I am sending this from a Citizens UK gathering at Methodist Central Hall in London, where an audience of 2,500 community activists has just witnessed extraordinary scenes involving a girl whose mother and grandmother are on such low wages, working as cleaners at the Treasury, that there is no time to learn English or spend time together, as they travel in by bus at 3.30am.
Pundits may ridicule the fact that they work in messy Brown’s old office, but — if this speech gets pick-up — it will go down as one of the most significant moments in this campaign.
Brown, speaking as I type, is genuinely moved. He looks angry about poverty, determined and serious. As he talks through his values, instilled in him by his Church of Scotland father, “bigotgate” seems a very long way away. And as he talks of the minimum wage, the audience are going wild for him, even more so than they did for Nick Clegg.
This is Brown at his best. Labour strategists will wish he could be like this all the time, and certainly over the next couple of days.
A heckler just emerged and was instantly booed and ushered out. Boy, did he get the mood wrong.
UPDATE: Here’s a video of the full speech. Hat-tip: Political Scrapbook.