Great line by Stephen Hammond in PMQs yesterday commenting on Brown's first day on the campaign trail, including his visit to a "normal house" in Kent. Very good. And quite a revealing line from Brown. "People... said they wanted to secure the recovery". Really? A classic example of Brownite bunkerism - not a very personal or empathetic explanation of what people are concerned about. Seemed to underline that he came away from campaigning merely with a confirmation that people agreed with him. Very Brownite indeed - bulldozering on with the same line. Even if it's true that people care about the recovery - he needs to find a way of expressing that in a more down to earth way.
Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) (Con): The Prime Minister opened his election campaign yesterday by promising to campaign among real people, but he spent the whole day visiting the homes of staunch Labour supporters. Does he intend to spend the whole campaign visiting and moving from safe house to safe house?
The Prime Minister: By the time I met them they were all staunch Labour supporters, as a result of the message that we put to them. Yesterday I visited a number of places in Kent and asked people what the major issue affecting them was, and they said that they wanted to secure the recovery. I had to tell people that the Conservative party taking £6 billion out of the economy would put the recovery at risk. The issue is very clear: jobs with Labour, unemployment under the Conservatives.