Gordon Brown

I look forward, years from now, to telling people that I was in the House of Commons for Tony Blair's last Prime Minister's questions. It was quite an occasion.

I thought that David Cameron struck the right note by applauding the outgoing Prime Minister's achievements, for instance in Northern Ireland. It wasn't the moment for yah-boo politics.

But those who prefer to focus on the less glorious aspects of the Blair years can read a devastating critique by Reform (www.reform.co.uk), the think tank which I founded.

Remember "education, education, education"? Reform points out that less than half of children achieve five GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and maths.

Central targets have wasted resources, demoralising teachers, doctors and police officers alike. The tax burden has risen to a 25 year high.

It is the next generation who will really pay the price. By 2012, the average graduate will face nearly a 50 per cent tax burden, including their student loans and pensions contributions. That's before they try to buy an affordable home.

So Britain's future has been mortgaged. We don't have to be reminded of who was meant to be ensuring value for money during this time - the Chancellor. And now he's moved next door.

Outside Downing Street, Mr Brown said that he would listen and learn from the British people, and that he had "heard the need for change", not least in the NHS, which would be a priority.

Here in West Sussex, we will be holding the new Prime Minister and his Health Secretary to that promise. If it really means something, they will listen to the overwhelming view of local people and call an immediate halt to the hospital closures programme.

Michelle Taylor