Gordon Brown, 3rd September 2009, said:
"We're not talking about an election at the moment, we're talking about how we deal with the policy issues. I've always been prepared to debate people... always prepared to join in a debate. I've given more statements to the House of Commons than any Prime Minister I think in the time I've been there, about the public issues of the day. Well, we'll deal with election issues when we come to discussing elections; but for the moment the most important thing is we have a public debate about the big issues."
But now the BBC reports that:
"Gordon Brown is ready to debate with David Cameron on TV not just during the general election campaign but before it, the BBC understands. The prime minister is said to be deciding overnight whether to include in his speech to the Labour conference a call for a series of debates."
So now he doesn't just want debates, he wants loads of them - even before an election? This is Brown trying to come into the game at half-time, change the size of the goals, and take the ball away if nobody wants to carry on playing. In other words, he's now trying to pretend that debates were his idea and that he has wanted them all along. The man has no shame.
Update - Wed 29th September: I'm too exhausted to blog about Brown's speech today. For must read articles check out the various contributors at the Spectator, as well as Guido - who has an excellent scoop on Brown's 21st century Dickensian workhouses. And did you notice how the speech - in the end - contained nothing about debates at all?