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Monday, 8 September 2008

Gordon, you don't know the difference between equity and equality

The full test of Brown's appalling foreword is now available HERE. First, you need to sift out all the Onion-esque guff that is almost beyond parody:
Never before have so many changes taken place simultaneously in so many different spheres, so quickly, and with such potentially radical consequences. And new times and new challenges have to summon forth new answers. Our task, as a party, as a government, now is to ensure that our country and all of our people make the most of these opportunities and are protected against the risks that accompany radical change. The changes we are witnessing bring with them new challenges in every aspect of our lives. Meeting this challenge will not be easy and it will not happen overnight. There are no easy or quick answers. It requires leadership, squaring up to hard truths, being open with the British people about the choices we face, and making tough decisions on priorities for public spending. I do not underestimate these challenges but I believe that Britain's future is bright. Now, once more, I am confident that we can come through this difficult economic time and meet these challenges a stronger, more secure, and fairer country than ever before.
Then what you are left with is an old-fashioned encomium to redistributive socialism. Brown uses the word 'fairness' several times, but it's clear he chooses not to understand its meaning. Fairness means equity. Brown actually means equality. If you take these statements and substitute the words he really means for 'fair' and 'fairness', this is what you get:
The quest to ensure that power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, is fundamental to our purpose. The yearning for equality, the unremitting quest for it, and the delivery of it in everything we do, is fundamental to our Party. Our policies today and everything we have done since 1997 are driven by our belief in equality. But there is nothing that is bad about Britain that cannot be overcome by what is good about Britain, as long as we keep faith with our belief in equality. Uniform rules, uniform chances, and a uniform say for everyone: that is the new deal for this new world.
And that's his message to his party in a nutshell. Readers will know the difference between equity, equality and equal opportunity so I won't labour it, but there it is. The comrades will read the message clearly enough.

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