Why is Mr Brown bothering to speak to the TUC?

Regular readers of this blog may have seen my previous comments on the way in which speeches feature less and less prominently in British media coverage of political communication (e.g. HERE, HERE and HERE).

As the party season gets under way with the Trades Union Congress in Liverpool, television news last night was telling us what Gordon Brown is going to be saying to them later today – and, in case you missed it, there’s plenty more on the BBC website:

In the rest of his speech, Mr Brown will also say that the government will take the "hard-nosed decisions" needed to steer the UK out of recession and towards a sustainable recovery.

"Today we are on a road towards recovery," he will say.

"But things are fragile, not automatic, and the recovery needs to be nurtured. People's livelihoods and homes and savings are still hanging in the balance and so, today, I say to you, don't put the recovery at risk."

Having opposed the measures that Labour has taken to support the economy through the recession, the Conservatives cannot be trusted to take the economy forward, the prime minister will argue.

"Don't risk it [the recovery] with the Tories, whose obsessive anti-state ideology means they can't see a role for government in either recession or recovery."

All of which raises the question of why Mr Brown is bothering to go to all the expense and trouble of going to Liverpool to repeat things that he and his aides have already put into the public domain.

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