Brown has tried to kick the habit, but his addiction to big spending government keeps pulling him back. He can't go straight.
Between 1997 and 2005, Brown added 681,000 to the public sector payroll; an increase of 13 percent. Then, he tried to roll back this huge increase. In the following two years, public sector employment fell back by 108,000.
However, the financial crisis provided the perfect cover for returning to his own big spending ways. During the last nine months of 2008, Brown added a further 46,000 jobs.
So while the private sector is shedding jobs, the public sector is growing. In the long run, this means a heavier tax burden on firms and households.