Gordon Brown: Britain has a fundamental choice in this election

From a speech at the London offices of Bloomberg by the Chancellor of the Exchequer
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The Independent Online

An election is not just a choice about who is to govern: it is a choice about what is the future direction of the country: a contest not just of political organisation but of governing philosophies. And in the campaign ahead, Britain will face a fundamental choice that will not only define the future of our economy but the long-term strength of our society.

An election is not just a choice about who is to govern: it is a choice about what is the future direction of the country: a contest not just of political organisation but of governing philosophies. And in the campaign ahead, Britain will face a fundamental choice that will not only define the future of our economy but the long-term strength of our society.

Having met the first challenge that any modern government has to meet - creating the conditions for stability, employment and investment - we must now confront the next challenge: how amidst the most rapid and extensive global economic changes the world has seen, we ensure long-term prosperity for the British people.

So the Government that has over eight years created the conditions for stability, employment and investment will seek a mandate to prepare and equip Britain for the next set of global challenges: investing long-term in skills, science and enterprise; helping families trying to balance work and family life instead of leaving them isolated as they face change; investing in and reforming public services instead of just cutting them; and above all a determination to be long-termist not short-termist and take no risks with the stability we created.

Let us remind each other of Britain's chronic post-war history of stop-go, inflation, short-termism, under-investment and higher unemployment and the damage it did to businessmen and women. But I can tell you that in exactly the same way that we had the strength since 1997 to take long-term decisions on fiscal as well as monetary policy, we are equally resolved today to avoid at all times the short-termism and mistaken fiscal - as well as monetary - policies of the past. Labour will be and will remain the party of economic competence and stability.

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