We are a busy paediatric unit managing by the skin of our teeth,and we are being asked to lose nurses.
I don't want scare stories of what the Conservatives will do,I want to know why this is happening on your watch,if the NHS is safe in your hands.

purepurple Mon 03-May-10 14:41:31

oi, dragon, you can only use quotation marks if you are directly quoting someone, and you haven't
you have twisted what has been said, you haven't even paraphrased properly.
How you can judge somebody from just one sentence, I don't know. You must be very clever hmm

ahundredtimes Mon 03-May-10 14:42:32

or else you're just really obvious purple?

LeninGrad Mon 03-May-10 14:44:40

Best of luck and thanks for all the great measures that have benefited me under a Labour govt, especially all the equality legislation.

We have to close the income gap whilst encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurship. How can this be done?

It will be very difficult for us all to see more redundancies and loss of services when chief executives are on 70/80 times the earnings of the average worker.

Is he planning to become a Eurocrat when he leaves Parliament?

Come on, I want to know where it states that we cannot sing baa baa black sheep or read the 3 little pigs please

Or are you just spouting nonsense ?

Will he give me his opinion on Berlusconi now? I doubt it grin

Well, dear GB I'll keep my fingers crossed for you from Italy.

purepurple Mon 03-May-10 14:48:38

well, it's not obvious to me
This is the sort of thing I meant.

pure purple - My PC point was directed more widely to everyone I have ever met who uses the phrase "PC gone mad"

As for the rest, I wasn't paraphrasing - I think that when people ask why it is they feel like a minority in their own country they deserve to hear the answer. And the answer is that they are bigoted. That is the only answer, as it isn't anywhere NEAR true for a start.

Becauseimworthit, I don't see much English tradition round here, not allowed Christmas lights in town as might offend some people, can't sing certain nursery rhymes in school as politically incorrect it's just silly.

ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 14:50:06

sorry but rofl at a link to fox news!!!

omnishambles Mon 03-May-10 14:50:28

Gordon - good luck for this and for Thursday.

My question is how can you reconvince those of the white working-class that have moved to the BNP to come back to the Labour Party and do you think enough has been done about this disenfranchisement at a national level?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 03-May-10 14:51:46

Very good question GeorginaWorsley. Please make sure you answer this one Gordon.

omnishambles Mon 03-May-10 14:51:54

Oh and whats your Tory candidate name? grin

ahundredtimes Mon 03-May-10 14:52:35

Oh I see. I don't know, that's one head teacher's decision isn't it? That's her call, I guess. It might be a misguided one.

I honestly think our society in general has become much more relaxed and understanding and liberal I guess in the last 20 years or so, I think prejudice and ignorance are now not seen as generally okay. I think that's a good thing really.

I don't feel particularly embattled tbh

Hey I've got no problem with other cultures, religions etc but I do have a problem with things I've been brought up with taken away and things I can't share with my children as they may offend other religions/cultures surely if they opted to live in britain then they must just have to live with the English things that happen here - for instance Christmas lights etc!

LeninGrad Mon 03-May-10 14:56:30

Could you maybe start another thread for general discussion stuff please?

so muppets - your children are not allowed to sing any nursery rhymes at school in case they offend people? Or are these just passed on stories and tales that you have picked up at you White Minorities Anonymous meetings?

Main concern is where the cuts for spending are going to come from to help clear britains mounting debts?!

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Amapoleon Mon 03-May-10 14:59:48

Gordon, I would just like to wish you good luck. I hope you win and I don't think you deserve the negative press that you have been given. I am of the generation of Thatcher's children and I never want to go back there.

Igglybuff Mon 03-May-10 14:59:50


If Labour do not win on Thursday, what will be the one thing you regret not doing in your time as chancellor/PM?


They changed words in the song baa baa black sheep as might offend some people - just silly.

I'm not racist or prejudice in anyway alot of my friends are from all different cultures and i'm offended at your comment.

Hello Gordon,

I too would like to know what you think would be the fairest way to increase taxes.

I also want to say that tax credits helped me to stand on my own as a single parent after I split up with ex. My family and I have always had excellent care from the NHS and I really do feel grateful that I have spent the majority of my adult life under a Labour government.

Also, I think you have shown in the debates and with Paxman that you have a good sense of humour that hasn't come across previously, you do good poker face!

Finally, good luck and just wondering if you have watched this, yah?

longfingernails Mon 03-May-10 15:03:22

Why were we running a deficit BEFORE the recession hit? Was it because you thought you had abolished boom and bust?

TheJollyPirate Mon 03-May-10 15:03:44

The Baa Baa black sheep ban goes waaayyy back - certainly pre 1997. Remember it being news when I was a student midwife back in 1991.

LittleRock Mon 03-May-10 15:04:03

Mr Brown, I'd like to know how you can convince me to vote Labour again please.

I am in my 40s, and have always voted Labour up until now.

I have two children with specific learning difficulties, for whom I have had to fight the LEA tooth and nail in order to get some extra support for them in class (I lost the fight, btw).

The state school system does not provide an appropriate/suitable (whatever the current 'buzz word' is) education for my children, despite that being its' remit.

I believe that 'our' involvement in the Iraq war was illegal, and that no-one has been made accountable for their actions.

I think the Expenses Row will have already been covered, but it made me sick to my stomach, along with the rest of us mere mortals.

I am finding the lack of any discernible difference between the two main parties rather disconcerting.

So, as a lefty who once believed fervently in the state school system, and that my government was basically honest and reliable, I'm sure you can see my quandry?

I am being asked to vote to return an unelected Prime Minister / party leader to a government that has let me down, and, FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY, has let down my children.

And that is the part that is unforgiveable.


Beaaware Mon 03-May-10 15:06:00

Mr.Brown, Real Issues that matter, SAFE BLOOD, I would like to ask you what the Labour party's policies are regarding the screening of all UK blood donors to avoid the spread of vCJD? Filtering kits do not screen individual blood donors. At present France screens Blood Donors individually using the latest blood test screening kits from Amorfix Life Sciences, this prevents infected blood from being passed on through medical procedures. Why is the UK lagging behind France when we are classed as a high risk nation for vCJD deaths? Come and meet the families and friends of victims who have died from vCJD, we will be at Portcullis House, opposite Big Ben on Tuesday 4th May 2010 from 11.30am , these are real health issues that most people are not informed about when they have a blood transfusion.
Does Labour care?

alienbump Mon 03-May-10 15:07:21

I'd like to know how the PM feels about England following Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland and forming a "devolved parliament" of their own. I'm interested if he would be in favour of this or if not why not?

Muppets, I take issue with this, maybe you could explain it for me

As an Brit born and bred, I feel like a minority in my own country, if people choose to come and live here from another country then that is their decision but they must abide by English rules and traditions after all we would if we chose to live in their country

In what ways do you feel like a minority? How does this happen when it is so far from the truth? Do you mean you feel like a minority because of allowances made for other cultures present in this country?

The second part of your statement is so far from true it is laughable. British expats go abroad and live in Spain, in little English communities, refusing to speak the language and buying Marmite!

I am staunchly proud of the multi-cultural aspect of Britain and the relatively liberal way in which we live here. I love to see different people living together, different languages. By all means, preserve Bristishness, but I don't see why we have to preserve it at the same time as pushing everything else out.

We're all just people, no?

SuSylvester Mon 03-May-10 15:08:21

Hello gordon,
nice to meet you at the MN party - sorry i said " think fish" to you.
I still have my master idea I mentioned to you and its this.
If you are awarded compensation in court and the offender pays say £5 a week to you, you as the victim only get £5 a week, which to be honest is an insult and for some vulnerable victims is more traumatic than the offence itself.

When the victim surcharge £15 was introduced (dont get me started on that lunacy - how come someone who whacks someone and is punished by a community order doesnt pay it yet a speeder on an empty motorway does?) it was thought that this would create a lump sum that this would solve this but it didnt.

SO that is my suggestion. Cna you sort it out please.

Ivykaty44 Mon 03-May-10 15:09:02

Why did you take away the ten pence tax and leave National Insurance the same - it would have raised more money to change NI and leave the 10p tax.

I did email my own labour MP on this matter and James Plaskit siad it would be ok we will give you more benifts sad

Why take it away from so they are effected the most?

I don't want to rely on benifits I want to earn my own money

drloves8 Mon 03-May-10 15:09:10

mr Brown , if your re-elected can you please do something about the housing situation...most homes are too expensive for the average family to buy(unless they have 1 child and two or more well paid jobs).
The torys sold off the council houses years ago , but the promised replacements were never built and so there is a lack of affordable housing.
Most private landlords abuse the fact there are is lack of rental property, so they overcharge. Loads of families in are living in almost unbearable circumstances .
What will labour do to solve this?.

Beachcomber Mon 03-May-10 15:09:30

Welcome back to MN Mr Brown.

I also want to say that I think you are a man of integrity and moral conviction. I hope you will continue to be our PM.

I don't have a question but will follow the thread with interest.

Good Luck on Thursday!

thesecondcoming Mon 03-May-10 15:11:23

gordon-no question,i was wavering to going over to the libdems for this election so please please don't let me down.
that's it-just don't let us down-and good luck for thursday.
(oh,and some people say you shouldn't do 'humour' or 'smiling' when you're on telly-i disagree,as long as it's genuine smiling)
oh-and you SO shouldn't have apologised to the little old lady bigot you should've told her that her opinions were bigoted,and that the eastern europeans were most likely to be coming from erm eastern europe.

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 15:14:05

Why are UK Nationals outside the UK not allowed a national ID card?

I actually support this system as it makes sense. Several other European countries have it and provide ID cards to their own citizens abroad so it strikes me as deeply illogical that British people living outside Britain for whatever reason aren't allowed to have a National ID card to prove their nationality, especially as we're more likely to be living in a country where we do have to carry some form of ID at all times. Will you change this rule?

And please don't make the mistake of thinking that your answer doesn't matter because I (and lots of other expats) won't be voting. I have a one word comeback for that: Proxy

alienbump Mon 03-May-10 15:14:46

Oh and Muppetmuggle, I'm not sure who told you that christmas lights had been banned in your town but maybe they were just trying to save you from Lisa Riley??:

"The 2009 Portsmouth Christmas Lights Switch-on will be on Thursday 19th November. Always a popular event, the Portsmouth Christmas Lights Switch-on will launch the countdown to Christmas in the City. There will be live entertainment from 4pm including a mass Karaoke in the Cascades. The Portsmouth Christmas Lights will be switched on by Lisa Riley (appearing in Aladdin at the Kings Theatre) and the evening will be rounded off with a fireworks finale."

ButterPie Mon 03-May-10 15:15:00

OK, a serious question here, what should I say to the people who say they will not vote Labour because they are scared about the future for Home Education? My children aren't even old enough for school yet, but I would like to at least have the choice, and ideally help, to home educate if it is appropiate.

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 15:15:29

'This system' being having ID cards.

Multi cultural society is a good thing ESP as my DD will learn how other cultures live etc - I just don't agree with others coming here not bothering to learn a language but kicking up a fuss that something goes against their religion etc so have that britishness taken away iykwim seems like the britishness is being pushed out completly . I worked for an insurance company regularly had people call for a policy but couldn't speak English and couldn't understand a word, also regularly got threatened by men who would only speak to another man as in their country culture women knew nothing and didn't have the right to do what I did.

dittany Mon 03-May-10 15:16:23

Can you explain exactly why we have such a massive deficit?

Just paying off the banks (who now seem to be back in profit and have paid us back) doesn't seem to make sense.

If it's public spending, then why wasn't that causing such a huge deficit before.

I'm going to leave the thread as will only cause more outrage - apologise to anyone I've offended

Doobydoo Mon 03-May-10 15:20:46

Agree that you shouldn't have aplologised and 'pretended'you misunderstood!
You are leader of Labour Party and should stick to your guns...I think you are badly advised by little boys in suits and that you should ask Mandelson to go and follow your own path and have the courage of your convictions.Maybe you and Vince Cable and a few others should get together.

MollieO Mon 03-May-10 15:25:56

Gosh not sure if he is being brave or stupid!

My question would be how do you feel about forming a coalition government? Will you be replacing Alistair with Vince as Chancellor (good move if you do)?

TeaOneSugar Mon 03-May-10 15:26:08

Hi Gordon,

If protecting jobs is essential to the economic recovery, why is it acceptable to put jobs at risk in the public sector?

The NHS is being asked to make 30% management savings, which will mean redundancies. I work in a commissioning PCT and we are already stretched, there are no managers or administrators that I'm aware of sitting about twiddling their thumbs.

When the NHS has made the 30% savings, will the DOH accept that we won't have the capacity to give "targets" and "must does" the attention it currently demands.

Having said that I will be voting labour this week, the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 15:28:58

Hi Gordon. Twice I wrote to you inviting you over for a cup of tea to talk about disablity issues. Not even a minion bothered to reply. David Cameron came over (in all the papers) and listened.
So what will you do about the stupid 4 nappy a day rule for a doubly incontinent disabled child?
What will you do to increase respite care so carers don't collapse and put their disabled children in care?
How will you help carers keep their jobs?

drloves8 Mon 03-May-10 15:29:05

Can you also do something about the "neds" please ? Currently , the local "ned" we have is enjoying luxury outings that the children/teenagers of the decent hard working families cannot afford. WHY ?.... because he is being rewarded for all his hoolanganism by the social work, paid for by our taxes .Please stop this , he is being taught how to continue to be a "ned" , like many before who grow up to be fully fledged criminals.
Can you not bring in a law to punish him (and those like him) instead? ...or at least make his parents pay for his treats.

dittany Mon 03-May-10 15:29:21

Gordon, is there any chance you'll go back to your old labour roots, and stop pandering to the capitalists and the bankers? I think you lost your way when you did that. I had a lot of hope for you.

mollymawk Mon 03-May-10 15:31:51

I support all the questions about where the cuts are going to be.

We are not (all) stupid. We know by now that we have all been benefiting for some years from the Government spending on us more than we give it in taxes, and that we now really have to start making up the difference. Thus things will not be so good for any of us for some while, whoever the next Government is. We also know this is better than going bankrupt, where we will then have no choice about how we do it.

So, what is your approach going to be to this? (Seconding requests for details and no mention of other parties please).

cornsilk Mon 03-May-10 15:32:56

Hello Gordon and good luck for Thursday.

Slur Mon 03-May-10 15:33:14


Given the increase in scaremongering media headlines and the possibility of some successes for the BNP in places like Barking, do you agree it is irresponsible to pander to the right wing misrepresentation of immigrants swamping the country and abusing our welfare provision by only talking about how to control borders and keep people out?

If you are elected will you show you reject xenophobia and bigotry by celebrating the diversity of our country and the massive contribution that non English born residents make to our economy and the richness of our culture?

And further, will you also be bold enough to show humanity and allow asylum seekers to work and live in safety in the UK?

drloves8 Mon 03-May-10 15:35:12

I too second the stupid 4 nappy a day rule ...and whats going on with the education service ... the special needs assistant at our local school is on a temp contract and doesnt know one term to the next if hes still employed- worrying for the parents who depend on the support for their childrens education.

Quattrocento Mon 03-May-10 15:37:42

Greece's budget deficit as a percentage of GDP is 13.6%. The UK's is 11.5%. Germany's is 3.3%. We've retained our AAA rating largely because our debts are not yet due for repayment.

We need to ensure, as a nation, that our income is greater than our expenditure, and we don't want to leave our children a bankrupt country with a lifetime of debt to repay.

Will the PM tell us what steps he is proposing to take in terms of cutting spending?

Wiseoldelf Mon 03-May-10 15:39:41

Hi Gordon,
What are the plans for all the shares that the government owns in the banks?

Obviously, they can't all be sold at once, or the prices will crash again; so how long would you hang onto them for?

If you 'broke even' on the money that was pumped into the banks, how far would that pay off the national debt?

By the way, I just want to echo what a lot of people on here have already said. Generally I think you are a good chap (who cares if you have a temper) and you have been on the end of an unbelievable amount of crap from the press over non stories(bigotgate and the letters to soldiers families, to name a couple).
How do you deal with these personnal attacks?

animula Mon 03-May-10 15:39:59

Welcome back, Gordon, and Good Luck for Thursday.

softhoney Mon 03-May-10 15:42:59

I have total faith in you Gordon Brown. Under the Labour Government since 1997, I have gone to university, qualified as a solicitor and had 3 children (I am now 32). At times, things were hard, but I believe that Labour policies and values have had a significant role in helping me get where I am today.

The only issue I would have is with being able to afford quality childcare for three children. It is a virtual impossibility and at times it seems pointless me working. We are not eligible for child tax credit, yet my childcare bill is 1600 pcm, which is pretty much most of my wages after tax and work travel costs. Ironically it would be better for me to take a lesser paid job, leave my husband and claim childcare tax credits .

Where do people like me figure in your future policies?

TheFirstLady Mon 03-May-10 15:43:36

Mr Brown, I have three daughters who I very much hope will have the same opportunities that I did to go to university and pursue their studies in whatever direction their intellectual curiosity leads them.
Yesterday's newspapers suggest that the outcome of Lord Browne's review may be a recommendation that universities should be allowed to charge the full cost of courses - meaning that fees of up to £14,000 could be a reality for many students.
How do you think Britain is going to maintain world-class research and retain its intellectual credibility if the brightest students are discouraged from pursuing career paths which are intellectually demanding but notoriously badly paid, such as research, because of the potentially enormous debt they will accrue in the process.
What do my husband and I say to our children, who know we have supported the Labour Party all our adult lives because we believe in those fundamental values that it espouses - namely a committment to fairness and equality for all - when they ask why they don't have the same opportunities to pursue the very best education Britain has to offer, as children from wealthier families?

Why did you make up lies on Labour party leaflets for this election saying that the Tories were going to cut benefits for pensioners such as bus passes, fuel allowance, tv licenses?

Molesworth Mon 03-May-10 15:45:20

Hello Mr Brown - I too want to wish you good luck for Thursday. Be assured, there are very, very many of us who have no wish to see the tories back in power!

My question is, given the inevitability of deep public spending cuts over the next few years, can our continued military presence in Afghanistan really be justified? Would this money not be better spent on maintaining essential public services?

No question but you have my vote

softhoney Mon 03-May-10 15:50:04

Forgot to say too, that my husband and I will be supporting you on Thursday. Best of luck.

abdnhiker Mon 03-May-10 15:50:49

I've a few other questions but the only one that really counts is the one about the deficit:

"Why did you allow the country to run this deficit before the recession and how can we eliminate it now and in the next decade?"

Obviously you don't feel the same way about debt as I do, we don't live beyond our means as a family but we have been as a country, even when times were good. It's the most important issue to my children's future in my opinion.

woosam Mon 03-May-10 15:52:07

I just want to say good luck for Thursday. You have my vote even though it's unlikely to make a difference as I live in Tatton where Mr O is unlikely to lose.

Electoral reform; Please!!!

Two other quick points. Firstly, I genuinely admire your intellectual capabilities and despite being well educated myself, I have no qualms about accepting that you're the brightest cherry on the bunch. However, please, please don't think this means that the entire electorate is stupid. We know we're in debt and we know that private conversations are meant to stay that way.

This brings me to my second point. I have yet to speak to anyone who doesn't believe the 'bigot' incident was blown out of proportion by the media or who claims to now see you in a different light. Whether they agreed with you or not. However, I'm afraid the trip back up to Rochdale and the cringing apology and 'misunderstanding' statement is what most people are laughing about.

Still, the thought of a Tory government makes me shudder.

abdnhiker Mon 03-May-10 15:53:32

Softhoney you've asked my second question - I'm a SAHM with a PhD in physics because of the cost of decent childcare. I'm pretty sure that families like ours aren't a priority in anyone's government plans. Pity - I'd pay a ton of taxes once my boys are in school if I could afford to work now.

Bumperliouzzzzzz Mon 03-May-10 15:53:40

Gordon (can I call you Gordon? - Wait, that's not my question!) can you explain why you sold of the majority of the country's gold when you were chancellor? I don't understand it and can't seem to find an explanation as to why (but then I am an economics numpty).

Is it just a case of 'hindsight is a wonderful thing'?

If you hadn't you could be sending it in little envelopes to Gloria Huniford and Dale Winton, apparently they'll give you lots of cash for it grin

Seriously though, my opinion is that I am Labour in ethos but it is just hard to defend some of the actions that have gotten us into this financial mess. I'm finding it harder to find reasons to vote Labour. In fact I won't be voting Labour, I'll be voting Lib Dem to keep the Tories out. Hopefully with electoral reform I won't have to in the future.

Ledodgy Mon 03-May-10 15:55:04

Hello Gordon,

Will you be getting rid of Primary SATS especially those for Year 2s? They have no real value and more strength should be placed on teacher assessment. Schools are using valuable teaching time to groom children for these particular tests rather than giving them a good all round education.

Also will you start doing Ofsted reports without pre-warning the schools?

PS. Next time you are in the same room as David Cameron can you trip him up for me? wink

Ledodgy Mon 03-May-10 15:55:28

Hello Gordon,

Will you be getting rid of Primary SATS especially those for Year 2s? They have no real value and more strength should be placed on teacher assessment. Schools are using valuable teaching time to groom children for these particular tests rather than giving them a good all round education.

Also will you start doing Ofsted reports without pre-warning the schools?

PS. Next time you are in the same room as David Cameron can you trip him up for me? wink

ben10isgr8 Mon 03-May-10 15:56:00

Hi Gordon. I agree with ppers regarding "bigotgate" People I have spoken to online and in real life don't think you should have appologised and the recording (while avoidable) actually made people warm to you. These things happen to us all.

I am another voice calling for real honesty about cuts ...I have already sent my vote for Labour! grin I also persuaded dh to vote labour rather than SNP this time wink.

We know cuts are coming and are all waiting for real answers.

The debates were interesting but to be honest all the point scoring, not answering, he said/she said blather gets very irritating. I want honest politics and honest politicians.

IagreewithNick Mon 03-May-10 15:56:24

I just want an answer on which services are going to be cut. I would also like to ask if he thinks we have become too dependent on tax credits.

Muppet and co I have just come back from watching Morris Dancers while eating a cream tea and drinking English Ale. When I ran a mother and toddler group we told the story of the 3 pigs and often sang baa baa black sheep, we were never once ambushed by the police. I am quite secure in my English heritage, maybe the fact you are not is more to do with you than anything else.

I now feel a little rude, this is a thread for our PM and I have spent more time talkig to a muppet.

policywonk Mon 03-May-10 15:58:44

Hello Gordon. Fingers crossed for Thursday.

In hindsight, do you wish you'd gone further in reform of the electoral system over the last 13 years? If you had, wouldn't you now be sitting fairly pretty, regarding the prospect of a sound mandate for a Lib-Lab government?

ellaeleven Mon 03-May-10 15:59:02

Mr Brown,

I am so worried that as of Friday I may be repeating what my parents had to do and that is bring up my children under a Conservative government. Despite being a chid at the time I remember how hard it was for them, as well as the high level of crime. Please do whatever it takes (campaign through the night, agree to the reform the Lib Dems want if you can enter a pact) to ensure we dont go back to those dark days of the eighties. My child goes to an excellent school and I recently gave birth in a hospital which has improved vastly under your government. Yes there is still much to do but I believe your party has the best interests of the many over the privledged few. Good Luck

rosieposey Mon 03-May-10 16:00:03

Hello Gordon, i just want to say that without a Labour government i would have been up the creek without a paddle when i found myself a single parent of three young daughters 7 years ago.

I didnt realise until i was in the postion of needing help myself how much Labour have done to help people out who are vunerable and in dire straits. My question is, we all know that there is no money left in the pot and that getting us anywhere near back on our feet will require huge cuts to the public sector, why haven't any of the parties been honest about this - including yourselves?

I think everybody knows that whoever gets in on Thursday will have inherited a poisoned chalice but i think honesty would gain you far more votes and give your party a lot more respect from potential voters.

I will vote for Labour on Thursday, good luck Gordon

Molesworth Mon 03-May-10 16:01:59

PS I think your campaign team should put Tony firmly back in his box confused

jonicomelately Mon 03-May-10 16:02:25

Can I say that I want you to know that despite what Paxman said to you not everybody hates you. Some people appreciate you have been true to yourself during this campaign and respect you for that.

Should you lose the election (which I pray to God you don't) I want to wish you the best of luck in the future. I'm sure that you'll be welcomed with open arms in the City or Harvard University or wherever it may be that will appreciate a first-class brain.

You seem to have people around you, your family, who really admire and care for you. Who cares what journos and the electorate think when you have that smile

Good luck.

Meglet Mon 03-May-10 16:03:14

Well, I've got bath and bedtime to negotiate this evening so I might miss it all, but it's safe to say labour has got my support anyway. Good luck on Thursday, not looking great at the moment but stranger things have happened.

Tax credits = good (and Thank God). I work part time for low paid local government and we would be screwed without them.

On the whole I just don't trust the tories not to be their old 1980's bigoted selves so despite DC seeming like a good bloke (and I have grudging respect for Ken Clarke) they won't have my vote.

And to settle any arguments I think my homemade double choc bics are the best.

Madsometimes Mon 03-May-10 16:04:15

Mr Brown

I understand that you say that the economy is too fragile for cuts to be made in 2010, and so you will delay cuts until 2011.

If the economy is still showing weakness in 2011, does that mean that you will further delay cuts, or will you carry on with your planned cuts regardless?

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 16:08:38

hello Gordon.

Why do you keep telling everyone that treatment in the NHS takes 18 weeks from point of refferal?

It doesn't in reality.

I have severe problems with my back and pelvis. On 1st June 2009 I was refered by my pelvic surgeon to a spinal surgeon in the same hospital. I saw the spinal surgeon at the end of July last year and it was decided that I needed an operation which would be done by both surgeons.

The operation was scheduled for October, but was cancelled through lack of beds. I had it reschdeuled for February this year.

On the day of the operation I arrived at the hospital at 7.30 to be told there wasn't any beds and to sit and wait to see what happened. I sat in a hard, plastic uncomfortable chair until 4.20pm when they decided they could do one side of my back and there would 'probably' be a bed for me when I came back from theatre.

I had the op and saw my surgeon 6 weeks later. He wasn't happy with my recovery and stressed the importance of another appointment 6 weeks later.

That was 22nd March and my appointment is now booked for 28th June. This is because, Gordon, the hospital budget has been reduced and so frontline services have been cut. Why is this? It is worse than when I worked in the NHS in the late 80's and early 90's.

I have 2 teenage boys who'd like to ask you a question each.

DS1 (15) would like to know if you and Sarah have started packing yet and if Pickfords are doing your removals.

Ds2 (13) says How is Sue, and did you punish her?

Ledodgy Mon 03-May-10 16:09:21

Gordon, in the same vein as some states in America on election day Can I ask for a national holiday being declared on Friday if you do get in again? I, like so many others want to stay up until the early hours watching the election and this is not conducive to work or the schoolrun the next morning. In fact if you start mentioning this one off national holiday in your campaign for the next few days you will undoubtedly win more votes.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 16:10:37

Reminder folks of our webchat rules and in particular only one question each - sorry should have put this in webchats topic and they would have been at the top of the page!

Nymphadora Mon 03-May-10 16:11:18

Hi Gordon just want to say good luck for Thursday and please start ignoring your spin people as they make things look worse!

People are talking of cuts to the public sector who ever gets in. Do you have specific areas in mind?

Dh is in education and I am in Social care. Both of us see tremendous waste higher up in the chain and major shortages on the ground yet there has been talk of not filling posts.

Dh is in particular wanting less goverment initiatives as they increase his work dramatically.He now has 3 f/t staff doing work that was done by 1 5 years ago. Is this likely to improve?

I would like reforms in Social Care to increase staff on the ground which would give massive decreases in staff sickness. I know when I am on maternity leave I will not be covered which leaves a gap in my team but the department budgets are set expecting staffing to be at 90%. how can cuts be made to this situation and still ensure the work is carried out?

LadyBlaBlah Mon 03-May-10 16:12:59

I would just like to ask if Sue is still your friend?

<FWIW, I think Mrs Duffy did use Bigoted language and it was fair game what you said. ( I would not have apologised for what I said but thats a whole new argument) However, you have been totally victimised by Murdoch and his cronies. If you don't get back in on Thursday, please make it your life's work to do something about the way the press operate in this country. It is sickening - not just for you, but for many other people and groups of people caught up in their sick games>

justaboutkeepingawake Mon 03-May-10 16:15:11

So where precisely does the Labour party now stand on continence policies for disabled children?
Are you definitely going to get rid of the 4-nappies a day policy, and make it possible for parents of disabled children to access free pull-ups (thus rendering eventual toilet training more likely?) *We know what David Cameron will do. What about you?*

And my son wants to know, what food will you be eating whilst you watch the election results? In our house it will be Doritos.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 03-May-10 16:17:00

Here's the thing:

I like you. I really do but I find it hard to vote for a party that wants to continue the following:

1. ID cards for anyone. The erosion of civil liberties is frightening.

2. Trident. Its over-priced and depends on the Americans actually letting us use it. How is it our nuclear deterrent? I know you told me last time, that we were only replacing 2/3s but I still think its a hypocritical violation of our nuclear, non-proliferation treaties.

We could focus the money from these onto employment schemes for 16-25 year olds, funding for SN provision in both mainstream and specialist schools, and early literacy/numeracy provision.

I second calls for electoral reform and the control Murdoch has of the media. The man is scary.

unfitmother Mon 03-May-10 16:18:39

Good luck Mr Brown!

How do you propose to bring about electral reform?

MrJustAbout Mon 03-May-10 16:19:41

Mr Prime Minister,

Your achievements of the past 13 years in focusing effort on the poor are about to be eliminated by a Tory government. In the interests of both the UK and your own legacy, would you step aside in order allow a Lib-Lab coalition to form?

HerBeatitude Mon 03-May-10 16:19:41

Mr Brown, the conviction rate for reported rapes is 6%. Most reported rapes don't make it to court. Most rapes aren't even reported. In effect, men in this country have a license to rape women. The measures Harriet Harman (and the labour government) have been putting in place, have made no difference - we're still getting cases where it is very obvious that the men involved have not ensured consent and yet they are getting away with rape, because their lives are considered more valuable than those of women. What are you going to do about it if you are re-elected?

Nymphadora Mon 03-May-10 16:27:50

Ooh another question, bit of a local issue basically if Trident goes pretty much a whole town here will collapse. Obviously a good way to save money etc but is there a way that they can be supported to redirect ghe industry rather than letting the local economy collapse?

chocolatebourbon Mon 03-May-10 16:39:16

We know that female politicians exist and are working hard, but why their low profile in the election campaigns?

There is much more media coverage of the party leaders' wives - totally irrelevant and demeaning.

This, together with the constant bigotted focus on immigration, makes me feel that this country is moving backwards.

NotYetAMum1 Mon 03-May-10 16:41:15

Hello Mr Brown.

We have been unable to afford a house for a number of years.

The reasons for rising prices are always shrouded in mist in the political/media debate.

What would you say to the following accusations?

In his 1997 budget, Brown abolished dividend tax credits on pension funds. Companies saw the writing on the wall and immediately ended their final salary pension schemes to new employees shortly after the 'Brown raid'. They also started to cut down on the number of people with long final salary pension service and worked towards ending a scheme which would no longer be viable.
* The CBI opposed Browns Tax credit cuts. Even the treasury and No.10 opposed them. [But Mr Brown made the cuts anyway.]

2.] By abolishing the pensions tax credit, the yield for institutional funds across the entire market fell by 20 per cent. Few people outside the City understood the change and hardly any MPs protested. But Whitehall papers produced under the Freedom of Information act showed that Mr Brown was warned by his officials and by the Treasury that there would be dire consequences.
They warned it would wipe £50bn off the value of funds, and that shares could drop by up to 20 per cent and public sector pensions would need topping up.
* The value of pension funds have since lost around £5bn per year since the 1997 tax relief cuts. Pension funds holding the cash that almost everyone in the country had planned to use for our retirement have lost around £100 billion over the last 12 years.

3.] The advice Mr Brown was given by this Treasury Paper, in 1997 was as follows:

'The changes in incentives are likely to lead to substantial changes in portfolios. Pension funds will find equity relatively less attractive, and will prefer other assets – particularly interest bearing securities and foreign equity – and may also be prompted to consider more direct property investment.'

Those funds were then channelled into fuelling an unsustainable property bubble, BTL portfolios, which developed because of Labours complete lack of regulation of the Banks.This was followed by ever increasing toxic mortgage debt, and this was followed by the bank bailouts.

This is just one example of Gordon Browns incompetent decision making which helped to create the cornerstone of the debt bubble.

4.] In the ten years previous to Mr Browns Raid on pensions, From 1987 to 1997 the Average House Price rose from £40k to £55k.
A 33.3% rise over ten years.
From 1997 [post pension tax dividend cuts] to 2007, the Average House Price rose from £55k to £190k [Nationwide Building Society figures]
A staggering 245% increase over the same period. [Ten years.]

The UK debt bubble stopped inflating at the end of 2003.

But then, Chancellor Brown removed housing costs from the inflation index (in December 2003, from RPI to CPI), despite Bank of England's opposition, to force the Bank to keep interest rates low. Too low.

The UK should not be facing the debt we are facing, and The Labour Party are guilty of gross fiscal mismanagement and criminal negligence.

Why should a younger generation pay for your debt?
Whilst keeping your house prices artificially inflated?
We are in effect paying for your houses, whilst being unable to afford our own.

We have already been forced to waste tens of thousands in rent over the last nine to ten years.
We are being forced into Debt Bondage.

Many hundreds of thousnads of disenchanted people, completely priced out of the housing market for a decade are looking at the Lib Dems.

The Tories, seem only interested in making the 'debt more affordable to pay,' as a pose to 'tackling the debt itself.'

You said in 1997 'I will not let House Prices get out of control.'

Tell the people about the debt transfer. Tell them how UNFAIR this is.
Tell the Truth.

Thankyou Very Much

flockwallpaper Mon 03-May-10 16:42:53

We have once again close to 3 million unemployed. What is a labour government going to do to encourage small and medium sized businesses to grow and take on new staff?

NonnoMum Mon 03-May-10 16:44:02

Mr Brown, I think you've had a pretty rough ride as PM - inheriting camera-friendly Mr Blair's leftovers (Iraq and Afganistan) and then the world economy nearly collapsed about us.

Are you REALLY the safest pair of hands on the economy? I'd like to think so, and appreciate all the recent work on assisting family budgets (VAT, CTF etc) and working on eradicating third world debt back in the day. But, selling off the gold worries me, as does our huge national debt.

I don't mind that you're not the smiliest man around - I need that in my pop stars not my MPs, but I would like a straightforward answer on this...

I want to know how the Labour party plans to help the self employed - at the moment the tax credit system is dreadful for the self employed. HMRC just don't seem to be able to cope if your income/work hours change from week to week. The same is true of Council tax benefit. Despite earning around £10K as a family last year our council tax claim was rejected in effect because my husband is self employed and earns varying amounts from week to week, month to month. We are basically living off the equity in our home and have been for 5 years - we have put £15K on our mortgage just through living expenses. We live a modest life and have a 2 bed semi and 2 young boys. We can't go on like this forever. Why not make it easier for the self employed to claim in lean times then sign off when the work slows down. Oh because perhaps you'd just prefer we didn't work at all and just claimed benefit...

And while we're on about jobs, what about the job centre. That computer system is dreadful - everyone I know prefers the old system where you just went in and browsed the boards for local jobs. It's so hard to filter down and is only any good if you know the exact job you are looking for. Perhaps more people would be off benefits if you sorted this out!

onadietcokebreak Mon 03-May-10 16:53:06

I have already voted Lib Dem...If I didnt I would have been giving my vote to Conservatives by default. The labour candidate is not even running an active campaign here....We need electrol reform and the STV.

**Question re private sector renting***

There needs to be reform to ensure that the level of private rent charges is more compartative to social housing.

The cost of a 2 bed house in this region is £137 per week (averageLHA figure its actually a little more) Social housing is in the region of £70 per week. Thats almost 100 % difference

We need to look at the private sector and ensure tenants have more security of tenure and cheaper they can put down roots and have a sense of community. The freedom to decorate, change a garden etc helps forge pride in your own home..but I could be given notice at any time if the landlord wants me to leave. However I am adquaetely housed and would never been able to get social housing unless i was made homeless and put in temp B and B.

confusedfirsttimemum Mon 03-May-10 16:53:40

I would like to ask:

Every time you outline a proposal I find myself thinking, "you've had 13 years to do that". How would you answer that general response and apathy?

TheFoosa Mon 03-May-10 16:55:32

I don't have a question, just to say I grew up during the Thatcher years, in a northern town and it was definately grim.

Good luck, another safe Tory seat here so bit pointless voting for Labour.

megcleary Mon 03-May-10 16:57:14

Why did you **Give Away** the Gold reserves?

Alouiseg Mon 03-May-10 16:59:57

Would you consider removing Stamp Duty from property purchases and replacing it with Capital Gains upon the sale of a property?

Why is there VAT on female sanitary products and not on razor blades?

Why are business rates so unfeasibly high? Our office is in a regeneration area yet we have been penalised through taxation for making the office habitable (air conditioning etc) the rates went up by 50% last year and all the offices in our area are having to appeal at great cost. We are not Marks and Spencers on the High Street we are in a "regeneration area".

We know that there are tough times ahead, what are your priorities if you are re-elected?

onebatmother Mon 03-May-10 17:00:39

Hello Gordon

We'll be voting for you in my house - chin up, back straight, and good luck. You are at your very best when you speak as you, rather than as someone who is 'projecting authenticity'. And in policy terms, you've just got to face the tough questions head on and be honest - so many of us would appreciate even brutal honesty, when combined with your experience and judgement.

My question: What is the truth about child poverty? Why does it appear to have grown? Why are there more families on low incomes than '97 - is it because it is a comparative measure?

Sorry for the advice; utterly pathetic I know but it's really so hard not to weigh in, when we know that so much is at stake.

DuckInHell Mon 03-May-10 17:03:33

Hi Gordon

My Husband was made redundant, picked himself up, dusted himself down and started his own business, what would a Labour Goverment do to help him and the thousands of others who are going it alone?.

Alouiseg Mon 03-May-10 17:04:08

........Jumping on megcleary's point.

Why did you sell the Gold?

Straight answer please, we're tough old birds and we can take it.

AuntieMaggie Mon 03-May-10 17:06:14

Hello Gordon

Another voter here keeping her fingers crossed as she remembers how difficult it was for my family under the last Tory goverment.

There is a lot of misconception about people on benefits and immigration (as a few threads on here have proved) fuelled by the media - what will you do to educate people?

RibenaBerry Mon 03-May-10 17:11:35

Background: My MP is reported to earn £9,000 a month from posts in the construction industry. Hardly a neutral party in planning decisions. I would trust him as far as I could throw him.

If you are re-elected, what are you going to do about conflicts of interest?

onadietcokebreak Mon 03-May-10 17:12:46

onebatmother have a look at the child poverty action group and joseph rowntree site. Some fantastic stuff on their.

Child poverty will never be truely eradiacated because of how it is measured- relative poverty.

Do you pay those people who tell you you have to smile? Cutbacks - they need sacking first.

The next government is not going to be popular - so winning a popularity contest shouldn't be top of the agenda - policies should be top. Give up the crap smiling - its creepy.

I have 3 young boys, am a teacher and both myself and my husband run our own businesses - naturally the economy and public services are high on our agenda - what are you going to do for me? We work hard, get no benefits and pay alot of tax but are about to be hit very hard as far as I can tell.

I cant decide who to vote for to be honest... not long to go to make up my mind - any final words of wisdom?

That sounds a bit selfish but is an important time and want to know who will help my family the most confused

onadietcokebreak Mon 03-May-10 17:19:38

LOL...I do agree about the smiling..I also find it creepy..sorry gordon!

And what am I going to do with my children at 7.15pm?? Gah! grin

gingercat12 Mon 03-May-10 17:20:07

Hello Mr Brown,

We all knew you were a brave man.

Is there any chance of continuing the match funding scheme for universities?

Good luck for the election, and afterwards,

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 03-May-10 17:22:24

I know the nature of your job means sometimes taking very difficult decisions in difficult circumstances and inevitably mistakes will be made. Looking back at your time as PM, what is your biggest regret and if you could go back to that time, what would you do differently on that particular issue?

Good luck for Thursday. I can't vote for you that means a seat for the Conservative party here, but having been of secondary school age in the 80's, I'm really worried about waking up with David Cameron as PM on Friday.

lambethlil Mon 03-May-10 17:22:50

Fingers firmly crossed, ready here to get the vote out and very best of luck for you/ us on Thursday.

CoreInstability Mon 03-May-10 17:25:06

But most of us will still have some blood left in our alcohol stream by 7:15 tonight surely?


LilyBolero Mon 03-May-10 17:26:42

Alouiseq - the problem with capital gains on the sale of a property is that if it is your only property (as would be the case for most of us), then you would be very likely to end up being unable to afford a similar property, as the buying price of the next property would have risen similarly.

So for example, our house which is a 4 bed semi has risen considerably in value since we bought 11 years ago. BUT if dh had to move for work and we had to pay capital gains on the rise in price but still had to pay full price for a new property in the new area we would not be able to afford a similarly sized house (which would be a nightmare with 4 kids).

I think capital gains on 2nd properties is absolutely correct.

Bucharest Mon 03-May-10 17:32:08

I live in Italy for most of the year, but still work in the UK for enough months to pay taxes and full year's whack of NI, so feel entitled to comment....grin

I am proud to be British, am proud of the democracy we have, and proud of the Labour movement which I've supported since my mother called me to the tv to "celebrate" with her Mrs Thatcher in 1979. I've done the miner's strike picket lines in 1984, the Red Wedge in early 1986 and I got nearly as drunk as John O'Farrell in 1997.

I really really want to carry on being proud.

So I've already voted, and my fingers and toeses are crossed for Thursday.

Wishing you all the best, and whatever happens I think you did OK. smile

lucysnowe Mon 03-May-10 17:32:42

Gordon, just coming on to say I am going to vote for you but my vote is worth NUTTIN because I live in super-crazy-Tory Henley. sad I really hope that if you get in again you get started on the electoral reform pronto. Good luck!

Loves mumsnetgrin where else can notsorampantrabbit pose a question to the PM?

I'd just say to GB that I felt for him
the other day talk about a bad day at work!

Have you seen the common people 2010 on utube?

ShrinkingViolet Mon 03-May-10 17:38:37

After the horror of the Badman report, why should home educators vote for you? How can you convince us that you're not out to completely eradicate home education as an educational option? Please don't just trot out the "safeguarding" thing though, as all of the cases which have been used to "prove" Badman's recommendations were nothing to do with Home Education, and all to do with the LAs/SS departments being unwilling/unable to do their jobs properly.

MmeLindt Mon 03-May-10 17:40:51

As you have seen, there are a fair few overseas MNetters, most of whom cannot vote as we have been out of the country for over 15 years.

Do you think that it is fair that although we still have strong ties to UK, have family, investments, some of us have property in UK and intend retiring there, we have no political influence in the land of our birth?

confusedfirsttimemum Mon 03-May-10 17:42:21

Alyson - How is that relevant to his thread? I am a genuinely undecided voter, but given the fact that the PM has decided to come on MN, I would like to see some genuinely thought out questions to him, not some naff song making fun of where someone went to school (which, if you think about it, is just making fun of their parents). Respect for the office and all that...

sherby Mon 03-May-10 17:42:40

Hello Gordon

Good luck on Thursday, you have our vote.

I think people would be much happier and secure if they knew where the cuts were going to be happening. We all know they are going to happen but nobody seems to want to stand up and say where they are likely, are you able to give us a more specific idea?

Yes we want to know where the cuts will be - you must know, just tell us!

We promise not to tell anyone else grin wink


I think you're doing a great job and it must be he hardest job in the world to have taken over from Blair and be sked to defend many of his decisions.

I am so grateful for the NHS - I think its amazing, and surestart, 15 hours free childcare... and more.

I really hope you and your fmily get through this stressful and exciting time, and I hope you don;t have to move house....

Look forward to seeing you answering questions... just don't call any of us biggotted with the computer still on...


Do your kids like Thomas the tank engine?

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 17:51:14

Same as others have said really. What cuts will you make and where in order to sort out the deficite? Straight answer please, no bollocks.

But I think thats wishful thinking.

he wont give the answer because it can only be answered with something negative and they will all sheild us from the truth like we are children until they get the gig.

If any of the leaders gave us a direct answer to this question I would vote for them instately, because it would show they have nuts.

CoreInstability Mon 03-May-10 17:54:38

Mr Brown,
Given that your father was a man of the church, do you think there is a place for Religion in public office?

Do you think the gradual growth of the secular society is a good thing, making it more inclusive; or a bad thing, leaving us without moral compass?

sherby Mon 03-May-10 17:55:18

foureleven I agree. We all want somebody to just stand up and say sorry we need to cut they are going to be here, here, here and here.

I don't want it to be Surestart, x doesn't want it to be the NHS, y doesn't want it to be whatever means the most to them. But we ALL would have respect for the person who had the balls to stand up and tell us straight like adults!

Peaceflower Mon 03-May-10 17:56:33

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Will our children's nursery places be safe from cuts?

Will you be doing anything to help children and adults with autism?

Alouiseg Mon 03-May-10 17:58:54

foureleven Totally agree, i think we're sick of spin and pr perspectives.

We need a leader with the balls to be direct and honest and i think that he electorate would really appreciate that, If we ask a question we want an answer not a detour.

Rather like Lady Thatcher! Whether you loved her or hated her she never fudged an issue.

hunkermunker Mon 03-May-10 18:03:21

The Green Party has pledged its support to the Baby Milk Action pledge to protect breastfeeding and babies fed on formula.

See here.

Will you add your name to it?

"Baby Milk Action pledge form

I pledge that if I am elected to the House of Commons I will encourage the Government to protect breastfeeding and to protect babies fed on formula. In particular to:

• Strengthen the UK Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations to bring them into line with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly

(I understand that the 23 health worker organisations and mother support groups in the Baby Feeding Law Group and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have called for this and that the Government's own Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and enforcement bodies have called for promotion of follow-on formula and health claims to be banned alongside the ban on infant formula advertising).

• Support and defend the International Code and Resolutions around the world and at the United Nations and other international organisations

(I understand that UNICEF has stated: "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute.")"

And, please, don't trot out the old "we respect the right of women to do as they choose" because that's not working - as many as 80% of women want to breastfeed and only 21% of those who start are still doing so exclusively at six weeks.

At the moment, the National Health Service is providing National Lip Service to the issue of breastfeeding support. The Tories want to waste spend money on more Health Visitors. What are Labour pledging to do to support the most vulnerable members of our society?

9jamama Mon 03-May-10 18:04:27

i'm saying good luck too Mr Brown

Undercovamutha Mon 03-May-10 18:04:29

Sorry for this one Gordon, but just wondering if you think Labour would stand more of a chance if you weren't the Prime Minister?

And why do you refuse to admit that, whilst the recession may well be global, it doesn't take a genius (never mind the person in charge of the country's finances) to realise that the huge amount of debt us as individuals, and the country as a whole, have was/is totally unsustainable? I truly believe that if you had held your hands up and taken responsibility for the financial crisis, your traditional supporters would have had a lot more respect for you (and I am speaking as a previous labour supporter).

Sorry that's 2 questions - I couldn't help myself!

sweetkitty Mon 03-May-10 18:05:06

I would like to ask you about the current Tax Credits system. It seems very confusing and in need of a complete overhaul.

If you are working you pay tax then you have to claim it back through another agency who are in my experience completely rubbish, tax credit awards based on last years earnings, then they issue you about 20 letters on the same thing, then you get a letter saying you have been paid too much and they are stopping this year's award. A lot of families really depend on tax credits and are devastated when they are taken away.

My partner and I are awarded the lowest band of tax credits and I find it amazing that if we earned 54K and had one child we get the same amount as if we earned 25K and had 6 children. Surely that is not right.

What are your plans for reforming the tax credits system and making it fairer?

teamcullen Mon 03-May-10 18:07:14

My Children and I, have had much better services since Labour have been in power than my family ever had in the 1980s. We are a working class family who benefit from family tax credits, extended schools, Sure Start etc.

How are these services likely to grow and support young families, and how do you propose to extend these services to young people in order to tackle anti social behaviour and yob culture which is threatening to overtake the towns and cities up and down the country.

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 18:07:58

What are you going to do about class sizes. My dc goes into juniors next year and into a class of 36, how is one teacher meant to teach 36 children and give them a good education

ruddynorah Mon 03-May-10 18:08:27

hi hunker grin

Tortington Mon 03-May-10 18:09:36

me to dh "GB is coming on mn later dya want to ask anything?"

Dh "Why would he do that you're all evil bstards"


DarkesTAngel30 Mon 03-May-10 18:10:08

Firstly, I admire the fact that Mr Brown hasnt degraded himself by stooping to the levels of the other main parties.

Secondly, having 3 young children, I would like to know that my childrens nursery places are going to remain free, and a garauntee that their education will not suffer as a result of any cuts that are to be made after the election. I would also like to know if the tax credits system is to remain in place with Labour. Our family would not survive without them at the moment.

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 18:13:26

Dc also asked if Sue had to go on the naughty step [snurk]

colditz Mon 03-May-10 18:14:17

I would like to know how you are going to get us out of the debts, Mr Brown, and how you intend to maintain services whilst doing so.

(Please don't give me politician flannel about how you 'have plans' and will 'take steps' - I'd like to know precisely what you are going to do.)

MadameOvary Mon 03-May-10 18:14:43

Another one here who would like an honest answer on the measures needed to sort the economy. Higher VAT, cuts here and there, I'd rather prepare for them than be told some fuzzy nonsense designed to make me feel better.

I think you are a man of integrity and depth and I think no worse of you after "Bigotgate"

Oh and I owe you a fiver. Back in 1987 I cleaned your flat in Marchmont and pocketed a fiver I found on the floor, thinking I'd leave it with a note. Needless to say I forgot blush

Best of luck and I hope you get the chance to lead this country out of the economic meltdown.

honeydragon Mon 03-May-10 18:17:37

in debate you focused on providing education for under 5's. I don't want my 4 month dauhgter educated when I go back to work I want her to stay with my friend who will nurture her but your govt will not allow this -£1000 fine if i go ahead - and we cannot afford a parent at home. You've mentioned your upbringing and mums care of you a lot recently- so ...

how old were you before your mum had to dump you in a state approved nursery as she was forced to go back to work?

lankyalto Mon 03-May-10 18:18:53

Another message of support from me, Mr Brown. I have clear memories of "Milk Snatcher", the poll tax, and the "greed is good" mentality of the last Tory govt. I have benefitted under the Labour administration particularly from tax credits and the minimum wage.

I don't have a question but I wanted to thank you and the Labour party for your hard work on behalf of this country. I hope that you get the opportunity on Thursday to continue.

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 18:19:21

honeydragon - reciprocal childcare arrangements are now allowed between friends under OFSTED's rules!

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 18:20:40
plus3 Mon 03-May-10 18:21:29

I would also like to say good luck on Thursday - I will voting for you despite being in a Tory stronghold (it feels like a pointless vote sad)

I would echo the above points about being completely honest about the cuts coming. As I believe you believe, honesty is the best policy, and you would be utterly respected for this.

Please know that not everybody falls for media spin. You have done a fantastic job for the vulnerable members of our society.

Trust the people who want to vote for you.

mrsmandm Mon 03-May-10 18:22:17

When you were asked "Where are all these Eastern Europeans coming from?" Why did you not reply "Eastern Europe"?!

Think I'll vote for you but you need some advisors who'll give it to you straight - think they're generally too nervous of you to tell you the truth.

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 18:22:57

Dear Mr Brown,

I am the mother of a lovely 4 year old girl, who has a brain malformation called Cortical Dysplasia. She is globally affected, although she can walk and talk. She currently receives High Rate Care of Disability Living Allowance, has a Blue Badge and has 1:1 at preschool. In September she will start at a brilliant Special School, after getting a Statement of SEN.

When Social Services came to assess our need for respite care, we had 3 children under the age of 4, and DD1 was sprinkling sand into the eyes of her then 9 week old baby sister, and was generally very hyperactive (the norm for her). The social services report stated that she was an 'active child who enjoys adult company' and denied us respite care or any access to a named social worker for Support.

We are not alone in experiencing the denial of Social Services assistance for our disabled child. It horrifies me to hear that there may be plans to replace DLA with allocations to Social Services for Direct Care packages. Many of us know already that even the most severely affected disabled children (quadriplegic, visually impaired, etc) get very little support, and every hour of respite is fought for.

PLEASE, PLEASE reassure me, and many others, that you would not strip our children of the only thing that enables us to function as a family?

KurriKurri Mon 03-May-10 18:23:14

Hello Gordon, as a cancer patient I'd like to thank you for your manifesto pledges for quick referrals and test results. Also for the fact that I now get my prescriptions free - a great help.

I'd like to ask if you propose to lower the age at which people are screened and tested for example for breast, prostate or bowel cancer, as I feel this would increase survival rates.

Good luck on Thursday.

VinegarTits Mon 03-May-10 18:25:55

Good luck Mr Brown, i will be voting for you

Cant think of any questions that haven't already been asked

ilovesprouts Mon 03-May-10 18:26:21

mr brown ,if you was not a labour leader /suppoter ,who would you vote for

mollythetortoise Mon 03-May-10 18:26:45

just wanted to say I agree with notyetamum1 above.

hello Gordon

I think the media in general have acted disgracefully in this election and their relentless bullying of you has been disgusting to watch.
And lots of people I know agree with me.

Does this get you down or do you accept it is all part of the game?

Are you and Sarah glad that your boys are still too young to really understand/take notice of the papers/ TV?

last point, please please please can you make the last few days of your campaign more positive - labour have done some great things in 13 years, and perhaps people need reminding.

Good luck on Thursday, I'll be voting LB by the way as safe Tory seat and labour have little chance but I would be happy to see a lab win or lab/lib dem colition

fords Mon 03-May-10 18:27:41

Hello Gordon,

After some careful consideration, my husband and I would like to know who you think would win in a fight: a raccoon or a badger? grin

decafgirl Mon 03-May-10 18:28:13

I also just wanted to add another voice of support. I wholeheartedly believe that we're at risk of a tory government because people have simply forgotten how bad it was for us in the late 80s/early 90s. I feel sick at the thought of the country going that way again.

I'm a primary school teacher and I'm also worried at the prospect of redundancies in my profession.

Will there be compulsory redundancies for teachers if Labour are re-elected Gordon?

Good luck for Thursday, I hope Labour gets the votes they need.

TheCappster Mon 03-May-10 18:29:47

I want to know how coverage of this election has lost the big story of what it means to be a Labour voter

We do it because we're proud of the ideology

But all we're hearing at the moment is Tory-driven hyperbole about debt and brokenness

So damn much has been achieved since 97

Lymond Mon 03-May-10 18:31:24

Mr Brown,
What do you think about the fact that the 50% tax rise for high earners means that some successful British businesses (BlueCrest is one I know particularly of) have already opened Swiss offices and moved their high earners there, thereby removing them completely from UK tax system? My husband works for a firm who has said they will move the whole operation to Switzerland (over 300 people) if Labour or a Lib/Lab coalition get in as they think personal taxes will be raised too high for them to be able to compete with European and US firms to get the highest caliber of staff. We don't want to move to Switzerland, so are planning on voting Conservative for the first time.

NewDKmum Mon 03-May-10 18:31:50

How do you plan to cut the public sector to a sensible size?

woosam Mon 03-May-10 18:35:40

I posted earlier but didn't actually ask a question so here goes (same q I asked last time)

Considering how much debt the country is in, would you consider capping child benefit at a certain income level? I don't mean middle income families who rely heavily on it but families like us who simply pay it straight into a saving account for our three children. This is something that many of our friends do too.

Surely state funded savings accounts for affluent children cannot be the best use of public funds?

Oh and..good luck, again! smile

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 18:35:53

This isn't a qusetion but a comment.

Thanks ever so much for forgetting to budget for the ongoing war in Afghanistan. As a direct consequence of this you are funding it out of the defence buget. To allow you to do that you are closing the RAF base where we live and my DH works.

You are putting the careers of many in the RAF and RN at risk by doing so, many civillians are being made redundant and a countless number of children will have to change schools, many at a cruicial point in their education.

Your Government has shown complete and utter contempt for the Armed Forces since 1997 and have paid them poorly and over committed them.

I will never understand how you, or Tony Blair, manage to sleep soundly in your beds at night. angry

fembear Mon 03-May-10 18:35:55

Dear Mr Brown

Do you feel secretly releived/pleased that you are going to lose the elecction? It must be a great feeling to walk away from the mess that you have made of the economy, to know that the Tories - instead of Labour - will get the blame for the coming cuts that are necessary to sort out the country's finances.

How many times a day do you wish that you have never invented the 'no more boom and bust' mantra? You must be very embarrassed to have presided over the worst 'bust' since the Great Depression.

Hello Gordon!
Thanks for coming back to mn.
My question is, after 13 years of financial mismanagement that has resulted in an astronomical deficit - why o why should we trust you, the 'prudent' chancellor with our economy when we go to vote on thursday?
Examples of waste/mismanagement - sale of our gold reserves when the market was at the bottom, introduction of gimmicky benefits eg. health in pregnancy grant for every mother when many like myself don't need it, vat cut which did not make a difference to the majority of the population but cumulatively made a further dent to public finances.
I have more questions but don't want to be greedy grin
PS. aside from your ideology, I think you're ace.

ShadeofViolet Mon 03-May-10 18:36:18

Wow, Gordon you really are brave.

Could you please tell us your plans for special needs education. It all came out in the news this week but seems to have been pushed back by the 'Rochdale Incident'blush. Will Budget cuts mean that special school places will be cut?

I wanted to wish you good luck, I will be voting for you on Thursday as I believe my family will be better off under a Labour government than a Tory one.

I do agree that you should try and be a bit more positive in the last few days.

NonnoMum Mon 03-May-10 18:37:14

Mr Brown

Tis a hard job, you do. I don't envy you, and I genuinely think you are doing your best.

Good luck on Thursday.

And how many hours sleep do you get each night, seeing as (a) you run the country and (b) you have two small boys?

And which is harder?

honeydragon Mon 03-May-10 18:37:38


i quoted this bit
"I am pleased that following a positive response to our consultation, and overwhelming public support, friends supporting one another with unpaid childcare will be exempt from the registration and inspection process. This amendment has been made to ensure that hard-working parents are not penalised for supporting their friends with unpaid childcare.

to my council when I enquired about my situation and they stated it was not in force and my friend will have to pay £200 to go on the voluntary register to look after her in my home
train as a child minder neither of which we can afford. She also said that it would be benfit fraud for my friend if we share child care????

She then stated that if at any time I looked after her children in return then if the council found out about it then my friend would be in breach - she quoted the case of the two police women and stated "gorden brown backtracked on those statements and you CANNOT have your friend look after your child in her home for ANY kind of reward and reciprocal childcare is reward". She then proceeded to tell me that of the two policewomen one now uses a a child minder and the other a nursery.

I am now even MORE confused about childcare.

<debates hiding from the political threads again and cowering behind her polling card>

laughalot Mon 03-May-10 18:38:35

Mr Brown why should I vote labour on thursday ? My little boys is in a class of 30 children what are you planning to do about education and in particular large class sizes ?

I think Nick Clegg dosent really have a clue about his policies and David Cameron is way to creepy to be in charge.

Good luck for thursday grin.

Emmav6 Mon 03-May-10 18:38:36

At the moment i am thinking of voting lib dems, what can you offer me(a single mother, working part-time & struggling to pay for childcare/mortgage/council tax etc) to change my mind & vote labour????

DanJARMouse Mon 03-May-10 18:39:03

Good evening Mr Brown,

I am still undecided on my national vote for Thursdays election.

For me, my main concern is that my children have the best schooling available to them, and that my family is not penalised by benefits cuts. My husband claims incapacity benefit, and also gets a War Pension, and because of his disabilities, I am unable to return to work until all my children are in school as he is unable to look after them day in day out. We are being scared by the removal of his incapacity benefit, and the talk of cutting Tax credits - we live week to week on the tax credits as everything else has to come out of the incapacity and war pension money. We have no savings and no luxuries.

From the information above, and from watching the debates on TV and listening to all 3 leaders, I am torn between Lib Dem and Labour. As far as I am concerned DC wants the country to be full of wealthy toffs and will ignore the lower end of the scale, but how do I decide between Labour and Lib Dem?! What exactly will you do for ME and MY FAMILY above the lib dems?!

overthemill Mon 03-May-10 18:42:14

I would just like to ask why I, as a fervent labour supporter and past member (prevented from activism by Tory legislation)all my life, shouldn't give up on you now? It seems to me that you have all, ie ministers and MPs, taken absolute power to a corrupt level. Surely you could have avoided this?

I do not blame you for the global economic downturn but letting the banks off the hook? allowing people like my hardworking dh who works in social services work for the last three years with no pay rise whatsoever (ie a pay cut in real terms) and ensuring that our 3 bright children will end their university lives in huge debt (assuming they choose to go)? And the NHS - you do know, don't you, that they will never be out of deficit.

I am so very, very disappointed in you all. When Labour came to power in 1997 I was one of those still up for Portillo and I wept with joy...

HerHonesty Mon 03-May-10 18:42:33

Will you genuinely consider alternative methods of bringing funding into the NHS - e.g wider copayments, a formal top up system - in your next term.

ps Sarah deserves a medal. Make sure you give her at least the massivest bunch of flowers that you can get delivered on Thursday. at the very least..

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 18:43:47

"She then stated that if at any time I looked after her children in return then if the council found out about it then my friend would be in breach "

This is thenanny state gone loolaa why is it anyone elses business if you want your friend to watch your kids and visaversa jesus we're big enough to have kids, we're big enough to decide who looks after them, eurgghhh. Theyll be making grandmas register soon.

zapostrophe Mon 03-May-10 18:45:37

How can labour justify giving pregnant women a non-means tested 190 quid health in pregnancy grant, followed by a 250 quid baby bond when the economy's in such a state?

fords Mon 03-May-10 18:45:41

Here comes the serious question! My husband is a full time student, I'm working part time and we're desperately hoping our daughter gets into the local school nursery come August. I really hope that our tax credits don't get cut because they're a huge part of our income at the moment and until the wee one gets her nursery place my working hours are severely limited. What I'd like to know is what incentives can we look forward to that will make me staying in work worthwhile?

zapostrophe Mon 03-May-10 18:47:01

How are you going to tackle the threat of nuclear proliferation in the middle East?

LeninGrad Mon 03-May-10 18:47:29

I think people are overly reliant on the value of their house to provide for them in retirement and are hugely underestimating how much surplus they need and to what extent they will have to downgrade to free up their equity.

What needs to be done to make people save more?

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 18:47:42

i quoted this bit
"I am pleased that following a positive response to our consultation, and overwhelming public support, friends supporting one another with unpaid childcare will be exempt from the registration and inspection process. This amendment has been made to ensure that hard-working parents are not penalised for supporting their friends with unpaid childcare.

to my council when I enquired about my situation and they stated it was not in force and my friend will have to pay £200 to go on the voluntary register to look after her in my home WRONG - SHE CAN BE AN UNREGISTERED NANNY BUT YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO USE VOUCHERS OR TAX CREDITS
train as a child minder neither of which we can afford. She also said that it would be benfit fraud for my friend if we share child care???? I DON'T KNOW HOW IT WOULD BE BENEFIT FRAUD

She then stated that if at any time I looked after her children in return then if the council found out about it then my friend would be in breach - she quoted the case of the two police women and stated "gorden brown backtracked on those statements and you CANNOT have your friend look after your child in her home for ANY kind of reward and reciprocal childcare is reward". She then proceeded to tell me that of the two policewomen one now uses a a child minder and the other a nursery. NO. WHAT HAPPENED WAS EVERYONE JUMPED ON THE POOR WOMEN, WHO CHANGED THEIR CHILDCARE, THEN THERE WAS THE BACKTRACKING AND A STATEMENT WAS ISSUED AND AN AMMENDMENT PASSED SAYING THAT RECIPROCAL CHILDCARE FOR NO PAYMENT WAS ALLOWED AND WASN'T COVERED UNDER OFSTED'S REMIT. YOUR COUNCIL WOMAN IS WRONG.

I am now even MORE confused about childcare.

"This instrument will add a further category of exempt childminding to the 2008 Order:
childminding for the children of friends where this is not provided in return for payment. Payment
is defined in the Order as a payment of money or money’s worth which does not include the
provision of goods or services. This will allow the exemption from registration with Ofsted of
childminding for the children of friends where this is in exchange for goods or services such as
reciprocal childcare, ironing or gardening, but not for payments that could be considered as equivalent to money such as store gift vouchers or the payment of the childminder’s rent or
from here



mumutd Mon 03-May-10 18:48:12

I'd firstly like to say I am very disappointed in the media circus that has plagued you since you became PM. You have my utmost respect, an honest man who just wants to get on with his job. I will be voting for you on Thursday and I just hope that everyone else sees sense and does the same.

My question would be:

How will you ensure that those that can work but are claiming benefits, get back into the workplace. I hear so many times that people say it isn't financially viable for them to work.

Thank you and the very best of luck for Thursday, I do hope and pray that I wake up to a Labour government on Friday smile.

Duffet Mon 03-May-10 18:49:11

Hello Prime Minister Gordon Brown

I was reading an article in the current issue of the Economist (May 1st - 7th 2010) titled 'Who Should Govern Britain?'

It seems to say that part of the reason you will not be able to sort out the budget deficit "time-bomb" that was caused by your "pouring" money into he public services, is because you are against the reform of public services, but it does add that "There are mutterings of choice in Labour's manifesto, but Mr Brown too often reverts to old-fashioned statism".

Please could you explain what they meant by there being choices in your manifesto regarding reform and how can these choices help with the budget deficit problem?

Many thanks for reading this question,

Duffet (mum with 13 month old - p.s. remembered to bank my childs sure-start voucher today thank you

MailaNurmi Mon 03-May-10 18:51:40

I have a suggestion for cuts - stop spending our money on consultancy, i.e. the management consultancy to come in and tell the NHS, schools, council and government itself how they should manage things.
The answer is usually to enlist either them, or one of their larger corporate structure in providing the solution. This a clear conflict of interest.
The amount that's spent, (which no amount of FOI requests get an answer to) must be in the billions of pounds.

Cut out the consultancy corporations and let us get on with our jobs!

PS sympathy re: last week's events, media portrayal disingenous as all media and politicians are never, ever themselves.

As others on the thread have said, what we want is for political parties to be honest about what is needed to sort the country out; not working round the edges.

loumum3 Mon 03-May-10 18:51:58

Please could you do me a favour ? The next time you see Ed Balls, kick him up the arse as hard as you can.

Thanks smile

megapixels Mon 03-May-10 18:52:33

Good evening Mr. Brown,

I don't have a question which hasn't been asked but I will be watching your answers with interest, as I am unfortunately now undecided (one sure vote from my household from my husband though). Good luck for Thursday, I sincerely hope the best man for the job wins.

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 03-May-10 18:52:40

OK a question: I have asked this before of people and never get a reply. Why can't carers get Carers Allowance when they are enrolled at Univeristy or college? Caring responsibilities don't just stop, most carer / students I know study in school hours and can't take the summer jobs that keep the others afloat. I accept asking for it in term time alongside student finance may be off in the current financial crisis, but why not in the holidays to balance the lack of ability to get that all important summer employment? It seems a hurdle to getting back into work and securing the sort of employment likely to have flexible working and the sort of pay level able to covere extra high chidlcare costs.

For what it's worth, I think you have done far mroe than many realise for the good of the very poor, and that you are someone who always tries to do good. Whatever happens, I wish you luck, and as a carer (graduated- no self interest I promise!) whose Dh has faced redundancy in the past year, your policies have certainly helped us immensely and I thank you for that.

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 18:54:34

ps, he's not that brave. he's coming on at 7.15 when most mums will be doing the bedtime routine.

NotanOtter Mon 03-May-10 18:55:47


My vote will be red on thursday. I am very proud of that fact.
I believe you have been scapegoated for the immense national debt that every Tom Dick and Harry subscribed to - we all wanted our schools and hospitals at the time but seem unwilling to face the fact that these things cost.

I think in our modern culture in the shadow of the Thatcher years - people just 'want' and they 'want now' without the foresight to see that they have to pay for it. Any country with that attitude is difficult to govern. Tax rises are as unpopular as ever but people demand -for example - out of hours health care.

You took over office just too late - Blair should have let you have some of the glory years instead of hanging on until things started to slide. You have had an incredibly difficult task and I believe you have handled the Prime ministership (!) with strength and a great deal of dignity.

Under a different world economic climate you would have shone! Whoever takes office it will be a hell of a task.... not the easiest term to inherit.

Sarah's fabulous too - whilst out on Saturday night I met someone who had recently met her and told me "She's far more beautiful in the flesh!'

No question Gordon - just support . I have six children and I have brought them all up to fly the red flag

If you do not win - you have those lovely boys to enjoy !

All the best

Your Number One Fan

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 03-May-10 18:55:47

In fairness foureleven, thre dads could do it in many famillies, and quite a few of us have older children- people will be here I am sure.

honeydragon Mon 03-May-10 18:55:53

cheers frankkinuts grin

NotanOtter Mon 03-May-10 18:56:44

Just one thing - Benefits

THe whole system needs reviewing !

omgwoe Mon 03-May-10 18:56:50

Hello Mr Brown,

Firstly thank you for my tax credits they are a very big help.

What is your favourite TV programme?

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 18:57:24

Can I ask, MNHQ, how is this webchat working this evening? Will it be like last time when you will sort out the questions and pass them to Gordon to read, or will he be reading them all himself? (just thinking about the furore over the biscuit-related questions last time!)

(BIWI here, btw)

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 03-May-10 18:59:01


Not sure you'll even see this but just wanted to say that I believe you're the only leader whose shown any integrity and I hope you win.

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 18:59:31

Agree with Maila, my mother is a nurse for the nhs and has been for more than 40 years, in recent years highly paid management has been brought in that infact cause more problems than help as they have no idea what it is like to be at ground level working on the wards so cannot manage effectively something they know little about.

Bring back ward matrons and give people who are experienced in health care control back, they are the people who can operate wards effectively not some bloke in a suit whos never stepped foot on a ward.

Use the saved wages to plough back into much needed staff and resources!

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 03-May-10 19:00:39

"who's shown any integrity"...!

mrsbean78 Mon 03-May-10 19:00:49

Mr Brown

I am struggling to decide, finally, whether to give my vote to Labour or Lib Dem on Thursday - a decision not helped by the fact that my Labour MP was heavily implicated in the expenses scandal.

Help me decide to continue to vote Labour. Tell me what voting Labour will mean for me as a mum and allied health professional facing such steep childcare costs that I am wondering if it is really worth my while to return to work. How will Labour make it worth my while to pay someone else to care for my child so that I can care for the children of others - honestly?

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:01:27

I want to know why Gordon is running such a negative campaign? Why can't he focus on what Labour will do (and why they haven't already done it) rather than all the scaremongering lies about the Tories.

zapostrophe Mon 03-May-10 19:02:32

How do you make school choice real? In my area I can choose my nearest school or any of the failing ones in the town nearby, but none of the good ones. If I really wanted to choose, I'd have to move house to the area next to the school I was choosing. That doesn't feel much like choice to me.

Bumperliouzzzzzz Mon 03-May-10 19:02:35

How long is GB here for tonight?

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 19:02:57

The tax credits have been a big success for me, I am a single parent who works full time and gets no financial support from ex husband. Without them we would be in real trouble.

You HAVE to get in again so the other party cant take them!

Saucepanman Mon 03-May-10 19:02:58

Good evening Gordon,

I heard you state categorically on a tv prog recently (can't remember which as I am pretty much election coverage 24/7 but think it might have been 2nd debate) that the banks will be made to pay back every penny they have had in bail outs. This was in response to the leaked document where they suggested more regulation on them would result in a double dip recession. I am interested to know your strategy for making this happen- timescale etc, but also what will happen to this plan if we are looking at a change of government on friday. I feel strongly they must not be able to get away with not paying it back.

Also I live in a Lib dem/conservative seat, with labour way behind. The two of them make much of "labour cannot win here". I am labour, but forced to vote lib dem in my area. What are you doing to regain seats like these? I have yet to have any of the 3 main candidates knock on my door.

Very best of luck on Thursday, I have been championing you vociferously to anyone who will listen. I know you are made of stern stuff, but hope you know that there are still many who support you and remain behind you after the Rochdale incident. I wish you and your lovely family the best in whatever you do (hopefully PM)

NotanOtter Mon 03-May-10 19:03:22

Fembear - because - of course- the rest of the world is having a 'party' economically speaking hmm

I'm ready - where should we be? Here or somewhere else? Foureleven - have told mine that I am having an important chat with the PM on the computer and that bedtime will have to wait grin

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:04:53

10 minutes to go....

Hopandpop Mon 03-May-10 19:05:10

mr gordon brown, i have had no candidates in my area knock on my door from any party!

if you are voted pm how will you ensure, little villages like mine are not forgotten?

Hopandpop Mon 03-May-10 19:05:40

will he be on here? or live chat? how do i see that chat?

Gordon -

Do you want to chew your own arm off and beat yourself to death with it every single time yet another Tory says the words "jobs tax"?

Because I do

I have had one canvasser for tories who couldnt tell me anything about policies as it wasnt his job .... thats it!

Please tell me where it will happen - dont want to miss it!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 19:06:42

The PM has a screen with appropriate font size and a print out of the questions up to about 10 mins ago but there are already loads more questions than he'll get through, and he's already had quite a day - Basildon, Ipswich and Great Yarmouth apparently - so a reminder of our guidelines all:

MN WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not to keep posting "What about me?". 4. Do be civil/polite.

Many thanks.

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 03-May-10 19:06:47

I had a conservative candidate knock on my door. I gave him such an earful that he dropped all his leaflets in my porch! grin

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 19:07:30

Heehee mines just gone down... I told her its 8pm and have ekpt her away from the clocks... bad porkypietelling mother!

If Labour were to scrap ID Cards, SATs and Trident, I could vote for them (we have no Green candidate here)

I feel that anyone with any money at all is about to become considerably poorer - therefore making even more people poorer - sense of prevailing doom is unavoidable - but who will get it more right than anyone else?

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:08:46

<goes for wine>

LadyBlaBlah Mon 03-May-10 19:09:35


argh where is web chat????? I want to read if not speak!

Hopandpop Mon 03-May-10 19:09:46


Ladyscratt Mon 03-May-10 19:10:12

Have you packed your suitcase yet Gordon?

ShadeofViolet Mon 03-May-10 19:10:52

Gosh, I bet it was bracing at Great Yarmouth today!

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:10:53

<puts the kettle on>

where should we be? where should we be? - dont panic! dont panic - i have never been interested much in politics but dont want to miss this!

and my children are fighting so please tell me

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:11:18

Good luck, Mr Brown. I hope you can persuade all those on MN who have asked to be encouraged to vote Labour!

ahundredtimes Mon 03-May-10 19:11:32

octo - here, you need to be here on this thread

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 03-May-10 19:11:50

At this moment I am probably going to vote Lib Dem
Mr Brown can you give me one good reason for voting labour instead?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 19:11:54

octothechildherder the webchat is right here on this thread. PM not arrived yet - will keep you posted.

decafgirl Mon 03-May-10 19:12:07

Ooh, wine...mmmm

Mr Brown

Your recent policies (discussed on tv) seem very similar to 'old Labour' - I thought this was going to be New Labour!

What's the difference?!


The Ploppy Family x

scottishmummy Mon 03-May-10 19:12:26

PM,i am seeking clarification about nhs.can you clarify what does frontline services means to you eg is it clinical staff, community, gp. and what cuts/economies are planned for nhs.would there be nhs payfreeze for example.

what one thing do you really want to emphasise to your mn audience tonight

and finally. your gaff in rochdale.aye you must have been black affronted, but no people shouldnt disproportionately let it deflect from the meatier big stuff

Thanks panic over - they are upstairs fighting now so all is good grin

Oooh! Wine!

Yarunga Field Sauv Blanc yummy - I am well prepared

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:14:00

1 minute...

LeninGrad Mon 03-May-10 19:14:11

<runs off for a beer as PM running late>

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:14:52

<orders take-away>

Need a wee fgs

LadyBlaBlah Mon 03-May-10 19:15:09

Anyone else hid all the clocks and told the dc that it is indeed 8 o clock ?

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:15:33

I recently found out wine is what triggers my migraines. I'm totally gutted Never mind, I shall pretend this cup of Co-Op 99 tea has some sort of alcohol content!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 19:15:42

No sign yet but shouldn't be long...

whimsy Mon 03-May-10 19:15:56

Mr Brown,

What would you do for families with a child with on the autistic spectrum who have been failed by the school system.

My little boy is 4 and started reception in September, he has never done a full day or week in school and is currently at home due to the fact the school can't/won't cope with him and are threatening permanent exclusion. They say they haven't got the space or money to accommodate him.

No-one will help me find the right school that can help him ( the local mainstream school who do have ASD places is less than a mile away but comes under a different Authority). I feel my little boy is being written off by the system at 4years of age. How would you help parents like me whose children are being failed daily.

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:15:57

Explorer Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc here

Stylelostinlabour Mon 03-May-10 19:16:02

where is the webchat?

Oh no - thats terrible news!

DuckInHell Mon 03-May-10 19:16:18

Have opened the voddie ladies <passes bottle>

SuSylvester Mon 03-May-10 19:16:23

he is htinking fishwink
can i direct you ALL to the " dress justine for election night" thread while you wait

HerHonesty Mon 03-May-10 19:16:23

oh no just realised dh finished doritos. and need nappies (not me, obviously). hurry up!

decafgirl Mon 03-May-10 19:16:31

Gutted for you fords ! x

Ladyscratt Mon 03-May-10 19:16:39

Noo Shiraz please

zephyrcat Mon 03-May-10 19:16:49


I would like to know what you feel could/should be done about the way our schools our going. I read an article in The Times recently where teachers felt that they have no control whatsoever in the classroom and over unruly children. It seems more and morte that some children play up to a system whereby thewy know that they cannot be touched for fear of reprisals and claims of 'abuse' etc by ignorant parents. My eldest daughter is only in year 3 and I am already hearing worrying reports....

What would you do to give the schools back to the teachers?

Good luck for Thursday!

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:16:51

So.... where is he?

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:16:54

Balti chicken naga
Balti chicken madras
Tarka Dahl
Garlic Vegetable
Pilau Rice
Naan Bread

MmeLindt Mon 03-May-10 19:17:09

Hmm. Wine. Good idea.

<switches kettle off>

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 19:17:10

Sorry to hear you've had a hard day Gordon. Look on the bright side you'll have lots of free time come Friday!

Ladyscratt Mon 03-May-10 19:17:15

Where is he then

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 19:17:28

he isnt going to slag us all off afterwards in the car is he wink did you microphone him up incase justine

EricPicklesFatNeck Mon 03-May-10 19:17:31

maybe its the wine, can i tempt you prime minister with a fine vouvray?

nailonthehead Mon 03-May-10 19:17:33

Question from my dd age 9 :

How many seats in the House of Commons are you confident of securing and where would you like to win where you feel not so certain?

Like others I feel you have the most integrity of the 3 main party leaders but not sure if I will vote for your party in view of the current country debt.

Please tell me you havent changed your mind GB!

Herecomesthesciencebint Mon 03-May-10 19:17:48

Mr Brown, your nerves must be days of the pre election fever, all the bigot gate nightmare, constant round of meetings and now the mumsnet grilling!

I am a prior labour votor but undecided this election.

Im a mother and a GP. What can you honestly tell me that would make me feel like voting labour again? The constant changes, goverment led media witch hunt of GPs/Drs in general has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Can you promise it would be different if you were re-elected?

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 19:18:10

Am desperately excited - lemon sorbet and caramel topping (no wine here either) and a very confused DH.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:18:16

well I'm here with me cuppa. Got 10 mins while dd is cared for.

saiditall Mon 03-May-10 19:18:21

@herbie OUCH grin

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:18:22

He's outside in the car, having to be bribed to come back into MNHQ!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 19:18:27

The PM is here, has a choc chip biccie in hand and will get going imminently.

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:18:31

herbietea, that isn't very respectful. Whatever your views, Gordon Brown is still your Prime Minister right now hmm

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:18:42

Great to be back, enjoying a chocolate biscuit, and ready to go...

LadyBlaBlah Mon 03-May-10 19:18:57

<wonders about the wiseness of coming on MN for an evening chat considering all the booze that gets consumed at this time of the day in MN households>

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:19:03

Why was he late?

Romanarama Mon 03-May-10 19:19:05

Good luck for Friday!!

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:19:10

hey gordon

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 19:19:12

Mr Brown we've all got our kids in to bed, made dinner, and tidied it away, and poured a glass of wine for 7.15, sharp. Where are you?

AuntieMaggie Mon 03-May-10 19:19:12

how do we see this thing?

grumpyasallpoliticiansarepants Mon 03-May-10 19:19:18

Am I too late with my question? 'Do you feel that you have lost support from the majority of your party, and if so, can you win it back?'

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:19:24

Awww thanks Decafgirl But on the bright side my nights out have suddenly become a lot cheaper!

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:19:42

Welcome, Mr Brown!

what is his name? gordonbrown? hee hee

hunkermunker Mon 03-May-10 19:19:43

Um, it's not even 20 past.

Give the guy a break, fgs!

He's got a country to run (till Thursday, at least), so surely you can allow him 15 minutes' grace? Any later than that and yes, let fly the hounds. But till then...!

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:19:48

Tell us about the West Lothian Question, Gordon.

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:19:55

He'll post his replies in this here thread

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:19:58

4 nappies a day Gordon for disabled children. Thats not good enough. Dave said he'd write to the PCT's. what will you do?

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 19:20:01

*swoons about 'talking' to the PM

pretends to be a serious adult*

travellingwilbury Mon 03-May-10 19:20:07

Hurrah , thought you had run away then for a minute .

I really want to vote for you as I do believe in you but I am never quite sure how to convince others . Any ideas ?

Saucepanman Mon 03-May-10 19:20:10

lou you beat me to it, that's not the first pop you've had herbie, be polite, as we all expect GB to be and god forbid if he's not hmm

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:20:11

scottishmummy - frontline NHS is clinical, community and GP staff - we have not proposed a pay freeze.

Romanarama Mon 03-May-10 19:20:16

Please focus on the deficit and economic policies in general. What does Greece mean for us?

MorningCoffee Mon 03-May-10 19:20:23

Hello Mr Brown, good luck for friday smile

hunkermunker Mon 03-May-10 19:20:23

See, I knew posting that would get him here wink

<muzzles hounds>

Baileysismyfriend Mon 03-May-10 19:20:23

Hi Gordon, very best of luck for Thursday.
>>creep emotion<<

err no - I expect punctuality

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:20:39

Quick someone. How do I get this on live feed, or do I have to keep refreshing?

If we are nice will you be nicer to mums in your cuts?

SuSylvester Mon 03-May-10 19:20:56

hmm not liking Khaki tbh

llareggub Mon 03-May-10 19:20:59


I very much hope that I'll wake up to a Labour victory on Friday. Good luck!

Ewe Mon 03-May-10 19:21:07

Justine, please make sure he doesn't feed the trolls! (NotYetAMum <cough>)

Mr Brown, I think you're great and if there was any point you would certainly be getting my vote on Thursday but Grayling is my local MP so I will be lending my vote to the Lib Dems.

As a lone parent, studying part-time and working two days a week I have found it incredibly difficult to find an appropriate internship opportunity. Why, when I would be working for free, can MPs offer so little flexibility?

We have nothing approaching equality in the House of Commons and the lack of flexibility must play at part. Whilst I know you advocate rights to flexible working, surely you must start practicing them before you preach.

violetqueen Mon 03-May-10 19:21:07

Is he on his way ?

heylottie Mon 03-May-10 19:21:17

You look pretty tired - do you, as a person, have the energy for another term?

grumpyasallpoliticiansarepants Mon 03-May-10 19:21:20

Hello Gordon - wishing you well on Thursday

justaboutkeepingawake Mon 03-May-10 19:21:30

Sssh everyone I can't HEAR from the back.

Oh hello! Keeping my fingers crossed for you on thursday!

Fenouille Mon 03-May-10 19:21:38

Mr Brown,

Do you think that politicians have to justify themselves by enacting more and more legislation?

If so, do you think this is detrimental to this country's economy? And what would you do to stop it in the next parliament?

If not, could you please explain what benefit the thousands of new offences introduced by your party during the last 13 years have brought to the UK?

Thank you.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-May-10 19:21:40

AuntieMaggie, just keep hitting refresh.

Monty100 Mon 03-May-10 19:21:46

Gordon, what cuts will your Party really make in the Public Sector if your Party wins the election???

Surely the Public Sector needs money, not cuts.

How are our parents to be looked after?

How are we to be looked after when our day comes?? Our pensions will be worthless by then judging by the recent trends.

How are our children supposed to buy a home??

Why as a working lone parent am I struggling monthly to pay my bills?? Prices go up and up.

Why is public transport getting worse??

Why am I getting poorer and poorer every year??

Hopandpop Mon 03-May-10 19:21:54

GORDON: would you consider scrapping the early years foundation stage for childminders, foster carers do not have to do anywhere near as much paperwork as i a childminder have to. I feel it hinders my time as a childminder.

Quattrocento Mon 03-May-10 19:21:59

Why no pay freeze? people not in public sector are suffering pay freezes and redundancies...

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 03-May-10 19:22:00

Clam refresh sadly I think

Roma- lots of people here, lots of important wquestions, stop being so bossy

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 03-May-10 19:22:12

Gordon, as a feminist I feel very betrayed by Labour's record - apart from the horrendously low rape conviction rate, we are now living in an increasingly pornified society, in which sexism surrounds our little girls, it is considered ok for corporate entertainment to take place in lapdancing clubs and women still regularly get sacked from media jobs for not being young and pretty, despite the same qualification not being applied to men. The BBC produced a 'Glamour Model's Guide to Voting' for this election which is surely a new low! Most of this is not Labour's fault but it has happened on your watch.

What would your new government, if elected, do about this situation?

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:22:17

fruitshootsandleaves - why support a party that wants to cut children's tax credits for at least a million families when you could support Labour who are pledged to defend them, and the child trust fund and sure start too? To be clear - I am proposing a referendum in Ocotber 2011 on constitutional reform including electoral reform.

traceybath Mon 03-May-10 19:22:23

Would you freeze the pay of the upper levels/very highly paid in the public sector to perhaps enable the lower paid to get decent payrises?

NiceShoes Mon 03-May-10 19:22:24

Gordon,Primary Schools:None of my 4 local choices were available all oversubscribed.I have been offered another school ages away,no direct public transport so change for 2 buses. Would you bring in guaranteed catchment so child at least gets in local area?

MarthaQuest Mon 03-May-10 19:22:32

by the way Gordon, I didn't blame you at all for bigotgate!

mrsruffallo Mon 03-May-10 19:22:39

He was a few minutes late- that is fairly punctual isn't it?

Mr Brown- Good luck on Thursday. You seem like a decent person.

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:22:41

Too many creeps. Go Dave!

I think my system may crash lol nooooooo

SamanthaFox Mon 03-May-10 19:23:11

May I just say Sir that I think you seem a Very Nice man. I hope you do well on Thursday.
Best wishes to you and your family.

AuntieMaggie Mon 03-May-10 19:23:19

Quattro - we've already had pay freezes and other benefits cut

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 03-May-10 19:23:26

Yes, please do go Dave - go a long, long way away...

onebatmother Mon 03-May-10 19:23:34

And straight in - no messing about with niceties. Good.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:23:35

same here. I'd of got in the car and said something naughty too grin

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:23:39

Child Trsut Fund is a waste of taxpayers' money. Why would you want to protect that?

sweetkitty Mon 03-May-10 19:23:43

Welcome back Mr Brown, I hope you get to answer as many questions as possible (especially mine on Tax Credits)

southlundon Mon 03-May-10 19:23:52

Do you think that being a father has changed you as a politician? Does it make you more passionate during campaigning?

Good luck on Thursday - I for one don't think it's time for a change. I think the UK is pretty family-friendly at the moment and yours is the only party not proposing to start limiting/stop completely the child trust fund scheme.

woosam Mon 03-May-10 19:24:01

Welcome, PM! smile

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:24:29

Dave came all the way to my house to talk about nappies and disabled children. I invited you too. Clearly no minion passed on my emails. tsk

Vote for change... back. No thanks.

Hello Mr Brown - very pleased to hear what you have to say

Good luck for Thurs, however, if you are victorious are we definitly heading for the Euro or will therebe a referendum on that? sorry havent read you manifesto blush

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:24:46

To everybody asking about child tax credits including saiditall - the answer is I introduced tax credits because I saw that families needed far more support for their children. And we have doubled child tax benefit as well. Six million families get child tax credits. It would be totally wrong in my view to cut child tax credits now - they are vital to maintaining the living standards of families with children.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 03-May-10 19:25:02

Agree with southlundon. Best of luck on Thurs Gordon.

EricPicklesFatNeck Mon 03-May-10 19:25:03

Prime minister - do you think the first past the post system is still the best at delivering democracy? in my opinion it renders a lot of the population fairly voiceless and encourages apathy

JackBauerIsZonerrific Mon 03-May-10 19:25:05

Why are you keeping the CTF when the country need sthe money now?

And will you get rid of ID cards?

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:25:06

Dear Gordon,

Why are my local schools so bad that I have to pay for private?

And not get tax credits even though I am saving the taxpayer a fortune?

Education has been an abomination under Labour. As a Scot, you should be ashamed.

i am in a very blue area, should i vote lib dem to oust the tories?

MelonCauli Mon 03-May-10 19:25:18

There we go again - lets protect all the public sector employees with their nice pensions while the rest in the private sector lose their jobs, have their pay frozen and see their pensions disappear.

Fenouille Mon 03-May-10 19:25:31

Mr Brown,

Why do you insist on scaremongering and pumping out negative (and often untrue) comments on the other parties policies instead of telling us what you would do concretely?

EricPicklesFatNeck Mon 03-May-10 19:25:35

christ i should have name changed!

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:25:56

Why do you keep accusing the Tories of intending to cut Child Tax Credits for low-income families when that is not the case?

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:26:14


I live in Peterborough where the local school had 120 children who's first language was English. The school has dropped 60 places.

I feel that the topic of immigration has been skirted around by almost all political parties. Not one person wants to take the reins and give an honest, committed and carefully considered statement.

This is not racism this is realism. For the people who are not yet affected by these issues, they may not understand the very strong feelings of those who live amidst a nation that has changed so rapidly. You may not have been affected by these issues yet but when it hits your doorstep you will understand the strong emotions this raises, I do not want to be a prophet of doom but if this continues these exact issues and experiences will visit you as well.

Would you bring your send your children to this school? We do not earn enough to move out the area.

It is for this reason that myself, my husband and both sides of our family are NOT VOTING LABOUR

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:26:25

sweetkitty - the whole point of tax credits is to adjust to changing incomes, so if your income changes - eg if you go part time of if one of the partners stops working it can adjust. We've looked at all ways of making it as flexible as possible, and easy to claim, and we will continue to do that in the future.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:26:30

FabIsGoingToGetFit - The boys are doing well - thanks for asking. We are managing to get back to London most nights so we are protecting a lot of family time, and we are staying in touch throughout the day by phone while we are away.

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:26:37

Good to see Tax Credits are here to stay. However the system does need a bit of a rethink because at this point in time I'm owed money back but yet may end up owing the government more than that amount. My brain truly hurts...

I dont get tax credits as we have savings we have worked for - but we are taxed at 40% so our income just gets lower and lower as we have to pay for everything and pay high tax

Jux Mon 03-May-10 19:26:47

Lifelong learning, the OU, night classes etc. Most are utterly underfunded. Are you going to increase learning opportunities for those who missed out in their youth?

I don't mean merely practical courses, NVQ type things, but real brain-extending stuff, for instance, philosophy. Subjects you could study just for fun, or to keep your brain active.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 03-May-10 19:26:53

Please loose the child trust fund and increase the child tax credits for low income families.

TootingJo Mon 03-May-10 19:26:53

I'm undecided whether the child trust fund is a good thing or a bad thing. Of course I like it for my child, but I guess the other parties want to scrap it because it costs so much. Is it worth keeping?

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:26:58

And Carers Gordon. My husband has a PhD and 20 years research experience in the defence feild. He is unable to work full time because of lack of respite help for carers. My dd is severely disabled and life limited. Hubby should be at work.

Quattrocento Mon 03-May-10 19:27:01

So, no cuts to anything then?

Just more borrowing? Until we end up like Greece?

grumpyasallpoliticiansarepants Mon 03-May-10 19:27:19

talk to us about support for you - I don't want to vote hoping to get you, and then find the party doesn't allow you to stay on to do the job

Given the likelihood that you may not achieve a majority on Thursday, will you be willing to stand aside to give the party a fighting chance to recover power in the future?

LancashireDAFt Mon 03-May-10 19:27:31

Dear Mr Brown.

Do you have any plans to introduce an essential user fuel rebate? Our livelihood (haulage)is threatened with each and every fuel increase. I appreciate that this isn't a particularly relevant question for a parenting website but it is the most relevant question for my family and the families of the workers I employ.

Thank you.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:27:32

omgwoe- not the 10 o'clock news anyway... I like TV talent shows

mumutd Mon 03-May-10 19:27:41

We would be lost without our tax credits, I have 4 children and spent 14 years in the RAF before being medically discharged. My husband is a police officer and I just want to say a big thank you for ctc, I dread to think of us loosing them.

pamelat Mon 03-May-10 19:28:07

We are undecided voters

Won't be voting Conservative but split between Labour and Lib Dem. Personally, Clegg has put me off with his patronising (IMO) approach in the recent interviews.

We are a middle income family, 1 child and another on the way. We don't qualify for tax credits. What promises can be made about the retention of child care vouchers, whereby a percentage of my salary is taken untaxed for childcare?

I am a lower tax payer, my DH an upper one.

LeninGrad Mon 03-May-10 19:28:10

V good! smile

tulpa Mon 03-May-10 19:28:14

Are you commited to retaing free nursery places for three and four year olds?

Brollyflower Mon 03-May-10 19:28:37

<applauds quattrocento>

AuntieMaggie Mon 03-May-10 19:28:37

"There we go again - lets protect all the public sector employees with their nice pensions" if you worked in the public sector you'd know that's out of date!

hahah lovely cross post with grumpyasallpoliticians are wink

champagnesocialistsupernova Mon 03-May-10 19:28:58

1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response.
2. Keep your question brief
3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not to keep posting "What about me?".
4. Do be civil/polite.

It's not hard hmm

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:29:08

TootingJo - definitely worth keeping. Surely every child should have the chance to build up some nest egg - it makes kids more atuned to the savings culture and helps parents and grandparents give help to move into a first house for example.

justaboutkeepingawake Mon 03-May-10 19:29:10

(Pamela, if you don't qualify for tax credits you really are not a middle income family nationally speaking)

Fenouille Mon 03-May-10 19:29:23

Mr. Brown,

Could you please explain why you believe the cost of the vast bureaucracy required to manage tax credit and means tested systems would not be better spent on giving an income tax cut to the less well off?

squilly Mon 03-May-10 19:29:29

I think Gordon inherited a lot of trash from Tony Blair. I personally think he's done a good job as PM under difficult circumstances. I certainly think he's better than the competition. I hope he'll come through at the elections, despite his lack of PR spin and I'll be putting my vote where my mouth is.

I think there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, regardless of who gets in. Whether they will or not is doubtful, considering the financial difficulties the country is in. I guess we'll see after election day though.

MailaNurmi Mon 03-May-10 19:29:43

Meloncauli - have you ever worked in the public sector? It's not all cushy.
We had below inflation 'pay rises' for years - including 3 year deals - it just happens that for once, inflation drops and now everyone thinks we're on a bed of roses.

LMAO - my 8 year old - is gordon brown in brown because he is brown?

duckyfuzz Mon 03-May-10 19:29:47

good luck on thurs/fri Gordon

WhiteNoise Mon 03-May-10 19:29:56

So no tax credits cuts - TAHNK GOD as that is what we live on!

Tell me in a sentance what your party are doing for these things (please)

schools - specifically new build, low admissions and special schools

NHS - pay for workers, etc

Tax - up or down?

environment - grants for solar panels perhaps?

teamcullen Mon 03-May-10 19:30:02

Here Here Mr Brown. I love my Tax Credits. Please dont let the Tories take them to pay off the debt that they got us in back in the 80s by bloody privatising everything.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:30:22

To everyone asking about the deficit, I’m sorry this answer is quite a long one but it’s important so I want to make sure I cover it in detail. Once we’ve got the economy fully on the road to recovery we're going to halve the deficit in four years and there are three ways we’re going to do it.

The first and most important way is by having an economy that grows well - because a growing economy means more tax revenues and less need to spend on things like unemployment benefit. So, strange as it something seems, cutting spending too early and risking going back into recession, would actually make the deficit worse not better.

Second, I am afraid we have had to announce some tax rises, despite it being the run-up to an election. Now I think it is fair that most of the burden of these increases is taken by the richest, for example the new 50p top rate of tax.

The third is cuts in spending. These will definitely be needed and we have already embarked on making cuts in lower priority areas - and we don't pretend it is anything but painful. University vice chancellors know only too well that we are taking money off them and asking them to be more efficient. Legal aid budgets will be cut and we will spend less on regeneration and housing. Public sector pay will be capped public sector pensions reformed too. But it’s impossible to say precisely how much money the government will have to spend in three or four years time, because that depends on how much the economy is growing. That’s why it’s so important we secure the recovery this year – and not put it at risk.

grumpyasallpoliticiansarepants Mon 03-May-10 19:30:32

<waves at chocolate>

SuSylvester Mon 03-May-10 19:30:34

can you stop initiating new initiatives (!) in schools please
no more citizenship etcetc

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:30:37

CTF - no, DEFINITELY NOT WORTH KEEPING!!!! We are MASSIVELY IN DEBT, hasn't anyone told you? That is a luxury WE CANNOT AFFORD!

<<Sorry for shouting>>

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 19:30:57

FabIsGoingToGetFit - The boys are doing well - thanks for asking. We are managing to get back to London most nights so we are protecting a lot of family time, and we are staying in touch throughout the day by phone while we are away.

Glad to hear you are protecting a lot of family time with your boys Gordon.

Sticks in my throat a bit that though, because of the way you have over committed our Armed Forces thousands of children (mine included) spend less and less time with one or both of their parents.

justaboutkeepingawake Mon 03-May-10 19:31:03

Um, don't want to be repetitive but nappies for disabled children? Any thoughts?

PortBlacksandVoter Mon 03-May-10 19:31:13

Hello Mr Brown smile

4andnotout Mon 03-May-10 19:31:13

Good Evening Mr Brown, I will be voting labour on Thursday as without the tax credits system we couldn't survive, however I was a bit concerned that the candidate for my area (NW Norfolk) actually loves in Leicester, how can a candidate who sint local know anything about the local area and it's problems?

Good luck again for Thursday!

whaooo clam easy tiger

Brollyflower Mon 03-May-10 19:31:18

What do you consider to be more important during an election campaign: honesty or popularity?

BosomsByTheSea Mon 03-May-10 19:31:38

Mr Brown,

Just popped in to say.....

I hope someone has summarised the 'bigotgate' threads on here. Bad luck and shame on Sky; poor, poor journalism and clearly engineered to suit their own agenda. MN is behind you on that one.

I think you are doing an incredible job under very difficult circumstances.

I hope you are able to have some lovely time with your family after Thursday and when all this is over, whatever the outcome. smile

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:31:40

Gordon, if universities charge £14,000 for science degrees, people will pick cheaper ones and Britian will lose its science research base. That cant be good. Science jobs are not well paid either so its a large debt to take on.

WhiteNoise Mon 03-May-10 19:32:00

sorry just thought of a better question so please ignore the other!

What is the point of the trust funds?

If it's uni places then why not abolish the fees?

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:32:13

Would you agree that the majority of your votes come from those who are on benefits?

Can you tell me what you are doing for small businesses once the cuts are made?

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:33:00

Lilybolero - National Insurance has paid for investment in our NHS - what definitely isn't fair is inheritance tax cuts for millionaires as the Conservatives propose. Income tax is now at 20 percent for most people, with a top rate of 50 percent above £150 thousand. Our policy on NI, where nobody pays if they earn under 20 thousand, and pensioners are protected is far fairer than a VAT rise which hits everybody and is the traditional Tory policy.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:33:04

Must ask Nick Clegg about nappies for disabled children too. Knew I'd forgotten something. Its a biggie now dd is no longer in Pampers but super expensive adult incontinence nappies.

soph24 Mon 03-May-10 19:33:09

My husband is a policeman and being paying into his pension for 20 years - would it safe under labour?

megcleary Mon 03-May-10 19:33:09

Could you please answer as to why you *gave away* the gold reserves?

FabIsGoingToGetFit Mon 03-May-10 19:33:17

Thank you for answering .

Please tell me if you win you will sack the people who tell you to smile first.

You see, this is exactly why I think politics is all about the image and not about the content these days. Britain needs to cut its spending. Unless you have a money cloning machine you cannot achieve everything you would wish to with the debts the country has.

I am willing to vote for whoever will be honest enough to acknowledge that we are going to have to cut education/health/social services/duck houses for MPs. And just get on with it, yes it'll be painful, see Greece for examples. But unless we take some serious measures, we're bust too! angry

tulpa Mon 03-May-10 19:33:34

retaining...note to self...check spelling when communicating with Prime Minister

hunkermunker Mon 03-May-10 19:33:51

(Justine, how long is the PM here for, please? I'd like to know when I need to start agitating about the Baby Milk Action/protecting babies question I asked - not that I'm agitating now, OH NO! grin)

gt17 Mon 03-May-10 19:34:00

I think you are brilliant Gordan! - and it WAS Sue's fault.

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:34:02

Riven, let me assure you - they have downgraded Science completely. I say this as a Science teacher.

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:34:05

Good question Megcleary

MelonCauli Mon 03-May-10 19:34:20

AuntieMaggie - I do work in the public sector - I don't believe we can afford it all any more

trixie123 Mon 03-May-10 19:34:22

why have you spent thirteen years sending more and more people to uni when it is not suitable for all and as is now blatantly obvious, we can't afford to fund it. Even without the dearth of graduate jobs brought on by the recession this was a ridiculous idea from the outset. Also, am trying to obtain hard copies of the party manifestos to read before thurs but can't. Surely these should be easily available everywhere. Any suggestions?

EricPicklesFatNeck Mon 03-May-10 19:34:29

please do answer about first past the post.

i think any party that is in power too long gets tired and lazy as illustrated by Mr Hoon adn his 'Hoon' business.

Doobydoo Mon 03-May-10 19:34:54

Agree with Whomovedmychocolatesmile

laziness Mon 03-May-10 19:34:55

Mr. Brown
I appreciate your policies regarding immigration.Please do something to improve NHS's service as it concerns many of us on mumsnet
thanks and Good luck!

TootingJo Mon 03-May-10 19:34:56

Thanks Mr.Brown. I do see your point, grandparents have contributed to our childs fund. It's too early to see how this is going to effect society - when all our children grow up and have this nest egg. I think it's fascinating, and could be a positive change.

Baileysismyfriend Mon 03-May-10 19:35:09

I liked your deficit response.

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 19:35:10

'Legal aid budgets will be cut and we will spend less on regeneration and housing'

I hope legal aid won't be available to disgraced MP's any more Gordon.

Also,with regard to housing we need more affordable housing or social housing. Seems arse about face to keep CTFs and spend less on housing confused

foureleven Mon 03-May-10 19:35:23

Of all the important questions on here we get some rubbish about TV talent shows and a shameless attempt at appearing like a 'family man' by telling us what a wonderful job you are doing of seeing your boys... eurgh. We are mums not fools!

This is embarrassing and degrading and im logging off.

I think the problem with the tory millionaire Inheritance tax is that like me most people dont see that it affects them

FloweryTwats Mon 03-May-10 19:35:28

Has anyone asked about the biscuit yet?

Jux Mon 03-May-10 19:35:50

DH is a musician, and yes, he's registered for tax.

Since the smoking ban, his livelihood is being constantly threatened. More and more pubs are closing down, clubs etc are going the same way. In our town alone 4 pubs have closed in the last year and a half.

There are landlords who smoke, most of their customers smoke, and who would like to make the choice for themselves.

In the Isle of Mann they used to be able to buy a license which allowed them to choose to allow smoking in their pub. I don't know if this is the case now. Why can't you give us all the choice of whether we want to congregate in a smokey place or not? This blanket ban has decimated the pub industry, with many publicans losing their homes as well as their businesses. Staff lose their jobs. Musicians and other entertainers lose yet another place to play.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:36:00

I agree Mmblueberry. The physics teacher was practically weeping about how crap physics and chemistry have become and how dumbed down. This is not going to give us world class scientists.

Fenouille Mon 03-May-10 19:36:19

Justine, when are David Cameron and Nick Clegg coming on for last minute chats? Or are we being used by Labour to try and raise G. Brown's ratings by talking to "normal' people?

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:36:22

tulpa - yes with no charges, and we are increasing the number of hours to 15

"Our policy on NI, where nobody pays if they earn under 20 thousand, and pensioners are protected is far fairer than a VAT rise which hits everybody and is the traditional Tory policy."

This line of spin is really starting to annoy me. Being as Labour haven't ruled out a rise in VAT (just a pledge not to widen the range of products on which is is charged), why do you continue to peddle this invisible dividing line between you and the Tories? No-one has been able to rule out a rise in VAT, so trying to make out that you won't do it is a little disingenuous, surely?

Ewe Mon 03-May-10 19:36:41

Give him a bloody chance to answer the questions! There are over 400 posts on this thread...

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:36:53

TootingJo.... Fascinating? Are you serious?

onebatmother Mon 03-May-10 19:37:00

Poor Sue. I think she's probably been put on typing duty.

Hello Gordon Brown,
Just wanted to say I think what you have done as both chancellor and prime minister regarding families, public health and managing the recession we are going through is great. I hope you get in on Thursday, it'll be a great birthday present for me on Friday despite living in a forever tory area!
Have you had a look at If not, have a look tonight and have a giggle over a bottle of wine!

HeadFairy Mon 03-May-10 19:37:16

Hello Gordon... do you think the tax credits system is better than the Lib dem proposal to introduce a tax free allowance of £10,000? I don't get tax credits, but it feels to me like you're taking money from people only to give it back again. Surely the system can become more cost effective and still achieve the same aims if you don't take the money from those who qualify in the first place?

Good luck on Thursday!

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:37:23

laughalout - there are 40 thousand more teachers and 120 thousand more classroom assistants since 1997, so we are trying to lower the pupil teacher ratio - we will continue to raise the schools budget, the Conservatives refuse to match this one.

Monty100 Mon 03-May-10 19:37:24

Hear hear Jux. smile

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:37:32

The Nursery Education Grant is a real benefit to children who might otherwise miss out, so thank you smile

frakkinnuts Mon 03-May-10 19:37:37

foureleven - give the guy a break. I don't blame him for answering the easy ones first if this is the first time he's seen the questions!

But actually, Mr Brown, I'm more interested in your policies than your family too. This is a job interview, not a cocktail party.

menopausemad Mon 03-May-10 19:37:42

My son could be a brilliant scientist. Unfortunately although we have a good income we also have a huge mortgage and other debts. It is such a shame, for him but perhaps also for the country, he will not be able to go to University but we simply cannot afford it. Please will you consider helping the so called well off but cash poor to educate their children? As Riven notes it is hardly likely he will be in a position to pay of huge student debts.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:37:44

GeorginaWorsley and magentadreamer - I think there is a big choice for people at this election on the NHS. I hope that people will see our record in the NHS, with 90,000 more nurses, 40,000 more doctors, more than a hundred new hospitals, and the shortest waiting times since records began.

The next few years are obviously going to be financially tight and it’s when things are tight that you have to decide who you trust to protect the services that matter to families. Our plan is to make savings in the back office and reinvest them in the frontline. For example, we’re cutting management costs by a third by putting nurses more in control of services, and at the same time we will cut waiting times for cancer tests down to just one week for everyone who needs them.

The Tories are much more of a gamble, because they voted against so much of that investment at the time, and now of course they are committed to scrapping all our waiting times guarantees, including of course scrapping your right to see a cancer specialist in 2 weeks. So it’s a choice of who you trust.

GeorginaWorsley on your specific question - I don’t know the details of your particular unit, but over time as we get a greater elderly population and we need more care at home, we are going to need more nurses and doctors working in primary and community care and fewer patients will need to be treated in hospitals, so that is going to be an important change. But that doesn’t mean that services aren’t being protected. In fact, we think that those changes are essential to improving quality, saving lives and to making efficiencies that will allow us to invest even more in frontline care.

Bumperliouzzzzzz Mon 03-May-10 19:37:50

Trixie, I'm sure the manifestos have been in Waterstones.

BecauseIAgreeWithGordon Mon 03-May-10 19:38:01

Really interesting article on CTF here

(Sorry for the hijack, Mr Brown)

MmeTrueBlueberry Mon 03-May-10 19:38:03

Fenoulle, this bias concerns me too.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 03-May-10 19:38:06

Does it annoy you as much as everyone in my house that David Cameron is incapable of answering a question?

MmeLindt Mon 03-May-10 19:38:17

V. good answer on the deficit. Good to see a politician answering a question honestly, even if it is going to be unpopular.

purplepeony Mon 03-May-10 19:38:30

why do you keep telling lies about "Tory Cuts"?
They have said time after time they are not going to cut front line services.

Why are you promising to sort out the economy when you have had 13 years to build it up- before the "global " recession?

Why did you not save when we had boom?
How do you think we can trust you to get the country back on track when you have in fact created this mess?

justfreedisablednappies Mon 03-May-10 19:38:43

Doing my best for you, Riven

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:39:11

MuppetsMuggle - I think we should be proud of our history of welcoming people fleeing persecution, or coming here to work hard and build a new life – those who came in the nineteenth century, those who came in the decades after the Second World War, and those from Eastern Europe - who, by the way, pay more than their share of taxes and use less than their share of public services, according to recent research published by the IFS.
But of course I agree that newcomers should play by the rules and respect British traditions. That’s why we’ve introduced tougher tests for English language abilities, which have to be taken before people come to Britain, and a test of knowledge of Life in the UK for those applying for British citizenship. And that’s why, as well as the points-based system for those wanting to come here, which has already helped reduce net migration, we would extend the points-based system to people applying to stay here permanently.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:39:12

To Duckinhell and others asking about help for the self employed - the key is keeping the economy moving and stopping it going back into recession. Rates reductions are happening for small businesses and we must keep interest rates low. Send me directly any questions related to tax credits for the self employed and I will deal with them.

southlundon Mon 03-May-10 19:39:38

LadyBlaBlah - I was talking about that with friends today. Argh most annoying.

janeite Mon 03-May-10 19:39:43

Good evening. I am so glad that you came back on here: I am feeling more and more that I may well vote labour on Thursday, for the first time in my life.

What are your views on Academies please?

WhiteNoise Mon 03-May-10 19:40:00

This is less of a join the labour party and more of a don't vote Tory.

I just want to know how are you going to fix the mess that we are in?

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:40:02

He surely should have known I'd ask about nappies for disabled children.

Doobydoo Mon 03-May-10 19:40:11

meopausemad..shame you can't downsize then you might be able to help your it an option?

fords Mon 03-May-10 19:40:19

I don't think my family are taking this chat husband wants to know who you think will win the snooker and my daughter has just called you a poopoo pants. Good answer on the deficit though!

Great to see you again Mr Brown, feel ever so slightly shamefaced about the biccie debacle last time...but heigh ho!

My question. having just started my own business, I am faced with the dreaded VAT. Being a good citizen and business person, I am trying to put away that 17.5% on my hot food sales for the VAT man, but to be honest, it just seems like a millstone around my neck already. I can seriously see this being the death knell for my promising business. My margins are tiny, I can't even pay myself...but it is a great little business and doing well already.

So, what's the deal for supporting small businesses? I can't get loans from any of the banks for a start up, I have to pay outrageous amounts in VAT, quite frankly, looking at the figures, why do I bother?

So, my question is, VAT, why? and where is the support for new, small business we hear so much about? because it ain't in Hackney, I can tell you that much.

policywonk Mon 03-May-10 19:40:26

<fenouille/MmeBlueberry - I hereby bet you about a gazillion pounds that Cameron and Clegg are being offered exactly the same slots on MN. If they don't appear it'll be because they didn't want to, or couldn't fit it in.>

notsureatall Mon 03-May-10 19:40:48

Gordon, I have two young sons and I worry about what jobs will be available to them in the future. We don't manufacture anything here any more - I fear the only jobs that will be available to them will be working in the service industry. What are your plans to stop more British companies selling to foreign competitors?

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:40:48

Headfairy a tax free allowance of £10000 would only make low-income families £705 better off, because you only pay tax of 20% between the tax free allowance of £6475 and £1000, which is £3525*.2=£705. Our family gets just short of £12000 in tax credits, more than DH's net wage.

Thank you for answer on small businesses - good to hear you will help more

tulpa Mon 03-May-10 19:40:58

Thank you.

herbietea Mon 03-May-10 19:41:01

With respect the Tories are not just helping millionaires by raising inheritance tax thresholds.

My parents' and PILs' houses/estates are both worth in excess of £325k. We're not millionaires, they bought their houses when house prices were a lot less.

It looks like to me the Tories are helping lots of people who have been dragged into the IT brackets through your Government enabling the price of houses to rocket in the last 13 years.

TheFirstLady Mon 03-May-10 19:41:03

I totally agree, Riven, see my question earlier in the thread, and not just science but any academic discipline that doesn't have an obvious route to a well-paid career. I think that one of the most pernicious legacies of the Thatcher years, and which successive Labour education secretaries have done nothing to dispell, is the way in which the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake has been dismissed as elitist and unproductive.

Doobydoo Mon 03-May-10 19:41:08

Though I know a mortgage on a shoebox can be huge!
Please answer nappy question Mr Brown

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 03-May-10 19:41:08

Thankyou for answering my question grin - although we don't qualify for child tax credit. We only get child benefit, I fear that will soon be stopped as well.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:41:16

MmeLindt - how my Friday morning goes is really up to you! If there's one thing I've learned in my life it's that nothing is inevitable.

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:41:17

policywonk, they'll be out of luck tomorrow. Its Holby onna telly grin

purplepeony Mon 03-May-10 19:41:22

Has no one asked you about the rsie you prospe in NI?

Every big comapany i n the UK is saying it will be a disaster for the economy- why do you keep ducking this issue?

The way out of recession is to build businesses- this rise in NI will do the opposite.

portabello Mon 03-May-10 19:41:29

Gordon, we're dithering over the name of our beautiful new son - which do you prefer - Benjamin, Frederick, Seamus or Jasper?

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:41:30

Menopausemad - more people are going to university this year than ever before. And because 40% of young people now go to university we've tried to get the right balance between what parents, the government and the graduate pays. More students are now getting grants than ever before. The science budget has been doubled in the last 10 years.

TeaOneSugar Mon 03-May-10 19:41:32

If nurses are running the NHS, they aren't seeing patients !!

The NHS needs professional managers.

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:41:36

Your reserch regarding the Eastern Europeans is not as accurate as you think.

Why do you not come and visit us in Perborough?

Fenouille Mon 03-May-10 19:41:39

Mr. Brown, where is the money is coming from to keep raising education budgets?

justfreedisablednappies Mon 03-May-10 19:41:40

Did you ask too Riven? Oh good, I thought I was the only one boring on about double incontinence for England.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:41:50

Riven, thanks for your question and I'm sorry that no-one has come back to you on your question in the past. If you want to write to me personally with more details on your situation I'd like to take a closer look at it.

I am full of admiration for those, like you, who care for a disabled child. Decisions like the one you describe on nappies will be made locally, but I can see it would be frustrating to come up against a rigid rule like the one you describe. That's why we want to offer everyone the chance of an individual budget so you can choose the best way to spend the resources that are available to help you and your child.

It's also worth mentioning that as our manifesto makes clear we are 100% committed to continuing to improve the support for parents of disabled children to receive respite care and go on short breaks. We are incredibly grateful for our carers and all they do, and we know we can support you even better in the future.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 03-May-10 19:41:55

This should be one of your campaign slogans:
"and those from Eastern Europe - who, by the way, pay more than their share of taxes and use less than their share of public services, according to recent research published by the IFS."

but, sadly, I think there are too many bigots in this country.

hatwoman Mon 03-May-10 19:42:51

why do you think we need a Bill of Rights when we effectively already have one in the Human Rights Act? If the Bill of Rights is not going to extend to socio-economic rights what will it add to the HRA?

Mr brown, Id like to know why CTF and Health in pregnancy grants are still in exsistance? Both are a complete waste of money. surely these should go before cutting housing?

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:43:01

Madame, you don't pay the VAT, your customer does confused

kayjayel Mon 03-May-10 19:43:09

Mr Brown,

Do you really believe that the NHS managers have any skills in efficiency? Having worked in 5 trusts in last 8 years I personally have seen 'efficiency savings' taking the form of never covering maternity or sick leave, increasing demands on highly motivated staff, asking people to do impossible jobs, charging for photocopying, coffee, parking and spending a fortune sending staff on mandatory training.

In contrast I have been sent on many, many meetings to discuss new agendas and strategies, some of which have never seen the light of day, despite years of planning, but were obviously fun ideas for the chief executive of the day.

If these efficiency savings approaches mean anything could someone please explain what they will actually entail, or whether its just more pressure on managers in the NHS to cut corners (again).

Also, the use of private sector accountancy firms to advise the NHS is a joke, given the state of the banking sector and the incidents over the recent years with Arthur Andersen etc. I know many people working in these big companies and have heard shocking tales of people being paid twice, employees stealing whatever perks they can, and very inefficient use of temporary staff merely to pump up egos. Please can you reassure us that the NHS won't suffer further from advice from people who really don't have any appreciation of our work.


MailaNurmi Mon 03-May-10 19:43:12

Gordon:"at the same time we will cut waiting times for cancer tests down to just one week for everyone who needs them."

that's fine but who decides who needs them? I work in Pathology and ever since the cancer pathway came in, there has been a deluge of tests marked with CP. Not all of them need it! Very hard to get them off the pathway.

Also we are losing staff that we aren't allowed to replace so how we will be able to keep to the 1 week (my lab does actually manage it at the moment but it's getting increasingly difficult). Am doing 6-7 hours extra for free every week.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:43:14

Janeite - great news, thank you for considering us. By the end of the next parliament we will have a thousand schools that are either federated schools or academies. Every school should be a good school and if a school that is underperforming needs to be taken over we will get another school which is doing well to do so.

neenz Mon 03-May-10 19:43:17

Why do we have a deficit anyway? Is it just because the economy hasn't grown as you thought it would, or are the banks to blame? Could you not see that there was going to be this massive hole in the budget?

I am a Labour supporter, but many people say it's your fault we are in this mess and that's why we shouldn't vote for you. But I think we would be in an even worse mess if it wasn't for you.

Do you think it is your fault, if not why not?

magentadreamer Mon 03-May-10 19:43:48

Thank you for answering my Question. I worked in the NHS under the Tory's and hope never to go back to the long waiting lists or the two teir GP fund holder system - this meant a GP fund holder Patient got their cataract operation in 4 months a non GP fund holder waited 12 months.

Dramamama Mon 03-May-10 19:43:53

Hello Gordon, i don't have a question i think you may have had enough of that wink i would just like to wish you luck, I think what the labour party has done for familys is fantastic i often use my local sure start centre and can't imagine life without it same goes for tax credits so thank you; you have my vote.

Mrs1GeneGenie Mon 03-May-10 19:43:56

NI- if this is not paid by people earning under 20 thousand what impact will this have on their state pensions?

This will be me when I have to return to work....

fishie Mon 03-May-10 19:43:59

i too would like to hear about support for small businesses.

and funding for the voluntary sector.

and why everyone has to go to university rather than work in manufacturing.

megcleary Mon 03-May-10 19:44:18

well said herbietea

BrownNotCameronPlease Mon 03-May-10 19:44:27

Evening Mr Brown!

I would like to say that I think you are doing a pretty damn good job in a very difficult time

Not a perfect job, no. and yes mistakes have been made but I do not think we are ready for a change under a Tory leader!

I for one wish you the best of luck in Thursdays election, and hope to wake up on May 7th to find you still in power!

noddyholder Mon 03-May-10 19:44:35

Gordon wrt NI its not nobody pays if they earn under 20k its nobody pays more!have you even read your own manifesto

SeaShellsOnTheSeaShore Mon 03-May-10 19:44:38

My Internet connection is too slow to keep up (phone!) but just wanted to wish you luck on thursday and I hope you win- if you do please give the lib dens the respect they deserve. It will be the making if British politics.

menopausemad Mon 03-May-10 19:44:41

Doobydoo, no, not unless we move into rented with negative equity to repay. And....we do not want to move the others from the excellent secondary school nearby.

TBH the only way I can find round this is to get a divorce and be a single parent! Gordon please tell us about University costs. It cannot be right to send so many young people we have to ask them to pay thus preventing some of the brightest from benefiting from education.

BTW of my three children only one would really benefit from Uni/potentially benefit the country by going....

LibertyLashes Mon 03-May-10 19:44:41

Hi - I'm not sure if this has been asked as I am a late arriver to this discussion. I would really like to know if the childcare voucher scheme is really going to be axed? With my travel costs and nursery fees of £7k per year just for three days a week it is unlikely there will be much left of my wages. I am just out of eligibility of any tax credits so this is very impotant to me.

MrJustAbout Mon 03-May-10 19:44:50

Mr Prime Minister,

Your achievements of the past 13 years in focusing effort on the poor are about to be eliminated by a Tory government. Given the poll results and the rancour between your party and that of the Liberal Democrats, I struggle to see any likelihood of you remaining in post.

In the interests of both the UK and your own legacy, would you step aside in order if that would allow a Lib-Lab coalition to form?

Doobydoo Mon 03-May-10 19:44:55

Have to say my experience matches what Gordon has said re Eastern Europeans...I work in the Nhs and in the community.Well said Gordon.I wish you hadn't apologised to 'that woman' ...

sarah293 Mon 03-May-10 19:44:57

best give me your email then Gordon. I have emailed you twice and got no answer. Given Dave came to see me personally after he failed the nappy question I am suprised I didn't get an answer.
We don't need admiration, we need decent help not obstructive councils who make carers beg and treat us like scum.
If carers break can the country afford the 76 billion we save the govt?
And thats no decent answer on nappies for disabled children. Remove the 4 a day limit please.

DuelingFanjo Mon 03-May-10 19:45:00

I have a question if you are still there?

My husband and I are having our first child later this year. In what way would a Labour government benefit the life of my child compared to a Conservative or Lib Dem government.

Beaaware Mon 03-May-10 19:45:07

Dear Mr.Brown,
REAL ISSUE, SAFE BLOOD, can you advise us what you plan to do about the safety of UK blood, it is not screened for vCJD therefore anyone can pass it on through donating blood, what are Labour's plans to stop the spread of vCJD through blood?

I agree with fishie - why university when we should be gong back into apprenticeship

TeaOneSugar Mon 03-May-10 19:45:22

I agree there's too much talk and not enough action often in the NHS, however, we are often required to have strategies we don't need, "world class commissioning" is an industry in itself.

GordonBrown Mon 03-May-10 19:45:25

Notsureatall - The big future for Britain and your two sons lies in digital, low carbon, bio-tech and other advanced manufacturing where Britain can lead the world. We are investing in everything from electric car manufacturing to nanotechnology and we are the sixth biggest manufacturing power in the world with just 1% of the population.

Bumperliouzzzzzz Mon 03-May-10 19:45:25

Good answers, except for the negative Tory spin. Don't waste the time on that, use it to be positive about yourself and Labour. Please

Gordon, its good to see you here but I'd like to ask you what you plan to do about the unemployed my husbands unemployed and New Deal is useless sends him for jobs he isn't qualified for and training where the tutors aren't intrested meanwhile we're barely surviving on what we get yet you try to push him into employment which is unsuitable. If you can explain how this would change I'm sure you'd earn a lot more voters from the unemployed sector.

VirtualPA Mon 03-May-10 19:45:33

stewiegriffinsmum - you dont have a clue, its not being a bigot, its realism.

When you live in an area you see it. There are 11 people living in a two bedroom house next door.

Others stole our cat and held it to ransom.

They steal from our back garden.

I am NOT saying everyone is like this but it's fairly common

clam Mon 03-May-10 19:45:42

40,000 teachers? How many of those are full-time?

plus3 Mon 03-May-10 19:45:51

I'm not sure if you can answer this, but what about tactical voting? If we are in a Tory stronghold, and wish to vote Labour - is it better to vote Lib dem????

lou031205 Mon 03-May-10 19:45:52

Gordon, please see my question about this 'personal budget'. Anything that is controlled by Social Services just means a barrier to people like us accessing them. I have a child on High Rate DLA, blue badge, about to go to Special School, and can't get any help from Social Services sad

NotYetAMum1 Mon 03-May-10 19:46:13

Hello Mr Brown.

We have been unable to afford a house for a number of years.

The reasons for rising prices are always shrouded in mist in the political/media debate.

In the 1997 budget, you abolished dividend tax credits on pension funds. Companies saw the writing on the wall and immediately ended their final salary pension schemes to new employees shortly after.
They also started to cut down on the number of people with long final salary pension service and worked towards ending a scheme which would no longer be viable.

When you abolished the pensions tax credit, the yield for institutional funds across the entire market fell by 20 per cent. Few people outside the City understood the change and hardly any MPs protested. But Whitehall papers produced under the Freedom of Information act showing that you were warned by your officials and by the Treasury that there would be dire consequences.

3.] The advice you were given, in 1997 was as follows:

'The changes in incentives are likely to lead to substantial changes in portfolios. Pension funds will find equity relatively less attractive, and will prefer other assets – particularly interest bearing securities and foreign equity – and may also be prompted to consider more direct property investment.'

Much of those funds were then channelled into fuelling an unsustainable property bubble, BTL portfolios, which developed because of Labours complete lack of regulation of the Banks.
This was followed by ever increasing toxic mortgage debt, and this was followed by the bank bailouts.

The UK debt bubble stopped inflating at the end of 2003.

But then, you removed housing costs from the inflation index (in December 2003, from RPI to CPI), despite Bank of England's opposition, to force the Bank to keep interest rates low. [Too low.]

Is this an example of incompetent decision making which helped to create the cornerstone of the debt bubble?

4.] In the ten years previous to the Raid on pensions, From 1987 to 1997 the Average House Price rose from £40k to £55k.
A 33.3% rise over ten years.
From 1997 to 2007, the Average House Price rose from £55k to £190k [Nationwide Building Society figures]
A staggering 245% increase over the same period. [Ten years.]

The UK should not be facing the debt we are facing.

Why should a younger generation pay for your debt?
Whilst keeping your house prices artificially inflated?

We are in effect paying for your houses, whilst being unable to afford our own.

We have already been forced to waste tens of thousands in rent over the last nine to ten years.
We are being forced into Debt Bondage.

There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of disenchanted people, completely priced out of the housing market for a decade are looking at the Lib Dems.

The Tories, seem only interested in making the 'debt more affordable to pay,' as a pose to 'tackling the debt itself.'

You said in 1997 'I will not let House Prices get out of control.'

Do you think that this debt transfer is UNFAIR?

Brollyflower Mon 03-May-10 19:46:18

The fact that GB is unaware of Riven's situation when the political parties consider MN so important they repeatedly visit and Riven has had a personal visit from David Cameron makes me think Labour may not be as in touch as they think they are. Another thing to blame a researcher for (Sue?) wink?

travellingwilbury Mon 03-May-10 19:46:40

As someone who works in home care I have been increasingly worried about the passing over of full time care to agencies who to be bruttaly frank are in the main pretty over worked and generally shite .

I think things worked much better when social care actually meant something . Rather than just being fobbed off with badly trained and looked after staff .

janeite Mon 03-May-10 19:46:45

Thank you for the answer re: academies. My concern is that until the league tables measure CVA to judge 'performance', rather than hard results, it is impossible to make a judgement that a school is 'inadequate' and therefore needs to become an academy or be federated. Any views?

menopausemad Mon 03-May-10 19:46:47

Sorry but why on earth do we need to send so many young people to University? Why not pay for those who would really benefit. I am socialist through and through but no one can pretend that we are all so equal that we should all have the same education!

treehugga Mon 03-May-10 19:46:53

I'm with Dramamama. Best of luck to you, and we are hoping it all comes good. Shame about Iraq of course.