‘Growth must reach the North and low-earners’. The headline of George Osborne’s article in The Times caught my eye this morning. Instead of slapping himself on the back, the Chancellor used yesterday’s positive growth figures to send out a message that he intends to create the conditions for private sector job creation outside the south east.
This is a hugely significant intervention. To date, the Conservatives' strategy has been focused on painting themselves as the only party that can be trusted to take the hard economic decisions for the long term benefit of the country. At every opportunity, Labour politicians – notably the two Eds - have been ruthlessly portrayed as big spenders unable to manage the country’s credit card. Downing Street wants people to believe that Balls wouldn’t look out of place on a shopping spree with Carrie Bradshaw (she of Sex in the City fame). This approach has worked. Miliband and Balls have consistently trailed Cameron and Osborne in polling on economic competency.