One more thing for Labour MPs to worry about. Gordon Brown, or someone advising him, appears to be following the Jimmy Carter political playbook. First it was the cold calls to unsuspecting members of the public, a dubious campaigning tactic pioneered by Mr Carter in 1976. Then there was the appeal to waste no food* and drive electric cars. The call for sacrifice has the ring of Mr Carter’s 1977 address on the energy crisis, a piece of political theatre many Americans find hard to forget.
Sitting by the fireside and sporting a woolly beige cardigan, the president urged people to save energy by putting up with the cold. “All of us must learn to waste less energy,” he said. “Simply by keeping our thermostats, for instance, at 65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night we could save half the current shortage of natural gas.” It was not his most popular proposal, but it was one of the most memorable. Read more