I was just looking over Gordon Brown's '100,000 jobs' promise at various media sources, and the total ambiguity of what he said is staggering. Here is the full quote from the Telegraph:
"I want to show how we will be able, through public investments and public works, to create probably 100,000 additional jobs over the next period of time in our capital investment programme - school hospitals, environmental work and infrastructure, transport."
If you look at that statement, the amount of wiggle room he has left in is astounding. What's annoying is that journalists don't seem to able to pick him up on it, but let's take a closer look ourselves:
"I want to show how we will be able..." - He wants to show how he can, possibly, create 100,000 new jobs. That doesn't mean he will; he'd just like to show us that he could do it in theory.
"[P]robably 100,000 additional jobs..." - The use of the word 'probably' thereby absolving him of any responsibility to actually hit that number. After spending £10 billion, of course.
"[O]ver the next period of time..." - In other words, there's no set date. No target. No goal to reach for. It's just at some point in the next century Gordon Brown hopes to create 100,000 new jobs, but he can't say when, whether that number is accurate, or whether he'll actually do it or not.