Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Osborne grows a pair

This blog has been quite critical of George Osborne for a long time. I advocated replacing him with Hague some time ago. I happen to think the best economic asset the Tories have is John Redwood, but he is very out of favour - mainly thanks to Spitting Image all those years ago.
Still, Osborne produced a very good speech at the Tory Conference yesterday. A little short on optimism, but long on detail and reality. In many ways I am sure it will be seen as changing the terms of the debate, just like his tax cut speech of 2007 called off an election.

In political terms, the man is a great strategist, whether this translates to having a good grasp of a department I do not know. Mandelson and Blair do not give us good recent historical precedents.

The key decisions in the Tory proposals are nowhere nearly enough to sort the Country's fiscal mess out, but they do mark the change to the realisation that dramatic action needs to be taken over the next 5 years (next year actions must be more limited so as not to exacerbate the double dip recession). The swan dive of the Pound at the moment suggests radical action is needed to avoid the IMF coming in to bail us out and set the agenda.

I can't see how Labour can really respond to this Tory mantra other than by lying to the electorate even more; eventually this will come unstuck and it is likely that it will do so before mid-2010 as the economy slides back again or at best bumbles along with very low real growth and growing unemployment.

The boy done good.


Nick Drew said...

it will be very encouraging if this strategy pays off

Brown's summer campaign of blatant lying clearly didn't, so there is yet hope

nevertheless Osborne still isn't the right front-man for this, and it's clearly just his vanity that makes him think it is. Get your pride off the table, George, we can't afford it

Budgie said...

So, "other than by lying" it is then. It's what Liebore does. There is already a newspaper letter campaign by Labour supporters to portray Cameron as evil Thatcher mk2 (I wish). If Brown can lie about the economy like he does, and get away with it, we are in for another 12 years hard Labour - IMF here we come.

Bill Quango MP said...

Reality Bites.

Depressing hearing his speech.Especially after Brown's saving the world and curing cancer - But then George's should be compared to Alistair's which was .. erm.. well .. its only a week and I can't remember.
Can the semi-truth overcome the blatant mis-spokes?

Hell of a gamble when you are riding high. I guess the strategy is right if risky.
I would hope DC has a much more upbeat message with a bit of hope for a better world. A 'fight them on the speeches' approach.

Brown/Darling do the good cop/bad cop so I expect Cameron to do the same.

CityUnslicker said...

As I said, the risk of not calling for this kind of austerity is that the IMF come and take over.

Labour would not care, they would be so pleased to be in charge to push their equality agenda etc.

hatfield girl said...

The IMF is all touchy-feely new keynesian now; there's no shame in 'consulting' them (Mandelson has already declared so), they are part of the new global governance that will manage the world economy in the interests of growth, the environment, balanced trade, responsible finance......zzzzzz

The only thing holding the UK economy together right now is the Conservative party and the belief that they will be sorting the mess out shortly.

Old BE said...

If Labour says that we don't need austerity and that we can just spend our way out either they will win the election and come unstuck straight away and we will have austerity anyway, or the electorate will accept that there is a problem and that it was at least partly caused by Labour's strategy and we will have austerity.

It is much better to lose an election having won the intellectual argument than to win it on the basis of pack of lies.

Demetrius said...

Frankly I disagree with one point. I doubt that Labour could tell us any more lies than it has already done. The real issue is whether things will get so out of control in the next few months that a new administration is in trouble before it starts.

roym said...

hmm, 7bn of savings isnt quite giving us the harsh truths though. Will there be revenue raising as well? Id rather have both barrels up front, etc etc

Also still plenty of comment out there that spending is the only way out of the W recession?