Monday, 29 September 2008

Osborne calling Englandshire

Divided opinion on that George Osborne speech among my colleagues.

I sat at the front and thought that he was good on the gags and light on the policy. I suppose he had given us the meat yesterday in the tough fiscal rules he proposes for the money markets and for future governments.

The Tories have been building a good narrative on the last decade as being the ‘Age of irresponsibility” (copyright Gordon Brown) and blaming the Prime Minister for the global meltdown that has followed. Still, Mr Osborne didn’t sound that convincing when he set himself up as the person to solve all these problems.

M’ learned colleague disagrees - says it was unshowy and he had a rabbit in the hat with the council tax freeze for England. Admittedly he had a fine line to tread, having to appear serious in the middle of a global financial crisis, not to presumptive and, biggest danger, not better than the leader.

But my verdict is that he has not “sealed the deal” as the Tories say, although the council tax freeze will go down a treat in Englandshire. Just look at the effect that had on the vote at the Scottish elections. I’m waiting for a press release to drop from the SNP claiming the idea as their own, just as the fuel duty regulator was.

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