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The duellists

Jim Reeve chief executive officer, Positive Solutions

“Brown did well to put himself across as the man with the experience to bring back stability. What will be critical is to rebuild consumer confidence in the financial system and prevent money moving to Ireland.”

David Gillespie director and communications expert, The Speechworks

“Prime Minister Gordon Brown is clearly happier in a back room carving out policy than in the spotlight but he did the right thing by positioning himself as a safe pair of hands in his conference speech.

“On the other hand, David Cameron does not carry the same baggage as Brown in terms of Northern Rock. Cameron manages to be confident in a way that does not come across as arrogant or aloof and his performance was head and shoulders above Brown’s.”

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And the band played on

The clarification by the Conservatives of their proposal to increase the nil-rate band for inheritance tax to £1m was well reported when made only a few weeks ago. Since then, we have had some more serious issues to consider in the shape of the extreme financial turbulence experienced over the past few weeks and it would be something of an understatement to say that most of us have been too preoccupied by events on both sides of the Atlantic to give too much thought to IHT.

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