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Osborne should be Party Chairman. Hague should be Chancellor. But Cameron is too stubborn to move him.

I am a little sad to see Baroness Warsi only on 16%. Personally I found her speech pretty inspiring at the convention. And Ken Clark was not on the list this time?

Osborne has yet to say anything about the crisis that makes me sit up and pay attention.

George Osborne has got to come up with something soon. It doesn't have to be a good speech against Government policy, some clever comment which will seize the headlines for a day. We need some coherent analysis about how the Government can be fought, so that others can follow the lead. It's not that Government policy is clever, or that Brown's policy is a world beater. At the moment, however, it's the only game in town, and by default it will get accepted as received wisdom unless George Osborne does his job and provides an alternative narrative.

There's no doubt that Osborne is a great organiser and thinker. However he is simply out of place in the treasury, he needs to gather some experience and gravitas before he gets put back in that job again.

Osbourns handling of the mandleson/yacht affair put him up significantly in my estimation, he has said some good stuff since then re the recession -- but with all this going on he should be out front all the time taking the government to bits - there should be more shadow-chancellor than shadow-PM. It may be a bit awkward that it is the PM handling the mess he created as chancellor - rather than the current chancellor doing it, but none the less -- its an opportunity for george to shine, but only if he steps up to the plate and starts swinging for all he is worth.

Moving Osbourne now would be a sign of weakness and would hand labour an easy victory, however he really does need to stand up and punch his weight.

The financial crisis has given Brown the opportunity to shrug of the ditherer tag, an opportunity that he really doesn't deserve.

The Tories really should be hammering home the message that pouring water on the burning house may be the best course of action, Brown may not have lit the match that started the fire, but he was certainly the muppet who has been stockpiling petrol in the basement for the last 10 years.

His name may be anathema to certain sections of the party but John Redwood has been calling the crisis pretty accurately from his blog. Cameron and Osbourne would do well to listen to him and heed his advice on this if nothing else.

Pity Vince Cable isn't a Tory. He clearly knows what he's talking about.

Disaster in Glenrothes as Brown wins with a 6000 majority. What the hell is going on?

Osborne has to be one of the fall guys for failing to pin the blame on brown

"Pity Vince Cable isn't a Tory. He clearly knows what he's talking about."

Vince Cable clearly doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. I don't always agree with Guido, but he's dead right about Vince Cable. Vince Cable is an expert on economics in the same way that Menzies Campbell was on foreign affairs. Another ludicrously overrated Lib Dem politician. Why do people listen to them?

If we wanted someone who knows what they're talking about, John Redwood would have the job in his pocket already. But I don't suppose that is what we're looking for. Pity Vince Cable isn't a Tory - he knows how to impress people without being right about anything at all.

Posted by: IRJMilne | November 07, 2008 at 01:17

Pity Vince Cable isn't a Tory - he knows how to impress people without being right about anything at all.

Better than Osborne - doesn't know how to impress people and isn't right about anything at all.

I'm sure Mr Osborne will bounce back.

Reading the comments on this thread is depressing, but not surprising, as was the latest results of the ConHom survey.

Why? Do you know I cannot be ar*ed explaining it on here! But its the same old headless chickens running around clucking at the first sign of a real political fight. And if some on here cannot yet grasp the political significance of the last couple of weeks, both with Labour's concerted attacks on Osborne and the deliberate strategy of the Tory party during this recent economic crisis. What is the point!

Quite simple, you deserve another 5 years of Gordon Brown and this Labour government. Won't that be fun, and really good for the country?

The Glenrothes by election result was not a surprise to me, I made money tonight by betting on a Labour win a wee while back. Does this result signify something, yes, the Labour core vote is returning to the fold as a GE moves closer after a brief tactical honeymoon with the SNP.
Surely a Unionist party would be glad of this news, but no, I suspect they will turn it into another issue with which to bash their own party.

"Osbourns handling of the mandleson/yacht affair put him up significantly in my estimation"

What explanation did Osborne give for not suing over the allegations he firmly stated were lies? What danger is there of this being used again closer to election time if it is not closed off properly, rather than simply hoping that it 'blows over'?

ChrisD, the reason that Labour are attacking Osborne is because he is weak, not because he is strong. They have struggled to attack Cameron so have started to target Osborne.

Osborne is a spiv. I have no confidence in him or his abilities. I would rather see brown and darling manage this crisis than he.

I have no desire for tory-lite policy. Give us some conservatives and I may well vote.

I suspect that today after Glenrothes we will again see on this board the sort of ludicrous comments we saw after the Southhall bye election.Remember people it's Glenrothes,the heartland of Labour heartland.
Having said that Chris D even though I try to be loyal to our leadership I've found the response to the economic crisis from our Treasury team sadly inadequate. George simply has not inspired confidence.He's in good company though. There has been no politician in power here or elsewhere in the world who has managed to do that.
I would think the Conservatives could make more use of people like Lord Lawson and Ken Clarke. These people have experience of recessions and also a gravitas lacking in our treasury team.
The idea that Vince Cable has done well is a joke isn't it Roberts?

As ever my big complaint is that very few Shadow Cabinet members are seen in public actually doing anything.

Osborne's adventure on expensive Russian yatchs is irrelevent in my opinion. His (and Cameron's) biggest mistake is their failure to attack this government's economic record consistently over the last two or three years. The current situation has been a long time coming, but its beginings were predicted a long time ago by Redwood and others.

It is time Osborne was given the job of party chairman, where his talents and interests really lie, and hand the number crunching over to other people who are much more capable of dealing with the detail of economic recovery and the forensic exposure of Gordon's failings. These failings are a political gift to David Cameron, and he needs to take it with both hands.

"Despite this website's efforts, support for the Shadow Chancellor has also plunged" And pray why has this website expended such effort? Surely, it is not the purpose of this website to promote individual shadow cabinet members, but to provide a forum for the grassroots of the party to discuss and influence policy at high level ....... or have I been labouring under the impression that the efforts of those of us who comment are actually just part of a massive PR campaign by CCHQ?

"But its the same old headless chickens running around clucking at the first sign of a real political fight."

ChisD, its the desire for the opposition to put up a political fight that has many of us exasperated at the inneffectiveness of Osborne. The fact that Brown can make this economic crisis an electoral asset sums up the failure of Osborne. Note it doesn't get any better than this for an opposition politician, and if he can't land a blow on the Government is such circumstances then he never will.

I am confident that George Osborne will get better again.

'I'm sure Mr Osborne will bounce back.'

The problem is no one is listening to him anymore,

he had his 'let them eat cake' moment with corfugate when he was having a smashing holiday, when everybody else was suffering.

And with those 'bull...club photos' his pr .. well it just stinks!

expect New_Nu_labour to hit 35% very soon

I think the whole front bench need to take on board that the bed they are currently making is the one on which they will lay come the general election.

Dropping the shadow chancellor now would suggest that the tories couldnt have managed the situation any better than Brown, and his claim of experience would be justified.

Osborne has to crack on... and sew the seeds that will be the harvest come the election - fix the roof NOW so come the election the house is fit for it.

If he needs any ideas I have plenty!!

George Osborne is doing a very good job and should be retained.

Philip Hammond should be shadow chancellor. His performance on Newsnight was measured, clear, calm, coherent, and devastating. He absolutely crushed Vince Cable ( who was playing his free advertising for the Lib Dems game ) and the odd Scotsman who is chair of the Treasury select committee and whose grasp of how interest rates was - how can I say this - interesting and alarming.

It is not just ConHome readers who hold this view. At a recent party function whose guest speaker was Liam Fox - who came across superbly in speaking of the scandal of poor Army equipment along with the equal scandal of shocking aftercare in the UK for wounded troops - it was notable that many members whose interest in the Party was more social than political were expressing their deep disappointment at George Osborne's performance and how he was effectively letting Brown and Darling get away with murder.

It is probably not stretching a point too far either to suggest that some more robust opposition on the economy over the last few weeks could have brought it home to the electorate in Glenrothes that Labour did not deserve their votes any longer.

What a difference it would have made in recent weeks to have had Redwood and Fallon in the two senior shadow Treasury roles rather than Osborne and Hammond.

"But its the same old headless chickens running around clucking at the first sign of a real political fight."

Just check out the Libdems polling figures recently as Vince Cable seems permanently to be found in a TV/radio studio.

Osborne is not being attacked because he is weak, he is being attacked by Labour because he is a central foundation within the Tory leadership. There is no UPSIDE to Cameron changing his Shadow Chancellor at this point, it would be politically very damaging for the Tories.
The gift this would hand to this Labour government, and in particular Gordon Brown who personally hates Osborne's guts just doesn't register with some posters!
A Redwood, Clarke, or Hague replacement would be a bl**dy disaster in the long term.

And still some on here have not learnt the most basic lesson of the mistakes made within our party over the last 11 years. Honestly, it seems incomprehensible to me that this party would yet again shoot itself in the foot as it has done so many times in the past.
You do not inspire confidence or unity in the electorate when you dump a leader or a prominent politician at the first sign of trouble, and especially when you are still 10%+ ahead in the polls. If we allowed the headless chickens on here to run the political strategy of this party, we would once again be back where we were in the that core vote box rather than the present Labour government.

"What a difference it would have made in recent weeks to have had Redwood and Fallon in the two senior shadow Treasury roles rather than Osborne and Hammond."

OMG. Go on, hand Gordon another Tory scalp, its what some in this party have done too many times in the past. And still they never learn.

First sign of political grapeshot, and its head for the shire bunkers and the core Tory strategy which means I am all jack, sod the rest of the UK.

pp 'If he needs any ideas I have plenty!!'


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2. ?
3. ?

"You do not inspire confidence or unity in the electorate when you dump a leader or a prominent politician at the first sign of trouble,"

First sign of trouble ChrisD? you are having a laugh, I resigned from the Conservative party over a year ago, before NR hit the fan and after a year or more of getting more and more exasperated at Osnorne's failure to make any sort of critical analysis of Brown's record.

Osborne always comes over as a smug sixth former. Cable is vastly superior and knows what he's talking about. He also has a personality. If he ever had one, John Redwood lost his years ago.


You are, of course, absolutely right. Clarke would lead to the Tories getting absolutely murdered on Europe, Redwood is despised as a Thatcherite and an unpleasant person (that's his image,not my opinion), while Hague led the party to a huge defeat.

Osbourne is here until the next election at least; it can be no other way. My slight worry is that he hasn't stamped Tory economic policy as his. He doesn't seem to be the main source of the economic thinking of the party and of the attacks on Brown's record. Maybe he hasn't been making enough media appearances or enough of the right kind?

George Osborne is becoming a 'topic' for members in the same way that Heath, Ken Clarke and the EU have been in the past.

Cameron should give him until the Budget in 2009 to make an impression and come up with a coherent theme and set of monetary policies. He will have had 4 years in the job by then, and even his supporters would admit that he has had a fair run.

For some reason the man just grates, not just with Tories but with the wider electorate. I suspect that Cameron will have to make a tough decision, as this position will be absolutely crucial to our chances of winning.

Iain, you make my point beautifully. Ta.

I still have no idea what Alan Duncan has done to deserve that kind of rating. The Conservatives have no proper energy policy to speak of and he's done nothing to support renewables.

"But its the same old headless chickens running around clucking at the first sign of a real political fight."

What fight, from whom, against what?

The government should be on the ropes being counted out.

But "Gordon's economic management has saved them in Glenrothes" - Today programme this morning and Gorgeous gets smeared in Corfu.

Fighting should involve hurting the government not ourselves.

I really do now despair about this party. Brown and Darling have placed all the blame onto the "nasty and greedy " Banks( who were already not popular with the public) and the USA and no one on the Front Bench has even got close to exposing this fraud. Brown was warned and should have acted to control the credit splurge in 2005 but did not- he dithered. He has only acted now because he had to- that's the simple truth. He built a high rise building of private debt which on becoming a towering inferno has converted him into being the chief fireman. Regulation/regulation/regulation! that was his other failing and now innocent people in this country are going to have to pay a heavy price.
Can you imagine what Messrs Blair and Brown would have said and done had all this happened to John Major- they would have been on every media channel possible. Yet all we see are glimpses of Osborne not saying really very much that resonates and DC who is doing his best. Where the rest of the Shadow Cabinet are, heaven only knows, probably moon-lighting- here again DC is quite right- if these already well off people are not prepared to devote 100% of the effort into getting rid of this awful Government, then they should make way for MPs who are.
Why are we not using Kenneth Clark? He is at least respected by the public and can speak with authority on the economy

Unless we have some heavy artillery soon from our top team, I fear that we can just expect another 5 years of sabre rattling and reflecting on what might have been- the mountain we have to climb is steep enough - the tragedy may well be that although we have loads of ammmunition, we have not got the means or the necessary cannon fodder to deliver it

How can we ordinary members of the Party get our frustrations known to the leadership?

Osborne is a smooth political operater but he is painfully out of his depth as shadow chancellor.

He can still do an outstanding job for the party but this is not the role for him. The sooner Cameron sees this an bites the bullet the better. Otherwise he may become the ditherer!

The High Speed Rail point was very loaded. Had participants been asked:

would you like to see:

a. a third heathrow runway
b. high speed rail
c. both
d. neither

you'd have had a clear win for c, as was evident by the vast majority of comments on this topic in the last few weeks.

I think Grant Shapps would make a big improvement on George Osborne.

What is missing from the above comments is that Osborne's problem is that he is not focused solely on his Treasury & economic role. He is meddling in other policies and the plans for the next GE. He must cut all that activity out right now. Has he? It also seems clear that part of his distractions are caused by Letwin's waffling. Therefore the solution is to sack Letwin. Bring David Davis back in as a bruiser to take the fight to Labour and shift into Letwin's role someone like Nick Herbert.

Of course if Osborne was really future Leadership material he would have realised this already and done something about it.

Yes the party has sent Osborne a message. His career is now clearly on the line. He may only have a few weeks to save himself as his standing with the members is now very very low.

Current events have demonstrated the inherent weakness in the Tory treasury team. It is, in fact, a glaring weakness!

If Brown can engineer Lord Mandelson back into his team then why can't the Conservative Party have Lord Flight?

It should be remembered that when the 1922 committee reviewed the legal advice in the Howard Flight affair it concluded that the Chief Whip did not have the power to withdraw the whip on such a matter and that Howard Flight was denied natural justice (a fair hearing). It was a very Conservative lynch party for someone with more economic gravitas than the entire Shadow Cabinet currently!

The Conservatives need someone with genuine ability on economic matters - and quick!

Mapa 09:15
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2) ?
3) ?

General ideas off the top of my head.

1) Pledge Card for short term goals (updateable as goals met).

2) A Quality of Life Index (by income/lifestyle) to be the electorates primary measure of government performance.

3) Massive tax simplification (sorry accountants...) especially for individuals and small business - comitment to ignore EU as requried.

4) No government spending without a published business case.

5) A genuine presumption of openness for all taxpayer financed work (documents, data, research etc).

6) End to quangos.

7) Massively increased accountability of the state to the public.

I'm amazed that anyone is pro George Osborne. As London Tory says - he grates mainly because he presents as a sixth former at a debating society - trying to make smart points. Since Davis has gone from the Cabinet we don't seem to have anyone who can command respect. Osborne has been poor over the economic crisis. Whatever one thinks of Vince Cable he does have consistency in his views and he can be funny. It's a difficult one about whether to retain Osborne or not as shadow chancellor - my feeling would be to transfer him elsewhere where he can do less damage. But unless he makes some sort of anti-PC statement Cameron will keep him in place. All in favour of using Clarke and Lawson to talk about the economy - they come over as talking good sense. Finally Glenrothes was a poor result. I still believe that Cameron must talk to Salmond to get Labour out. Finally, nobody knows how the present economic situation will play out. Cameron must also talk about people who are savers rather than supporting people who live beyond their means and then expect others to bail them out.

"I think Grant Shapps would make a big improvement on George Osborne."

Grant Shapps has single handedly destroyed the carefully cultivated environmental position of the Conservative Party by withdrawing support for Eco-Towns - not a Gordon Brown phenomenon but a global phenomenon going ahead all over the world and opposed by the Conservative Party.

When it comes to the election Brown will make much of the new Conservative approach to environmental responsibility - Not In My Constituency!

Shapps is not very good! Another lightweight without political common sense!

I have seen George Osborne speak at a campaign meeting to the National Convention (when he was the General Election Co-ordinator before Brown bottled it) and he showed how excellent he is at directing the campaigning side of the Party. In short, he understands how to win elections. Unfortunately, as is the case with many good constituency politicians, he is not great at being a shadow minister. He would be excellent as Party Chairman as long as the role of Chairman was beefed up. Caroline Spelman is hardly seen defending and promoting the Party because she has very little remit.

"Why? Do you know I cannot be ar*ed explaining it on here! But its the same old headless chickens running around clucking at the first sign of a real political fight"

Rather than making smart-arse comments you might like to note that a lot of anger towards Osborne is based on his failure to put up a political fight. Hell, we want a fight, we want to see Brown bruised and battered. Our issue with Osborne is that he is failing to do succicient battering.

"How can we ordinary members of the Party get our frustrations known to the leadership?

Posted by: michael m"

Regrettably, I believe that the answer is, "We can't". Amazingly, in this Internet age, our Leaders seem even more out of touch with the grass roots than in the old days of "patrician" leaders like Macmillan, Eden, Home, et al. Personally, I've experienced a tendency for those at the top to either ignore totally any criticism (however constructively phrased) or to delegate the task of responding to some office minion, who often does so only after weeks (rather than days) have elapsed - and then, it's a patronising "Thank you for your comments ..." followed by a bland statement of the policy with which one disagrees. On second thoughts, perhaps they're not out of touch - maybe they just don't give a damn!

I think we have two choices: accept the situation as it is and just get on with the job of fighting our opponents locally as best we can; or give it all up as a hopeless task and find other ways to spend our time.

Personally, I choose the former, because even a lacklustre Tory government would be many time better than any Labour one that I can remember. Anyway, the Conservative Party is "a broad church" and I can't recall a time in the past 40 years when I've agreed unreservedly with every policy the Party has embraced (even during the glory years of Margaret T!).

If all of these were able to demonstrate some conviction politics and collectively unite to get us out of the corrupt and arrogant European Union, then they could all share top place in poll positions.
As it is I and countless others will vote for 'None of the above' again!
How very odd that politicians of any stripe ask us for their vote when they are not in a position of real power, with policies and decisions (about 75% if not more) made by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. Astonishing naivete!
When will they wake up to the stink of the elephant in the room? Our political class need to take lessons in basic democratic principles and representative government.
If they WILL NOT learn, we will quickly teach you!
Graham Wood (York)

It usually pays to wait a while before commenting on CH about George Osborne and his current performance. Before many posts are published, we read the usual anti-Osborne diatribes, some of which encompass a sub-agenda that lies in an anti-EU standpoint. The pleas for Cameron to ditch Osborne and bring back Clarke and Redwood also surface with great regularity, without seeming to appreciate the political downside that would be associated with such a course of action. We expect these comments and are seldom disappointed.
However the most valid opinions, in my view, are those that condemn Osborne`s lack of impact in the present crisis. From as objective a point of view as is possible to take, he has failed to make an impact, inside or outside the Party. There are compounding factors here, one of which is the attitude of the media, which seem to be in a pro-Brown mode at the moment. Even so, if Osborne had anything worth saying, they would doubtless be falling over themselves to publish it, which in fairness they sometimes do. But often it is too little and too late.
The situation in the USA was to some extent similar. Bush was blamed for the sub-prime crisis, while the media there completely ignored the fact that it was Clinton who obliged Freddie Mac and Daisy Mae (or whatever they were called) by law to lend to people who were without the means to repay their loans, with incomes largely based on State benefits. Institutional collapse ensued but the incumbent took the blame.
The lesson we draw from this, perhaps, is that if your time has passed, it is hard to regain your position in the national consciousness without an exceptional effort. This effort is now required from Osborne, who woulo be unwise to ignore the political implications, however much Cameron has confidence in him as Shadow Chancellor. Come on, George. It`s time for less "Shadow" and more substance!

Cameron said he didn't want to be a President, but it is hard to believe that Osborne has remained in his current role for any reason other than presidential favour.

Despite asking many times, no-one has objectively provided reasons why Osborne, out of all Tory MP's is the most qualified to be Shadow Chancellor.

Keeping Osborne in his current role is slowly chipping away at Cameron's popularity. If Cameron does not take action, they will go down together.

Why is it the Party always start the in fighting when we get in the lead.This government is a disaster.Our so called supporters jump on George Osborne who did nothing illegal.Mandelson is back and has not been attacked by any of our team for his dealings.The Tebbitts and co caused us to go out of favour.In normal life at 65 you are passed your sell by date so why not put them out to grass NOW.We were in a good position and it took time to get back .The big majority MP's think only of there safe seats.The party workers do the work on a VOLUNTARY Basis.The the high paid MP's come along and destroy.This is a TEAM game so get the TEAM together and fight the Labour party not committ suicide.WAKE UP or we will never get back.Leave Osborne where he is don't play into Brown/Mandelsons hands.
From a grass root party member who needs a BLUE TEAM in government.

I despair I really do. There is no opposition, there has been no real opposition for 11 years. There is an open goal from corner flag to corner flag yet Broon and his incompetent ilk are running rings round us. You (the Party) have no leaders with passion and belief and it shows. Broon and the gang are hugely responsible for the state we are in and we are not laying a finger on them. We are a gutless spineless bunch hiding in corners frighten of your own shadows (literally) Oh! for passion and belief the public are waiting....

"Rather than making smart-arse comments you might like to note that a lot of anger towards Osborne is based on his failure to put up a political fight."

RichardJ, so you want a fight, and you want to see Brown bruised and battered?
Yet you do what? That's right, you turn on the very politicians within the Conservative party that have put up a bl**dy good fight We have been basking in the polling success of that fight for the last year!

But, as I said earlier, a little bit of political grapeshot, and you fold and turn on the Tory politicians instead of Brown.
Many on here never understood or appreciated Osborne's role and efforts for the party over the last three years. Namely the strategy of undermining Brown, the IHT policy at the height of the Brown honeymoon, and getting involved in the Boris Johnson campaign when it needed some vim and vigour.

Yet, we are still comfortable ahead in the polls, and ahead on the economic questions as well. I repeat the simple fact that if Osborne is moved now, we do irreparable damage to our leader and our party at the very wrong moment in this political cycle.
We in fact would give Brown a further bounce.

So, no its not me being a smart arse on this issue, but rather some on here being too quick as usual to turn on their own politicians at the very wrong moment. Its been the single biggest failing of this party since the ousted Maggie Thatcher back in 1990!

"Our so called supporters jump on George Osborne who did nothing illegal"

So why did he take no legal action against those who caused so much reputational damage by publicly claim he did? I am still puzzled by this. Did Osborne or CCHQ give a reason?

Nothing could have been more helpful to the Tories than to have shown that the accusers were lying. I fear that this incident has not gone away.

Now that the USA elections are out of the way, and when the broadcast media have got the implications the election of Obama out of their system (I recall that we had to listen to same sort of coswallop when Tony Blair won in 97), perhaps we can get some decent reporting on the debate in this country about the economic crisis.

Instead of being a conduit for the Government's press releases and acting as Vince Cable PR agent, the BBC et al could start asking some serious questions. e.g. The 1.5% cust in interest rates was not a bold action. It was a panic measure brought about by the fact that for the last month the authorities have been dithering while the impact of the financial storm has engulfed the real economy.

Part of George Osborne's problem is that the media have not give him a look-in.

"I despair I really do. There is no opposition, there has been no real opposition for 11 years. There is an open goal from corner flag to corner flag yet Broon and his incompetent ilk are running rings round us. You (the Party) have no leaders with passion and belief and it shows."

I agree. It takes more than just wearing a blue rosette - you have to have beliefs and ideals too. They are not there.

"Namely the strategy of undermining Brown, the IHT policy at the height of the Brown honeymoon, and getting involved in the Boris Johnson campaign when it needed some vim and vigour."

And I appreciate and recognise that. The point now though is that he has failed to say anything about the financial crsis that has grabbed public attention in the way that the IHT policy did. Incidently I don't want Osborne to go (that would be electorally stupid), I just wish he'd buck up a bit.

"Yet, we are still comfortable ahead in the polls, and ahead on the economic questions as well. "

Our lead, while satisfactory, has shrunk.
Rather than saying "Labour at 30% and ourselves in the early 40s is fine" we should be aiming to knock Labour back into the mid 20s and increase our rating to the late 40s.

ChrisD; I think you make the mistake of assuming that the Conservative party are ahead in the polls because of something they did rather than something the labour government did. I believe the poll results are an indication of anti – government sentiment rather than pro- Conservative.

It is utterly amazing that Brown has been allowed to get away with using the financial situation to turn around that feeling when the government have been the cause of much of the problems.

Before the Conservatives are fit for government they need to show they are fit to be an opposition, at least Mr Redwood on his blog has been pointing out the errors in Labour policy and suggesting an alternative which, is a great deal more than Mr Osborne has bee doing.

I think you are past the point of no return with Osborne; removing him will be more damaging than retaining him. Labour saw the writing on the wall with Brown, and the party is now completely united behind him, or at least keeping very quiet. I don't see the same historical tribal loyalty for which the Tories were famed here.

"Pity Vince Cable isn't a Tory. He clearly knows what he's talking about."

What exactly is a Tory?

I must point out to Osborne supporters that it was a Conservative who suggested that the banks be re capitalised in part by foreign investors/capital, thus reducing the burden on the UK taxpayer. That Conservative was John Redwood MP.

I would also point out that a Conservative suggested that if Barclays could manage without taxpayers money, why could Brown's chum Sir Victor Black not do the same ?
That Conservative was Michael Fallon MP.

There was also a Conservative who spoke about leaking roofs and the sun shining. That Conservative was our current Shadow Chancellor.

This economic crisis has been on the cards for a couple of years now with concerns on the US situation from some quarters back then. The UK regulator stated in November 2006 "... found to have inadequate systems and controls to manage their businesses according to the FSA, the UK's financial watchdog. " And now they are to be paid bonuses! The world, truly, has gone mad.

A bell-weather surely must have been the moment personal debt exceeded GDP.

Brown has encourage a personal debt fuelled economic "miracle", i.e. sustained growth, in the UK but only because people have borrowed irresponsibly.

Why oh why oh why are not the Conservative Party big guns getting this point over? Possibly because they do not yet seem to have a coherent strategy for rescuing this country from the ruins caused by Brown.

Individuals have to take more responsibility for themselves, in all respects. We are over-governed, over-regulated and over-protected. With over-regulation people lose sight of their own responsibilities because whatever befalls them 'it is always someone else's fault'.

Sadly I do not see Cameron and co as being so different.

"ChrisD; I think you make the mistake of assuming that the Conservative party are ahead in the polls because of something they did rather than something the labour government did"

No, I think the Tories remain ahead in the polls at this time because they did not fall into the tempting position of trying to be opportunistic at the height of the banking meltdown. IMHO, the risks of that scenario seriously damaging us was very high.
I still think it was right for Cameron and Osborne to offer by partisan support at that point. They knew that Brown would not take them up on it, and so it proved. Brown is still a very predictable political beast, and that was yet another mistake he made at the time.

Way back at the start of this crisis, and often forgotten is one of Tim's "fasten your seatbelts" articles where he pointed out that Cameron and Osborne were warning and expecting a dip in our polling figures during this period.

It was a good indicator of the political turmoil ahead, and it does point to the fact that getting this party to hold its nerve at the most vital time is not always easy or even achievable.

Northern Tory at 09.51:

"Osborne is a smooth political operater but he is painfully out of his depth as shadow chancellor.

He can still do an outstanding job for the party but this is not the role for him".

However good George Osborne might be as chancellor, the overall perception of his ability in that role among activists is that he neither has the training, nor practical experience to perform competently in what, at the moment, is the key role. BUT he has enormous poetential elsewhere.

Northern Tory is absolutely right (as we northern tories generally are, of course!).

David Cameron should give very serious thought to reshuffling his pack in the near future.

George Osbourne's approach is cautious and sound but there is a desparate need to speak out and put the blame for the economic mess where it lies - Brown and Clinton. I am surprised to find myself praising the way that Nigel Farage spoke about the situation last night on the Any Questions TV programme but at least he got the point across!

Unemployment - rising
Inflation - rising
Repossessions - rising
Bankruptcies - rising
Opposition party poll rating - er, falling.

"..Cameron and Osborne were warning and expecting a dip in our polling figures during this period"

Lol, genius! They managed to predict that their performance would be so bad that their popularity would slip.

Just wait to it gets worse they say, then the public will be back on our side. Unfortunately, as every day passes and the outlook looks gloomier, the more Labour's popularity rises.

Please don't call yourself "Vince Cable" whoever you are. Future comments left under another person's real name will be deleted.

I am not keen on Osbourne,as i am not keen on tories like Boris.Why?They fail to back marriage in the tax and benefits system.They also are guilty of closing their eyes to the extent,and consequences,of family breakdown!Get IDS back in a government role now!While you are on,ask frank Field from labour to join you1He is a good,sound man,a true small c conservative!As is Kate hooey and Anne widdecombe

Brown pretends that he is a financial mastermind (with no relevant training/experience in anything other than his cabinet posts) but this is a bad thing for UK politics.

Ministers should not have to be the worlds greatest authority on - they should be competent, set the objectives, and have access to the people they need (who should be the great authorities). They are, however, reponsible for the outomes, as it is they who chose the advisers and made the final decision.

Surely osborne talks to haig, redwood etc... doesn't he?

Osbourne has failed to rise above the smears and while during the party conference seemed on top of his game has since appeared wrong footed playing catchup.
While I personally think he will recover if Brown gives him the time he fails to comand the same gravitas as Clarke.
Perhaps Cameron should do a Brown and bring Clarke in from the cold.

We expect these comments and are seldom disappointed.
However the most valid opinions, in my view, are those that condemn Osborne`s lack of impact in the present crisis.

Like I mentionned in another thread - this is a purposeful lack of excitement to make brown feel good with himself and maybe call an election next May - by 2010 too much damage the country is planned, and he didn't call one when he was as down in popularity as you could get.

A lot of the calls about getting rid of Osbourne seem to be based on their agenda because they don't like that he has money, and is probably what Cameron is thinking of when he wants people to leave their 2nd jobs.

Well I'd say it's to his advantage as he isn't swayed by big business and big money.
Like in the Prescott programme on tv, he has a rat up his arse about class so will never be able to look at it objectively.
If someone who is poor cannot really see money objectively, and why Obama can be president and eg. Jesse Jackson couldn't be (as he would see it specifically as a victory for black people, rather than for who he is)

"Northern Tory is absolutely right (as we northern tories generally are, of course!)."

David Belchamber as a Southern (ex)Conservative I should also like to stake a claim to being right, in fact most Conservatives I've met were correct. The group who got it totally wrong were the uber modernisers in Nottinghill, who had decided the next election would be fought on social issues, and having the party ear they peddled their social agenda ignoring the mounting economic problems, and failing to understand a basic political truth that is was always going to be the economy stupid.

Nick Robinson has called the Glenrothes result a Brown Bounce

I dont think that can be right as Brown, isn't a dead cat - just a poor Prime Minister, who's made us all poor.

"This website's efforts" on behalf of George Osborne included a long editorial on 21 October "The indespensible George Osborne". That was essentially a listing of his tactical successes in the campaign to get the Party reelected.

As I suggested at the time, those successes have been effectively nullified by his clumsy mistakes at Corfu and his loss of credibility as a result.

The problem is that the Party's marketing phase has run its course. We should be identifying the failures of this government, of course. But we should now be describing the new and better government that we shall offer the electorate at the next election.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne are proven marketeers. Mr Cameron, the leader, can recast himself as a potential prime minister by recasting his shadow cabinet. Mr Osborne's credibility cannot be restored so easily.

If Mr Cameron does not soon shuffle Mr Osborne to where his political skills can still be useful, the two of them will be leading us into another five years of futile opposition. The electorate does not want an elegantly successful Conservative election campaign; it will choose the most convincing government on offer.

Mr Cameron needs to construct a significantly different front bench of which Brown should be really afraid and from which our electorate can draw real hope.

Osborne would be good as Foreign Sec.

Ages ago this website said Osborne should be Chairman not Chancellor. You were right then and wrong to defend him in recent weeks.

I am old enough to remember the oratory of Iain Macleod and I know what he would have said about Messrs Brown and Darling! I suggest the Front Bench listens to his recordings on the LP " In Pusuit of Excellence" and hear how he destroyed the Wilson Government.
The same with Margaret Thatcher- her famous answer when asked how she would solve the then inflation problem was to remind people who put it up!

Oh by the way, are the Front Bench still on holiday- please Mr Cameron get tough and just order them to get rid of their second jobs or resign- how can they expect the supporters to give 100% when they are not prepared to?

This is war- either we hit back hard and put out messages people can understand and relate to, or we can forget Government for yet another 5 years- this would be a tragedy for the country

I just hope the DC reads some of these heartfelt comments from people who wish him well and have supported him even before he became leader

It looks like we now have the Roons versus the Rons (Replace Osborne Now).

This poll shows the Rons to be becoming an increasingly large group.

Osborne has a slim chance of saving himself but we need SUBSTANCE and inventive policy options NOW.

The time for sitting on our hands and crossing off the days until victory (as Lab implodes) - are over.

Mandelson and Campbell are back and we are in for a fight...

George needs to put down his sink plunger - stop wittering about plumbing and DIY disasters and start saying how sensible conservative policies (and values) will offer change and a way out of this bomb crater that Lab has created...

Who are these trolls talking up that spiv Cable?

Glenrothes underlines the need to improve our efforts to prosecute Brown for his past mishandling of the economy and we need a heavy hitter who knows what he/she is on about.

That is not Osbourne and his band.

Osborne made a complete and utter fool of himself over the yachting episode where his naivety and total lack of political nous has been only too apparent. He has not said anything sensible about the recent economic problems where he is obviously way out of his depth. He has completely failed to place the blame for these squarely where it belongs with Gordon Brown (Cameron, of course, shares equally the blame with him on this one). Why is no-one ramming home again and again how much Brown threw away by selling the gold reserves at the bottom of the market? To paraphrase Churchill this was 'some expert, some novice!' The sooner Osborne goes and a heavy weight like Redwood or Clarke takes his place the sooner the party can get back to winning the next election.

I have been trying to tell people on this site that Osborne is totally out of his depth but all I get is ' your a Draper Troll " .

How much more evidence does Cameron need that he is ineffective , nearly as ineffective as he is becoming . I say again bring back John Redwood , read his blog , he knows what he,s talking about !

There's a good reason Labour are a going balls out to get rid of Osborne. Cameron and Osborne are a great team that took us from well behind in the polls to well in front - don't fall Mandelson's Dark Arts!

How many anonymous trolls have you seen here and on Iain Dale's site rubbishing Osborne? They are desperate to split up Cameron and Osborne. Ask yourselves why?

London Tory [re Osborne]:
"..Cameron should give him until the Budget in 2009.."

Needs to be prompter, so as to let replacement show his/her mettle before then.

Buoyed up by Glenrothes result, Brown might go for early 2009 election, with some titbits for the masses in the budget.

I have the nasty feeling that Conservatives are risking being overwhelmed by events, just as next GE looms!

Posted by: Steve Green (Daily Referendum Blog). | November 07, 2008 at 13:37

How many anonymous trolls have you seen here and on Iain Dale's site rubbishing Osborne? They are desperate to split up Cameron and Osborne. Ask yourselves why?

It takes more than "a few anonymous trolls" to collapse Osborne's ratings in this poll of grass roots members.

As an earlier poster correctly pointed out, we are now up against Mandelson and Campbell, Draper and Whelan. Masters of the Political Black Arts.

Its time to tackle them with political grown ups, putting up the likes of Spelman, Letwin [Uncle Bumble] and Osborne is akin to taking on a bull elephant with a pea shooter.

P.S: Cameron should bring back Michael Forsyth in the Lords to counter Mandelson, little Duncan is useless.

David Eyles said "Osborne's adventure on expensive Russian yatchs is irrelevent in my opinion"

Is that right? Of course it is not he brought disrepute on both himself and the Tory party. Any other organisation would have kicked him out for such behaviour.

But many of the comments here are quite ridiculous, keep your head down, dont say anything, George is wonderful, Cameron is a great leader! what utter bunkum.

You all forget that the public were disgusted by Osborne's behaviour, quite rightly so. That Cameron keeps him and Spelman in their positions is not supportable.

But I am on record, before Yachtgate, in saying that boy george was not up to the job and I believe that Cameron is no leader! No leader would keep Redwood and Davis out of the top team and maintain those two I have mentioned and the liberal Maude.

strapworld, I support David Eyles comment which said that Osborne's adventure on an Oligarchs yachts was irrelevant. Essentially it was, it was misguided, and showed a lack of judgement, but essentially it was irrelevant, and would have been irrelevant if Osborne was and had been making the Governments life hell on the economy. The problem was he wasn't, and as a Formula one driver once said of his sport 'if you aren't giving pressure, then you end up taking it' the same can be said of politics, if you aren't taking the fight to the Government then the initiative is lost and don’t be surprised the fire is turned back on you and your party. So the fact that this irrelevant story became a problem for Osborne was really a story about the failure of Osborne to take the fight to the Government over the economy, and so given them time and the opportunity to turn the fire onto him.

pp - thanks - 'food for thought'!

George simply is not the man for the Job.
It’s clear that the man should be a permanent civil servant
He is unable to connect and is to slow on his feet to be polished, but we do know he has quality and it would be a great shame if he wasn’t found the right job. Frankly the drought of polices is the most killing thing about this shower, we know that in theory they should be an above average bunch but they are not telling any sort of story right now and as a result they are starting to loose ground…time for a re-think Dave..

Osborne aside one thing I can't quite figure is the low rating people give Sayeeda Warsi. Every time I see her on TV she gives a good account of herself, makes good political points, and gives Labour a fair old working over. The last time I saw her was on Question Time, here she had Roy Hattersly whingeing and complaining to Dimbleby that he was being bullied by her. Now if she can shut up Hattersly and having him bleating onto Dimbleby, then by any measure she done a pretty good job.

Iain, I respect your views. But I do not think to supper with Mandleson and to badmouth colleagues (which is all part of Yachtgate) is irrelevant! Such events can lead to 'camps' being formed within the shadow cabinet which cannot be good for the party. That was why I believe he brought great discredit upon the party and himself.

I have met Nigel Mansell, but he didn't tell me that line-which I enjoyed!- However I am getting to the point in believing that the main job is too much for Cameron!

A lot of very hostile comments here.
Finger out, Gids.

I think that the most disturbing aspect of the present political AND economic situation, is the way that Mr. Brown - our PM, has been 'allowed' to side-step ANY responsiblility for causing any or all of the problems!!!

It doesn't seem to have occurred to quite a few persistent bloggers on this site, that NOW, Mr. Brown has a LARGE TEAM, of spinners and PR people, employed at OUR expense, with the sole remit to cover up Brown's shortcomings and to whitewash any responsibility as far as prodigal spending and large debts in concerned.

On top of what I have just written, some Tories? on this site seem to 'blame' Cameron/Osborne PERSONALLY for the fact that, Mr. Brown PLUS A LARGE TEAM - INCLUDING ALISTAIR cAMPBELL - is turning into Teflon Tony.

If you yourselves spent as much energy in attacking Labour as you do on attacking Osborne - given that we do NOT have the biased media on the internet, which DC and GO, DO have to contend with whenever they do media interviews, THEN I think we would be a help, rather than a hindrance!! How labour activists must laugh at us!!!

Iain @ 08.49 'The fact that Brown can make this economic crisis an electoral asset sums up the failure of Osborne.' - Don't be ridiculous Iain! You cannot deny the role that the media particularly the BBC play in undermine Conservatives MP's and their policies!

Jonathan @ 09.44 - You obviously listen to the BBC, so what on earth would you expect?!!

It's the old old problem. With open goals before them the party leadership seem to go to sleep. I suspect one reason is they look at the situation and think "that's suits so people will notice and I don't need to do anything". Another reason is that when Labour are flooding the airwaves, to get heard, you have to resort to Punch and Judy and Tory leaders don't want to get their hands dirty.

Over the last year Cameron and Osborne have produced many policies and ideas re the crisis. All Osborne has to do is keep repeating them starting with a list, and, of course, the rest of the shadow cabinet pitch in repeating them. But, as an example of a bit of Punch and Judy, Osborne has called for an enquiry into exactly what went wrong and who was responsible, specifically mentioning the need to interview the "man in the middle of everything" i.e. the ex-Chancellor. A perfectly reasonable approach but no one has heard it because the media have not picked it up, so, Cameron should ask about it at PMQs, Tory backbenchers should demand it (don't tell me that would be unconstitutional!) and every Conservative spokesman at Question Time should work it in to an answer. Trouble is Tory spokesmen only seem to think of themselves.

Patsy Sergeant, I've never asked for policies, what I have been banging on about for far too long is for the Shadow Treasury team to make a critical analysis of Gordon Brown's record, yet all we've had is stupid analogies about roofs, burning houses and plumbing. I made this point last Saturday on the ConservativeHome front page….

//May I give two cheers to Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, for his contribution on Any Questions, who calmly laid out the argument why we are particularly vulnerable to the credit crunch, pointing out that a decade ago we covered our personal borrowing requirements from savings, but now need borrow £700 billion on the international credit markets to sustain our consumption. This I feel is a much more devastating critique of Brown's tenure as Chancellor that all the rabbiting on about sunshine, roofs, houses, fires and exocets, for it lays some clear facts before the public.
I would have given Jeremy Hunt three cheers if he had rubbish the Labour MP Jim Knights claim that government debt to GDP was 37%, for yet again we have a Labour MP telling porkies on the BBC and allowed to get away with it, and the Conservatives failing to correct it.
When will CCHQ send a memo round to all Conservative MP's to not allow and tear apart Labours debt claim ? “

But on the bad side I also took the trouble to email Mr Vara MP ….

//Mr Vara I have just heard you on Radio 5live, here yet again a Labour MP claimed our debt to GDP was 37% ( as Gordon Brown did in PMQ’s) lower than what Labour inherited in 1997, but you as the Conservative spokesman failed to challenge the claim.

I quote from the Office of National Statistics web site…..

"Public sector net debt, expressed as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was 43.4 per cent at the end of September 2008"


Not the 37% Brown likes to claim. The above 43.4% includes NR, but it doesn’t include PFI projects which would add about another 6% to the figure, neither dose it include NetworkRail, or the other bank bail outs. putting the figure above 50%!

But its worse than that, for the comparison Labour is making is the declining debt level of a Conservative Government after exiting a recession, not the level of debt a Government entered a recession with , if you take an equivalent number, public debt under the Conservatives bottomed at 26% in 1990-91.

So under Brown we are entering a recession with the sort of figures other Governments exited a recession!

What I find staggering is that Conservative MP’s passively sit and listen to the rubbish Labour MP’s spout and don’t challenge them on it , and feel that as Conservative MP’s don’t seem motivated or bothered to get after this Labour Government and its record, I begin to wonder if they can be motivated enough to put up a fight to become the next Government.//

What I want from the Conservative party is for it to..




Good lord there’s enough ammunition out the for them to use, but while the Conservative party is squatting on centre right political territory and failing to do its job, it means people of the political right are being let down and having to endure this rotten Government.

check out the Nu_new_Labour 'narrative' by GB at the EU summit today classic'- pure Mand/camp/draper et al

'My undivided focus is on

mortgage holders who are having difficulties,

homeowners worried about their homes,

people worried about their jobs,

people worried about gas and electricity prices.'

DC is missing Steve Hilton

George Osborne may be one of the architects in the Conservative revival but he should not be Shadow Chancellor. He lacks gravitas and experience. Bring back Ken Clarke, he would be a popular choice amongst non-Tory voters.

Left, right and centre, the public are battling with their own budget crises and desperately hoping that a party will honestly articulate the case for less government and lower taxes. But the conservatives remain silent and in so doing render themselves as unfit for office as the present incumbents. It's time for Osborne to move on.

Keep your nerve folks. We are hearing two extremes here. Those who cry doom and those that say "oh it will all sort itself out give it time". The truth is in the middle. As always in life its important to learn lessons and get up and fight. I do think where we can learn is in picking a few very strong resonant messages and getting everyone, from top to bottom of the party, to repeat it ad nauseam.

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