Friday, October 17, 2008

George Osborne's Difficulty

Actually, there are quite a lot, so you could argue with the singular case in the above, but the particular difficulty I have in mind is his inability to make anything like a convincing case for the new, go-harder aggressive case against Gordon Brown's economic management that is apparently being made today by David Cameron. Osborne was on the 'Today' programme this morning, and gave a truly terrible interview. Having given his assessment of all the things that have gone wrong with the economy over the last ten years, he was confronted with a not entirely unpredictable question from Sarah Montague, to the effect that "why have you never made any of these criticisms before?" Now the honest answer is that the ideological divide between the Tories and Labour is miniscule, and the Tories on the whole bought in wholesale to the policies of the Financial Wizard of Downing Street. Now things are belly-up, they have no more idea than anyone else how to cope - less, actually. But a half decent politician, needing to regain some credibility, might be able to make a response to the "why didn't you say anything before?" conundrum with a light-hearted acknowledgement of past ignorance and quickly steer things back to current solutions. What, of course, you wouldn;t do is claim that you have been making these criticisms all along. Which, er, is what Osborne did.

To her credit, Montague pushed this point and Osborne, lamely referring to some very ambiguous stands he may have taken in the last general election, was left reeling on the ropes. A classic case study of how to stuff up when in opposition at a time of crisis.

I've always thought Osborne was over-rated and in over his head - he continues to sound a bit like a smug public schoolboy who has absorbed one or two bits of political ideology but never really fought for anything substantial in his life. Oh, wait a minute, George Osborne IS a........

UPDATE: Jeff Randall, not exactly a cringing leftie, has this negative view of Osborne's recent performance in the Telegraph today.

3 comments:

consultant said...

"I've always thought Osborne was over-rated and in over his head..."

And why, might I ask, haven't you made this criticism before?

consultant said...

The interview is fabulous though. I wasn't listening too closely but at one point I think he seriously proposes a high-speed rail link as the Tories' only alternative to Gordon Brown's bank rescue package. I'm sure the Nobel prize winning economists will be queueing up to endorse that one!

oldcontemptable said...

I can recall many occassions during NewLabs holding office when after NewLab claimed the economy was strong that the Tories claimed it was because they had left it so (notwithstanding that before leaving the ERM John Major stated in Scotland that leaving it would be a disaster!). Like NewLab they are a bunch of charletons!