"Gordon Brown and I have spoken of the hard choices needed in public spending over the coming years.
"We won't flinch from the difficult decisions that will be necessary, and we will always act guided by our core values of fairness and responsibility.
"This will be our test of character. Properly targeted public investment can and should make a difference.
"That means making choices and setting priorities - shifting resources to the front line. It means more efficiency, continuing to reform, cutting costs, public and private sectors working together."
Bringing the name of the Prime Minister into his speech has a two-fold purpose:
- it gives Mr Darling's forthcoming 'revelations' an aura of official policy, tarnished only by the justifiedly-soiled reputation of Gordon Brown;
- it tries to bind the hands of the Prime Minister into not flying-off into his usual realm of fantasy economics in the coming political 'cycle', specially his Labour Party conference speech, when Darling obviously believes the 'comrades' will have to be told the truth.
I'll wait to hear with baited breath just how tough Mr Darling plans to be in practice in reining in the out-of-control spending on some of Labour's shibboleth policies and just how much 'spin' will be employed when announcing these cuts to the public. Or indeed whether Gordon Brown will as usual 'chicken-out' of allowing his Chancellor to get on with doing the job he obviously still cannot accept he is no longer [ir]responsible for.
Labour and Darling's strategy in pre-releasing this speech to the BBC (who are dutifully splashing it across their headlines today) is to 'soften-up' the ostriches amongst the British people who haven't yet wakened-up to the disastrous economic situation that this Labour Government will bequeath to its successors when finally it gets booted out of office! Hopefully very soon now ...