So it was immensely heartening to see him land a few solid punches on David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, and to hear the cheers of the poor bloody infantry on Labour’s backbenches as the Opposition leader reeled under the assault.
But how depressing that in order to score his hits, Gordon Brown chose to re-open the ‘class war’.
He resorted to the old fallback of labelling the Tories as a party of toffs; he asserted that Cameron’s tax policies had been dreamt up with his colleagues on ‘the playing fields of Eton’; and he gave every indication that the ‘class war’ will be a central plank of Labour’s election campaign.
Now, I’m one of the first to criticise Cameron’s tax policies, and in particular the Tories’ plan to raise the threshold for inheritance tax to help the rich — which demonstrates to me just where their sense of priorities lies.
But I worry deeply that the Prime Minister’s cheap-and-easy tactic of bashing Old Etonians simply for being Etonians will backfire.
It’s not just that it could so easily be made to appear hypocritical. After all, there are a number Labour ministers who could equally be subject to the same accusations of benefiting from a private education — Ed Balls (Nottingham High School) and Harriet Harman (St Paul’s) come to mind.” Read in full in the Daily Mail.