What a time to go to China. One of the things about having a busy job in life is that you have to plan so far in advance. if you are Chancellor of the Exchequer its likely takes many months to arrange a trip to China with all the flunkies working at it to get the right meetings arranged for you.
This Osborne is reduced, the time now having arrived and at a very in-opportune moment to say this:
"I very deliberately chose to come here, to the epicentre of the volatility in financial markets this summer, to say this: whatever the headlines, regardless of the challenges, we shouldn’t be running away from China.
"And so today my message is clear: through the ups and downs, let’s stick together.
"Let’s stick together to grow our economies. Let’s stick together and make Britain China’s best partner in the West. Let’s stick together and create a golden decade for both of our countries.
"Britain and China: we’ll stick together."
So, just as Chin starts to really suffer from the downsides of the corruption and dystopian effects of the One Party State, Osborne chooses to go and suck up to them. Rather than offering support in building free markets or powerful regulators, we just sign them up to build the most unaffordable powerstation in the world (seriously, for the ludicrous cost we could likely build the as yet uninvented Fusion power station, it will be twice as expensive as using solar, even in the dark UK) for us.
Worse, China is likely experiencing the beginnings of a prolonged downturn in fortunes. It has enough foreign reserves to mask the depths of the crisis for a decade or so and is lucky that it is so tied to commodity prices that would finish the economy off if they rose.
I mention Gordon Brown because of his Jonah status of always backing the wrong horse, but also the habit of our Chancellors to be ill-prepared to deal with the real world and instead seek to shape the world as they see it.
I doubt it will be long before George Osborne becomes unstuck with his own domestic economic policies either.