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All of which shows what a good political brain Osborne has.He would make an excellent Party Chairman. He still has some way to go before he can show the public that he would make an excellent Chancellor.
The denial from CCHQ was so vehement it leads me to believe that Rothschild is lying. Associating with Mandelson was Osborne's big mistake.

If he wasn't a good polititian and one of the biggest threats to labour then why has mandleson decided to try and remove him first?

Why are these always links of ten? Why don't people list nine or eleven key achievements? Just wondering. . . .

Osborne is not up to the job. He was ludicrously over-promoted by Michael Howard.

I agree with all of this post but would still like to see Redwood join Osbourne's team. It needs to be beefed up.

So who wants to come out and claim Nat Rothschild, Oleg Deripaska and their corroborating witnesses are lying then? Hmmmn? Gosh, no one, Gidders included. Indeed Osborne's weaselly, Clintonian answers earlier today were not merely pathetic, they are fatal. Get ready for a new shadow chancellor. This may well be the best turn Mandelson has ever done the Tory Party.

He is indespensable, in that short of him being found guilty of sex offences, we can't afford to get rid of him before the next election. To do so would be all Labour's Christmas's come at once. Whether he makes a case to be kept in position out of merit is (for me) highly debatable.

Osborne's talents would be best used as party chairman. Hague needs to put party before business interests and take over as Shadow Chancellor, with David Davis taking over the foriegn affairs brief.

From what I understand the calibre and hubris of staff in his office leaves a lot to be desired.

Perhaps all the blame shouldn't be put on him but perhaps on some of the advice he has been given?

Osborne's misjudged and immature attempts to smear Mandelson arising from a private event have blown up in his face. Rothchild says he has other witnesses to this which means the story has legs. This sort of thing is so unedifying.

"So who wants to come out and claim Nat Rothschild, Oleg Deripaska and their corroborating witnesses are lying then?"

I don't know about Rothschild, but was he on the vessel? As for Deripaska, he didn't get where he is today by being Mother Theresa's handmaiden. He came out on top from a very murky business where a lot of the losers players disappeared or were simply gunned down.

Would he lie about a politician who turned down his offer of a donation? Well, let's just say Deripaska hasn't won any ethics prizes and is barred from entering the United States.

Nobody is indispensable.

Kris is right.
Osborne must stop the politics and game playing and focus on his job.
Otherwise it should be curtains for him.

P S I agree with most of Tims list but that doesn't mean he can get away with murder.

Nothing on the OECD report on the dramatic decrease in inequality since 2000? I'd have thought your chap IDS would be proclaiming how welcome this is to hear.

"Nobody is indispensable."


The Credit Crunch must even be affecting me. I agree entirely with Malcolm Dunn. Osborne is an effective political operator, no doubt. The IHT announcement caused Brown to bottle an election he would certainly have won. However, his economic skills leave me (and a lot in financial circles I encounter) very cold. This mess has all the potential to blow up rather nastily, so I hope he is on firm ground for his sake.

Most of the achievements listed for Osborne are political , which probably explains why the Conservatives are on the back foot on the economy when they should be ripping Labour apart

It also shows up the danger of giving Osborne two roles, one a party role the other a Shadow Minister. Labour got themselves into a whole world of trouble mixing Party and Official roles leading to their party funding scandals. It would seem that the Conservatives have learnt nothing from Labours problems..

Nice CV but when will he be making use of these talents please ?

Also, I forget what it was exactly but perhaps another can remind me, but recently on hearing of Mandelson's come back, George told tales of something he'd said Mandelson had told him over dinner when Mandelson was no doubt stalking his soon to be political foe!

Who is now paying the price for this and will that now warrant an update to his CV in regards to him having "extraordinary political skills" ?

What is Nat Rothschild motivation to make this accusation ?

This story has the fingerprints of Labours Dirty Tricks Department all over it. The story first appeared in the Times - a regular outlet for Labour leaks/smears. Look at the final sentence of the Times report - 'Lord Mandelson was made aware of this letter yesterday'. Perhaps thats code for saying he initiated it?

The purpose is probably to distract attention from Mandelson's involvement with Deripaska which has become more and more interesting as time goes on.

Editor, Unfortunately while you appear to view being a "great political operator", as a positive, the rest of the country and voting public just sees a bunch of rather low rent individuals who are acting out their insecurities at the taxpayers' expense.

Isn't it obvious? Didn't Rothschild himself (as a non-Labour supporter) try to set up Osborne et al with Oleg in order to try to broker a donation? He would have done all the talking to both sides who never discussed it together - now he's peeved his "private party" is not so private and is exacting revenge to help his old mate Mandy?

Squares the circle at least...

Osborne won't stay indespensable for too long if he continues in his current form. He needs to sharpen up his act and quickly. He has come out second best in the battle of the banking crisis, and against the dark lord Mandelson. Cameron is already having to pick up the pieces on the economic side of things and will have to do the same with 'yachtgate.'

Those attacking George Osborne should recognize that he is basically co-leader of our party with David Cameron. Or at least second among equals. An attack on George Osborne is an attack on David Cameron.

Memo to self:

It might be premature but I can't hold back any longer in starting to diarise Brown's Belly Flops on our economy so those who are interested in keeping tally of the havoc he's creating can keep a track of like me of both the good (?) and bad bits we hear of Gordon's 'global economic crisis', 'global difficulties', 'global economic downturn', 'small, medium, longterm global recession', his 'global nowt to do with me problems', and the myriad of 'global excuses' we'll all be hearing for the next [ insert time period here ], and I'll do my best to list them as long as I'm able to keep up!


Factory gloom 'worst since 1980'

Falling demand for UK-made goods and a drop in output has caused the sharpest single-quarter fall in manufacturing confidence in 28 years, a survey says.
In the past three months, 16% of firms had seen a rise in new orders but 46% said they had fallen, the CBI's Industrial Trends survey said. It also found orders for UK-made goods had declined at their fastest rate since 1999 as domestic demand fell.

House sales slump 53% across UK

The number of property sales in the UK has fallen by 53% in the past year, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). In September, 59,000 homes were sold, down from 126,000 sales in the same month last year. That was also a 62% fall from the recent peak in sales, of 154,000, seen in December 2006. This year, the credit crunch has driven the housing market into its sharpest slowdown for many years.

Ford workers in protest walkout

Workers at the Ford Transit factory in Southampton have downed tools in a protest over the firm's future plans. The company branded the walkout by up to 100 of the 500 staff on site on Monday as "unconstitutional" and having "no legal basis". Employees left at 1200 BST - two hours before the end of their shifts. The factory has already implemented a four-day week and is cutting Transit production from 75,000 to 35,000 a year due to "softening market conditions".

World jobless 'to add 20 million'

The global financial crisis will add at least 20 million extra people to the world's unemployed, a study by a United Nations agency has predicted.
This will bring the total number of people without work to 210 million by the end of next year, said the International Labor Organization (ILO).
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said the figures showed that governments had to focus on individuals not just banks.
He called for more efforts to help those affected cope with unemployment.

'Care about people'

"We thought it was not good to talk about the financial crisis exclusively in financial terms," said Mr Somavia. "We have to talk about the financial crisis in terms of what happens to people and in terms of what happens to jobs and enterprises. "If we have enough resources to pump into the financial system, this is not the moment to say, 'Yes, but we don't have the resources to care about people'".

Nissan cuts production

5,000 people outside Nissan make components for cars and Nissan has announced a 2 week stoppage followed by a further 3 week stoppage when 'training' will be facilitated during a period of lower production. No jobs at Nissan are lost yet but no doubt the 5,000 people who make components for Nissan will be wondering how long they will keep theirs, as will the rest of the car industry.

'Regulators To Blame For Crisis'

Financial regulators are to blame for the current banking crisis, the chairman of Lloyd's of London has told Sky News.
Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, Lord Levene said he believed things had "fallen through the cracks".

He asked: "Did the regulators fully understand what they were looking at?

"Did things fall through the cracks... I think they have done." He said Lloyd's of London was "in good shape" and the company's investments were "safe and boring". He told Randall, the Daily Telegraph editor-at-large, that he was not surprised insurance companies were now coming under fire. Lord Levene revealed he was not happy with banks being owned by the Government. He said he believed it would take the economy "a very long time" to recover from the present downturn but declined to say how long.

I will of course add some good news if and once I hear any from George Osborne!

Osborne-as-shadow-Chancellor has moved from being something Dave Majorishly, peevishly defends because attacking it means you're daring to criticise Dave's judgement/mandate of Heaven, to - a liability to him personally. And Dave's not the kinda guy who sticks by those. Wait, watch and see. And there was me thinking OMG ('Osborne Must Go') would take us almost up to Christmas.

Man in a Shed,

Rothschild's motivation is clear - he wants to keep on the right side of one of the rcihest men in the world.

and there will also be an element of "host's embarrassment" - thankfully, some people still have manners and might find it distasteful for their guests to be dropping other guests in it.

An attack on George Osborne is an attack on David Cameron.

No it's not. Cameron hasn't been caught spilling the beans about what was discussed in private dinners with Mandelson and a russian oligarch. Osborne should have kept private conversations private and actually spent time doing work on his brief - why couldn't he have done what Brooks Newmark MP has done?

It's so sweet and loyal how the Editor publishes puff-pieces about his political sweethearts just as they are getting themselves into deep water.

I'm sure that if there is no retraction, and the allegations are false, then Osborne will sue for libel.

The problem for the Tories is that you are stuck with Osborne. Sacking him is one of the few things I can think of which would boost Labour's showing.

In the same way that the Lib Dems have a fixation that Vince Cable is somehow a great financial genius just because he said that, er , debt was a problem so too some Conservatives seem to think Osborne is a great economic thinker.

Hardly the Sage of Tatton.

True, his moment was the inheritance tax announcement, which saved the Conservative Party another election defeat but since then it seems to have all gone to is head. The attempt to re-run the inheritance tax for the super-wealthy a year later backfired and his plan for the economy - a new quango - makes no sense. He fell apart on Radio 4 the other day.

Perhaps after this a period of silence?


why are you defending osborne?

if he goes we might also get rid of green taxes and the other things you hate.

this is a big opportunity for tax cutters.

Thanks resident leftie but any reader familiar with my views will know that I've had many disagreements with George Osborne. "Sweet" is not how I'd describe our relationship :-)

I do still believe that Mr Osborne is a formidably strong player in the Cameron team. Felicity's second among equals isn't a bad description.

It is time to rally round.

I must now write an article endorsing John McCain for a newspaper and by 5pm so forgive me if I don't respond for a little while. Please everyone behave!!

This is one of the most fawning, sickening posts I've seen on CH. Why did nobody take Osborne to task for consorting with the enemy, even before he was accused of wrongdoing?

The whole thing smacks of the sort of cross-party Westminster power-broking and backslapping that the public rightly despise. I am fed to the back teeth with Tory adulation of a man who has quite remarkably managed to stay out of the press in a time of great crisis - until that is, he is accused of a serious breach of ethics.

He has nothing useful to offer the nation (note the NATION, not the pathetic Tory navel-gazers) and is in serious danger of making us look useless. For the love of God, go. Get Redwood in now.

"We paid tribute to his considerable skills but we also warned against his tendency to become too political:

"It is now important that many more voters want to trust him with the nation's finances. He needs to look in charge of his brief. Solid. Reassuring. With policies to reverse Britain's declining competitiveness".

I agree very much with what you said, Tim, and I think we should be quite clear about what we are praising or criticising him for.

George Osborne comes across to me as a very powerful political animal, who I would prefer to have on my side rather than against me. I therefore agree with the several people above who would prefer to have him as Chairman.

Those many people who are less than enthusiastic about him (including me) are focusing purely on his performance as shadow chancellor. The economic pluses that Tim mentions are largely set piece items designed to have a major (and successful) political impact: IHT and the freezing of council tax. The soundbites are political - and very effective. IMO he was very late getting on to the impact of the 10p fiasco, long after Vince Cable had seen it (and my wife, because she is used to preparing the payroll).

He has learned a lot but I think that he should be moved to oversee putting the party on an election footing and one of the natural money men (Clarke, Redwood, Fallon etc) brought in to deal forensically with Brown and Darling.

I imagine he will still be in post to reply to Darling's Pre-Budget Report; if he fails that test, he must move.

I like Osborne a lot, but this had "stitch-up" written all over it.

Surely alarm bells were ringing when he was invited to a party with Mandelson and a Russian tycoon?

For the people out there in the real world this afternoon, having to pack their belongings into cardboard boxes and move out of their repossessed homes, this will make them vomit.

Russian oligarchs, rootless international financiers, luxury yachts off Corfu, dinners with Mandelson who a decade ago was trying to destroy Osbourne's former boss (Hague)... what the hell is going on?

Can someone tell me where my party has gone?

He shouldn't have been on that yacht. No where near it. Period. Full stop. No debate should be needed. Idiotic.

I bet today will find George Osborne wishing he had not leaked the "pure poison" conversations, which I presume were given in confidence. I'd also think he'd be kicking himself for cavorting on super-yachts while record numbers of people are losing their jobs and homes, let alone getting himself involved with Mandelson. Say what you like about Lord Hartlepool, he's stitched George up like a kipper here, and got his revenge for Obsorne's leakings as well. Bravo!

Rothschild is really putting the boot into his 'old friend' Osborne.

Cheerio with our thanks, George. I'm afraid Osborne looks and sounds what he is - a rich man playing at politics.
If he did indeed leak to the media the substance of the conversation he had with Mandelson in Corfu, then he should do the decent thing and go. He's been caught poking about in the brown stuff and he shouldn't be surprise when it clings to more than his shoes.

At Conference, Cameron made a point of telling us that he studied economics at uni to reassure us that he is capable of understanding the current financial problems.

Imagine Osborne getting up to do the same for his aimed role of running the UK economy: "Don't worry, I studied modern history as uni"

And now he has played with fire and been burned by crossing Mandelson.

Osborne's experience and successes clearly fit the role of party chairman, not chancellor.

No-one is disputing that he is a huge asset to the party, he is just in the wrong job.

Step one:

George should announce to the press that he's holding a meeting this weekend on the economy, to grapple with the problems Brown is creating in the job market.

Step two:

Inform the press that David Cameron and George are appointing a team of Economic Overlords whilst these difficulties continue and they'll be handling questions on the basis of delivering real proposals to the people of this country who are looking for full leadership and experience to steer all the country through this crisis.

Step three:

Make sure Kenneth Clarke and John Redwood and IDS are in the team.

Step four:

Strap the commons bench's around their waists and tell them to bang on about our party's SOLUTIONS to this crisis.

I reckon 50% of these posts are the rebuttal unit in full flow. Campbell/Draper urging them on regardless of the filth and the lies and the poison these scum are and inhabit, themselves. Come on you wishy washy Conservatives this is war and dirty tricks. It is as nasty as can be and we must stand up and fight these cretins of Labour. We have here a cause. SUPPORT GEORGE against gangsters and treacherous so called friends. Our Country is in the mess it is because of these people. So what if George accepted an invite form an old pal? It then turns out that he's not a pal at all and set him up. At least George had the sense to take back up. As for Lord Sleaze, there lies the source and sorcerer. Mincing 55 year old bat.
The real agenda is listed above by rugfish. As for ACT and felixstowe fiddler. Fiddler an excellent name for a Dolly troll.

I would certainly agree that in the last couple of years Osborne has become more effective in his role and has landed some good punches on Brown and Darling.

However, like many Tories, for too long he appeared to acquiesce with the idea that there was something in the Brown "Iron Chancellor" nonsense, which leaves many of his recent pronouncements regarding the credit crunch as looking wise after the event.

As regards "Yachtgate": how on earth could a story that was set out to embarass Mandelson end up as terribly bad press for the Tories? Rothschild was right- what was said at a private party should have remained private.

It all leaves Osborne looking a bit tarnished.

"Imagine Osborne getting up to do the same for his aimed role of running the UK economy: "Don't worry, I studied modern history as uni"2

I find it amazing that to just pick up a phone to just one client in the financial services world one needs to have passed the appropriate FSA qualification, yet to get to play with the Countries wealth you don't need any relevant qualification or experience at all.

M Dowding,
Osborne has *admitted* discussing a potential donation from Mr Deripaska.

What was it about non-UK resident, Russian billionaire Deripaska that made Osborne think he would be eligible to donate to a British politial party?

This current storm in a teacup is embarrassing and could have been avoided - the more pertinent issue is can he get the book to stop with Brown for the current economic disaster.

I fear not - able politician but in the wrong job. Valuable to the Party but a liability as Shadow Chancellor

Some facts are coming out on the Times website:

1. Nat Rothschild may be rich, but he is not as rich as Deripaska, from whom he earns substantial commissions as an investment adviser. It seems Rothschild is trying to smoothe ruffled feathers by giving Osborne a good kicking in the press. Some of those feathers may be Mandelson's, who is currently in a slightly more powerful position than Osborne, and therefore of more use to Rothschild.

2. It was Rothschild who invited Feldman to meet Deripaska, and the conversation regarding donations took place later by telephone, but it was merely a sugeestion by Rothschild to Feldman that Deripaska might want to make a donation, not a conversation between Osborne and Deripaska as implied by earlier reports.

Conclusion: Rothschild is acting like a fool. I originally suspected that Mandelson may have had a hand in the letter, but this is too inept for him unless he lost his touch while in Brussels.

Yeah, we're also behind George's inability to honestly answer *any* of the questions put to him by hacks earlier today. And before that we arranged for him to, well, do all that stuff he did, up to and including: the yucky yacht yaffling, oh, and his p*sspoor effort to smear Mandy too. Paws in the air for all that. Mind you, I forget whether we're doing it all as loyal tools of Draperism or Know-Nothing knuckleheads. Either way, it's been quite a day's work, eh? But let's get back to the main point of this thread: thank God the shadow Chancellor is such an asset to the Tory Party. And that Dave will stick with him through thick and thin.

Me ! Me !

Let me do it !

I know about Chancelloring and 'stuff'. lol

The Rothchilds and their ilk are far too powerful. They have sought to influence governments over centuries.It's about time their hedge fund and other activities were more closely scrutinised and regulated.


Osborne, multimillionaire, Cameron, multimillionaire, Rothschild, multimillionaire, Deripaska, non-UK resident, billionaire, Mandleson, wannabe millionaire. What attracts politicians to a man who cannot by law donate to a political party? Personal greed, sheer personal greed, gimme more millions from whatever bent Russian business is being discussed. As for Osborne and his big mouth, what's the diference to Peston's big mouth? And who among the poor down-trodden British public is going to see any difference between past and present Tory sleaze and permanent ongoing Labour sleaze? Who will bother to vote for any of them? Not me thanks!

I thought "smoked but didn't inhale" was bad enough, but now we have "discussed but didn't solicit" to add to the lexicon of political denials.

Firstly, I think that Osbourne has been naive, he may have thought that because Nathaniel Rothschild is an Old Etonian and was a member of the Bullingdon Club at the same time as Osbourne that there was a sense of Loyalty, that old boys feeling of one for all and all for one security that is found with these things, I know I have the same thing with my old house mates, but! Anyone with any inkling of sense knows that in politics and games of power among men any such loyalties are believed to exist to that persons peril.

I also think that Labour have found a target, they've discovered that all their attacks on Cameron fail at every step, now they are going after Osborne, this time with some success, I suspect they will focus their political attacks on him and thus use it to challenge Cameron's judgement after all the best defence is always a good offence.

Regardless of Osborne's political talents - and, though I personally really don't rate him, I must acknowledge he does have some, as this thread points out - that still doesn't mean he's in the right job.

Churchill was a great man and a great politician, as we all know, but he was a terrible Chancellor. Some people just don't go in some jobs.

Chancellor is a job for a grown-up, experienced politician, and Osborne doesn't cut it. He is Cameron's biggest weakness - without Osborne, the shadow cabinet would be as impressive - probably more impressive - than Blair's top team facing the Tories in 1997.

Posted by: M Dowding | October 21, 2008 at 15:19

Mincing 55 year old bat.
The real agenda is listed above by rugfish. As for ACT and felixstowe fiddler. Fiddler an excellent name for a Dolly troll.

Leave your disgusting homophobia over on order-order.

I certainly think the Tory front bench has improved and gained gravitas since 2005, but it's stretching things a bit far to state, as Nigel Rathbone has, that "without Osborne, the shadow cabinet would be as impressive - probably more impressive - than Blair's top team facing the Tories in 1997". Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Blunkett, Mo Mowlam, Donald Dewar, Jack Straw, Clare Short, George Robertson, Derry Irvine, Alistair Darling, John Prescott, Robin Cook, as well as Mandelson and Campbell hovering on the wings - whatever you think of their politics, big-hitters all, and much more plausible as a government-in-waiting than the current Tory team.

As for the notion that studying PPE twenty-odd years ago means the public and the markets should trust you on the economy is, frankly, a very ignorant assertion - and I speak as an Oxford PPE graduate.

What goes around comes around Osborne. What on earth he was doing hanging around figures like them and causing fights like he has is strange and clearly there are serious doubts about his judgement. He probably hasnt done anything wrong on the point about donations, but its the perception of it that is most damaging.

I have had my doubts about his ability for some time aside from todays news. He lacks the intellectual rigour required for such a key role, one where he needs to understand it all and not just be able to speak nicely. He actually has to know what hes on about. He cant be a Chancellor on the fly.

The top 10 list is impressive but doesn't read as the CV of a Chancellor. Even those bits which are economics-related are much more political (eg the IHT announcement was tremendous politics, welcomed by supporters and a telling blow to Labour but a policy of nugatory economic impact). Osborne really ought to be positioned to be a deputy PM with the sort of internal stature that Prescott had for Blair (but without the need to be there as a sop to "old" support).

This is yet another example of pro-Labour spin designed to divert attention away from the important issues our country faces.

George Osborne is a much better man than some people think. He helped to end the Brown Bounce with the inheritance tax announcement. Underestimate him at your peril.
My message to all Conservative members is -support your leader and his team and put the focus on opposing the government.

Vincent Wall @13:37 :

'Osborne must stop the politics and game playing and focus on his job.
Otherwise it should be curtains for him.'

I agree entirely. He's on probation as far as I'm concerned.

" Underestimate him at your peril.

I don't think anyone does, that just think he is in the wrong job.

Put simply, out of every Tory MP, what makes George Osborne the most qualified to run the economy?

It's like Ferguson playing Ferdinand as a striker. No-one is questioning Ferdinand's talent, he is just playing out of position.

This is the same Osborne who led a Commons debate on a graphologist's assessment of his counterpart !

Frankly this is getting really juuvenile. i am so relieved none of these politicians has any meaningful contribution to make to the dire economic situation most of us are living through.

It is far better that they dine with a Russian gangster married into the Yeltsin clan and pretend the Cliveden Set is somehow running things. Not one of them has the personal credibility to halt a run on the banks and the nation has had to pledge a third of nation income as collateral to stabilise things.....meanwhile in Corfu, Moscow...or where ever else Deripska summons his pet politicians....dining and whining takes place.

It really is a game. i wonder what will replace these decadent political parties that are wholly discredited with the general public ?

Osborne has *admitted* discussing a potential donation from Mr Deripaska.

What rubbish, stupid man.

"Leave your disgusting homophobia over on order-order.

Typical, say something you happen to believe in and you get that nonsensical bitter riposte. Were I to suffer from any phobia I should be allowed to work it out rather than suffer the heterophobia coming the other way. Idiot.
I happen to loathe anybody with the personality of Mandleson regardeless of his sexual nature or gender. It used to be a free country. Do you also accuse muslim people of this phobia?

"forget whether we're doing it all as loyal tools of Draperism or Know-Nothing knuckleheads.

You said it and it is both! LOL

You forgot:

11. He is one of the few honest politicians: he correctly labelled Cameron as the Heir-to-Blair.

It is a stitch up by Mandy and his BBC allies but it can be turned to the good guys' advantage. All it needs is for Osbourne to resign saying that, after 11 years of Nulabour lies and corruption, the electorate deserves the next government to be above reproach. He can admit to making a mistake in judgement by meeting the Prince of Darkness and his friends. The
BBC can then be asked to concentrate on the real scandal of the European Trade Commissioner's dealings with the Russian oligarch.

You'll see Elvis before you see Osborne do contrition.

How is it the result of "Mandy and his BBC allies". I've no doubt Mandelson has had a hand in the Rothschild letter, but to blame the BBC this time is a tad desperate. Unless of course Rupert Murdoch is in on the conspiracy as well.

The problem for the Tories is that you are stuck with Osborne. Sacking him is one of the few things I can think of which would boost Labour's showing.
It would be embarrassing for David Cameron who has said that he intends George Osborne to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer, most people though probably wouldn't recognise a picture of George Osborne, or know who he was if named, if he was moved quietly in a reshuffle or dropped out for some reason I think you would find that like ripples in a pond, the impact would be temporary.

What sort of Tory has a long standing close friend (at least since University days)who is also a close friend of Mandelson?

Rothschild's not a Brazilian name is it?

He doesn't look particularly indispensable to me. He avoided answering direct questions from the hacks and effectively admitted that a conversation about donations had taken place. Osbourne just isn't up to the job - a student politican when a proper grown up one is needed.

Good article. I'm a big fan of Osborne. He's been totally stitched up here, of course, but it's better to do the school of hard knocks stuff at the top of the polls. Nobody will remember this by the General Election. I'll be surprised if anyone remembers it by Bonfire Night.

Osborne has played a crucial role in turning our fortunes around. Mandleson is playing dirty. Osborne is honest. Some kind of conversation - ironic or amusing, but undoubtedly not serious - probably took place. £50k sounds like a lot, but it's not worth risking a political reputation for, so Osborne would never have seriously countenanced trying to encourage a donation. A glass of wine, a balmy evening on a yacht in Corfu, a joke between friends in convivial company. And now, Mandleson, the great behind-the-scenes manipulator, at it again. Look out, Gordon, he's just warming up. Don't blink.

It may or may not be true that Osborne solicited or discussed soliciting the money. That question will be in the air for a long time. Osborne cannot go to court because of the time it takes, the big money on the other side, the bundles of dirty washing that are always to be found for such confrontations and the residual doubt about the final judgement.

Cameron is damaged by this because, unlike Blair/Ecclestone, he is not secure inside No 10 yet.

What is newly destructive about this -gate is that it shows Osborne to be a boy doing a man's job.

The problem is not artful Mandelson outflanking Osborne at the level of the political lobby. None of the conventional political operators would have the clarity of purpose shown here by Osborne’s comprehensive and efficient shafting. This is Osborne presuming, under qualified, to mix as an equal with seriously powerful men. One of these, Rothschild, has used his black-ball on Osborne and now Osborne is now no longer in that league. No going back. There will be black-tie events in Florida, Geneva etc which he might hope to attend and where he will not be invited. He is Icarus burning.

So is Cameron Daedalus ? Osborne's gaffe highlights the youth and inexperience the two leaders share. Cameron has used the knife before - will he use it on his friend ? If he does, he will survive, like Daedalus, and be much hardened by the experience. If he sticks with Osborne, they will fall together and take our hoped-for government with him.

What Cameron might decide is that the clever marketing phase of the project needs to be replaced anyway. Osborne's hubris allows Cameron to construct a significantly different front bench of which Brown should be really afraid and from which our electorate can draw real hope.

Rollocks to the above. This is all just passing political gaming. A storm in a teacup. It will fade.


"Labour didn't fix the roof while the sun was shining" is a truely marvellous soundbite. Sums it up beautifully.

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