Teenage tears fire up prime minister

By Aled Thomas

The tears of a 14-year-old girl helped Gordon Brown give his most impassioned performance of a difficult campaign.

The prime minister appeared with David Cameron and Nick Clegg at a meeting of community groups sponsored by CitizensUK.

At an event described by some an ‘unofficial’ fourth leaders’ debate, Mr Brown received several ovations as he spoke of his passion for fairness.

He also comforted the young girl who appeared with her mother and grandmother, who both work at the chancellor’s office. She broke down as she explained her mother got up at 03.30 in the morning to get the bus to work because it is cheaper and how they often ate lentils for a week because they couldn’t afford anything else.
Mr Brown told the audience: “As you fight for fairness, you will always find in me a friend, a partner, and a brother.”

He told the audience: “Your movement is like every other great movement in history. It is built on moral convictions. First hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of people who say inequality should not be woven into the fabric of our lives, people of compassion and goodwill should never journey without hope, and no injustice should endure forever.”

In an article in the Guardian today, the prime minister appeals to centre -left voters and politicians, saying the Tories have no desire for progressive politics.

He says voters in Labour/Conservative marginals should vote for the government party to ensure reform.
In a piece headlined ‘Don’t kid yourself, Nick. No Lib Dem I know sees any Tory progressive bond”, Mr wrote: “I know in my bones that Labour is the only party with a passion to eradicate poverty.

“The Tories instead are offering a do-it-yourself plan for public services. They would end the principle of universal provision, and cut the tax credits that millions of families rely on. They are willing to consign a generation to long-term unemployment by closing our Future Jobs Fund.”

And he appealed to Lib Dem supporters, and perhaps their would-be MPs: ” The truth is that only a Labour government can deliver meaningful constitutional change. Nick Clegg is deceiving himself if he believes the Conservatives would back electoral reform. It is against every instinct that the Tories have.

“No Liberal Democrat I know thinks there is any bond of progressive instinct with the Conservatives.”