Brown has always had an old fashioned socialist redistributive agenda. He's not a man of any great intellect, and the simplicity of taking money from those that have more of it and giving it to those that have less of it is a solution that he understands. Never mind the evidence or the economics. This is a stupidity and naivety born of having spent his entire adult life playing politics rather than doing something useful.
A decade of Brown's stealth taxes at a time of a booming economy could be, to some extent, hidden. A few grumbles, but increasing equity in property could be used to readdress the lifestyle balance and maintain the differentials that Brown was eroding. Thus Brown's stealth taxes helped fuel the credit boom; the more he stole, the more middle Britain borrowed. As his Leviathan Client State grew to massive proportions and life on Welfare became so comfortable that 5m Britons of working age were happy to spend the day on their DFS recliner glued to their 42" plasma TVs as millions of immigrant workers worked on their behalf, the warning voices grew louder.
And now the hangover has set in. It's as though the country has woken up and is asking itself how it could have been so stupid; by and large, we believe in meritocracy, and meritocratic wealth differentials have always been an effective spur to individuals to make the effort to 'better' themselves. Where's the incentive in a redistributive economy to earn an extra £1,000 if you only get to keep 35% or 40% of it?
A decade of deep damage to the nation's economy that it will take half a generation to reverse. Fiscal imprudence on a breathtaking scale. Another entire generation of Welfare slaves. The schools have failed. The Health Service has failed. We've lost control of the streets.
Labour have done this to the nation before, of course. Last time the measures to put it right were painful and deeply nationally divisive. This time they may never have another chance to screw it up. Britain is ready to say goodbye to Labour for good as a credible national party; the Yougov poll published today indicates that they're in for a savage kicking at next week's elections.