Posts Tagged 'George Osborne'

George Osborne’s Conservative Conference Speech

As GO took to the stage, he left a dramatic 3 second pause to start. Was he lost for words? Would these words have any substance?

Our politicians are obsessed with the past as a slate to wipe our mistakes and Osborne’s speech started with the ‘failures’ of the current government as a checklist. But the use of statistics merely serves to illustrate that one can read, not that one has the cognitive skills to analyse the issues, design a strategy and implement a successful solution. This speech was directed to the party faithful and the biggest unscripted cheer was a reduction of quango specialists second guessing locally elected officials. I’ll believe that when I see it. The Conservatives invented this tactic in the eighties to counter free spending Labour councils.

But we wanted a message to the nation. The Shadow Chancellor reiterated policy statements made over the last year: a reduction in MPs numbers, a 5% cut in MPs pay, a pay ceiling equivalent to the PM’s salary, loss of child trusts to middle income families, retention of the 50% tax rate but nothing new and no tangible theme. There was no reference to the raising of VAT and this will come. Perhaps the fiscal task we face is too onerous to have an economic dream, but once the Augean stables have been cleansed, where is the ideology?

Osborne is often described as a lightweight (amongst many comments, some borne out of inverse class snobbery).  His detractors will have found little to add here in these 33 minutes but nor would his supporters.

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Tory Banks Policy

Abolish the FSA, Transfer powers to the BofE is the synopsis.

DC introduces Tory Bank Policy White Paper
DC introduces Tory Bank Policy White Paper

There is no doubt that the tripartite system failed. Too many macro decisions fell in the gaps in between and the idea of panic in the air over the three week period was palpable. The idea of a financial policy committee is a good macro decisioning tool and its position within the BofE seems a sensible one.

Overall, the Tory Bank Policy looks stable, however the devil will be in the detail. I would like to see an explanation of what the Treasury’s role in this will be in the future. Outsourcing financial overseeing should not lead to a dereliction of duty by the government of the day.

Gordon Brown’s speech on Tues June 16th 2009

I shall avoid commenting on the rhetoric and go to the bare bones (trust me, it was mind numbing in a reality TV awkward manner – lots of letters from the public, Oprah Winfrey-esque rubbish).
GB basically said that under Labour, you get more money for the NHS, Tax Credit, Education whereas the Tories will cut these.
This is the propaganda that the public will be faced with for the next twelve months. The lasts gasps of a dying man. When will this man admit some culpability over this recession created under his Chancellorship instead of hiding behind “world recession” nonsense!
This ‘spending cuts’ argument against the Tories had its validity 24 months ago but the fact is that cuts must take place whichever party is in charge. The only point of discussion is where these will be applied. By ringfencing the NHS, George Osborne has forced Labour into the screeching of “10% cuts” knowing that cuts and tax increases must be applied. The public will be wary of this mantra by next June however and the msg of austerity will soak in. GB should only have begun this discussion if he intends to hold an autumn election. Or perhaps he does?
GB did omit that the last 12 years have been a historical time of calm hence the government’s ability to increase spending and increase taxes stealithy (think fiscal drag). Unless the govt comes out and is honest with its plans and not hide behind talk of “who knows what interest rates will be next year” and “we don’t know how much the economy will grow”, it will be swept out of power leaving a rump of a presence in Parliament. What is the point of the Treasury fiscal models, if not to plan for all scenarios?

Media Stretch

The non story about Messrs Brand and Ross and is the entertainment equivalent to the politics story of Messrs Mandelson and Osborne.

Both were non stories which have been stretched out by the media until something happens. It is a pain of our times that multi cahnnel 24/7 has not evolved into greater discourse or depth or opinion or detail, but repetition and the elevation of the ‘dumb waiters’ of society to some exalted position.

Now I could go on about the tawdry details of each story but ask yourself this. It is one think for Sky (the red top of the broadcasting world) to peddle this nonsense but should you and I pay for it involuntarily. Yes, I am referring to the tax that is the BBC. To inform and entertain. The BBC seems to struggle on both counts. It is high time that the exact nature of this increasingly commercial beast is addressed. No other Government owned operation: Post Office, NHS is run with such little oversight. Allowing a bunch of middle class, left wing, retards is tantamount to dereliction of duty. As for their diversity! Yes, if you’re reflecting the diversity of a table of frappucino tasting people in an Islington brasserie tucking into a bowl of £10 olives perhaps. Do not let this sore fester any longer!


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