AT FIRST, I thought I need not rise to the bait of of Peter King's bile-driven letter about Gordon Brown. But I was stunned by his closing sentence, which stated that only 'complete annihilation will convince him that he has been in the wrong since 1997'.

Of course, the Prime Minister's communications skills may not be everybody's cup of tea but, in terms of his success with Britain's economy, let us remember that the first 10 years after 1997, when Gordon Brown took responsibility for the economy, were a period of exceptional, sustained growth and monetary stability, with low unemployment, minimal inflation and a welcome increase in public services.

Have we forgotten those years of prosperity for a large majority of the population? Have we forgotten the schools built and modernised in Ealing in this period?

Brown's management of the economy allowed a massive redistribution of wealth to poorer people, with tax credit systems, the minimum wage, the Sure Start programme and investment in schools, the health service, public transport and the police.

The last two years have been bumpy mainly because of the international collapse of the banks and insurance companies. But even Peter King's hero, Vince Cable, was impressed with the earlier period of succcess for the British economy under Gordon Brown's stewardship, and agreed that the policy of stimulating the economy by massive loans and partial nationalisation was the only option available to save the British economy last year.