New British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made another attempt to stamp his mark on British politics and erase the Blair era from people’s minds. He has gone to parliament to give an unusual pre-Queen’s speech preview of his government’s programme, normally the monarch’s prerogative, and due in November. But Brown is a man in a hurry to make his mark after so many years in Blair’s shadow: “We must deliver new and better opportunities in education, in employment, in the provision of housing and healthcare,” he said.
Brown focussed on two key areas, better personal debt management, housing and a redesigned mortgage market. But the Conservative opposition leader David Cameron said he had heard it all before: “I know this is meant to be some great constitutional innovation but I have to say that most of what the prime minister announced sounds rather like the Queen’s speech last year, the year before and the year before that,” he told the Commons.
Brown recently described Britain’s tight housing market where demand outstrips supply as a “major” problem. He wants three million new homes by 2020, and more full-term fixed rate mortgages to take the volatility and inflation out of real estate, a small revolution for the British economy.