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I am not a politician or a PPC, I'm just an ordinary voter. I don't want to see the value of the money that I hold in Sterling, in my ordinary savings account disappearing because the government wants to borrow too much and wants to bring interest rates down to below inflationary levels.

What government does effects us all, we all pay for their mistakes and the only way we can protest is through her majesty's opposition. We, the ordinary voters, look towards and need the opposition to speak out on our behalf. Government without opposition is diktat, we needs the likes of George Osborne to stand up for us all.

Exactly and the bias at the BBC is not helping. Just watched Marr. He gives Reid a free ride and hammers Osborne. I have sent a compliant on the Marr web site. I encourage others others do the same.

"I don't want to see the value of the money that I hold in Sterling, in my ordinary savings account disappearing because the government wants to borrow too much and wants to bring interest rates down to below inflationary levels."

Agreed, my reward for saving as much as my income as possible and not getting myself into debt (mortgage excepted) is to have those savings devalued as part of a plan to help the irresponsible.

Might I repeat what I said late on one of yesterday's threads?

Louise, I am not suggesting a negative campaign. If you have a problem - and this country has one hell of a problem - you first analyse the causes of that problem. Then you can suggest positive solutions.

The first duty of the opposition is to oppose the government where it thinks the government is not acting in the country's best interests. I do not believe that Brown was acting in our best interests by (i) taking away from the BoE sole responsibility for the oversight of the banking sector, (ii) making the MPC responsible for only one side of the coin and (iii) for requiring the MPC to control an artificially low rate of inflation among other things.

I would ask you to ignore the fact that Howard Flight was the author of "From Boom to Bust" and just concentrate on the contents or read John Major's article in the Times the other day.

They and many others show clearly that Brown's stewardship of the economy was not outstandingly good as Brown would claim but was deeply flawed and would have caused our economy great problems even without the American sub-prime fiasco.

We should not be having this analysis at this stage of the proceedings; we should by now be on positive teritory showing how to mitigate the effects of recession.

Oh and by the way, there is no harm in reminding people that Brown's great "save the world" escape plan was based on what Sweden did about 16 years ago.

This blog post is so blindingly obvious that it astounds me that it ever needed to be written in the first place. But with the media's current uncritical Labour love-in and re-writing of history, it is incumbent on the right-wing bloggers to keep on writing the truth. It's about time the Conservative party declared all out war on Labour.

Spot on. The main reason Labour have been in power for so long has been weak opposition and accountability of Government incompetence sadly lacking. If George Osborne's comments had been made a year ago they would have still been right but perhaps inappropriate - given the decline of Sterling already this year however, he is right to speak out. The electorate must be made to realise the long-term consequences of irresponsible borrowing for not just us but more importantly, our children. The policy of investment (education, NHS etc) is commendable, but it must be at an affordable level and without a healthy economy and tax revenues this is clearly less than a few years ago. It is therefore, more important than ever to ensure value-for-money from state investment rather than increasing state borrowing.

Finally, I would go as far as to suggest that we all follow the same method - don't simply 'spend' any tax savings that may arise, but use at least part to reduce personal debt or save! That will be contentious, as any breaks will be aimed at 'economic stimulation' but personal debt is as much to blame as government debt and we all need to adjust.

Blair was very, very good at setting the agenda and (re-)defining the rules (aka moving the goalposts and getting away with it). It was probably his main skill.

Similarly Mandleson has some of this about him (still not pinned down on his tariff discussions (timber admitted) with oleg -- aparantly he is to get off scott free simply by not answering).

However Brown has not a single iota of this ability - if he were a magician the whole audience would be looking exactly where the slight of hand was taking place and he would be found out every time.

The front bench are doing an excellent job in orientating to this new environment (after maybe a slightly slow start, maybe just pacing themselves). Brown is taking blows, he will be heading for the ropes, and then on the canvas for the next general election.

There have been many negative comments here about the front bench not being aggressive enough towards the government.

Now that Brown is reduced to trying to attack the messenger (for he cannot attack the message). I look forward to lots of positive comments from those formerly critical posters.

God thread Jonathan. This point needs to be rammed home at every opportunity. Not surprised that the usual suspects have chosen to steer clear of this thread.

Of course that should read GOOD thread Jonathan.Sorry!

You of course miss out the other finding of this poll, which you find so convincing:

The Conservative team around David Cameron is lightweight
Agree 48%
Disagree 35%

The Labour Party will lose the next election regardless of who leads it
Agree 54% (68% in July)
Disagree 35% (22% in July)

Really, who gives a damn who scores points in PMQ's when the general public is nauseated by the whole stage managed spectacle?

Besides which, it's all very well slamming the government but what do the tories propose to do that will lead to anything different?

This is a classic failure of big government but we've seen nothing that hints that the tories will significantly reduce its size.

Peter is spot on.

FTR David B, there are a lot of analyses of the situation but not enough ideas about what to do with it coming from the people who count. I'd like to see George put that across properly. Your assumption that the Tories know what is going wrong is spot on. The actual probability that they will act on it and suddenly let rip with a whole host of suggestions as to how to get things going again is slim and getting slimmer. Unfortunately I am at the end of my patience in waiting for this. We are 8% ahead and we need, I reckon, a margin of about 10% on the proportion it would take to win an election (once it's called, the polling figures will deflate, so it's no use being 11% ahead, we need to be 15-20% ahead before Brown calls the election to win properly), which is surprising since we were so far ahead before conference.

Gordon has control of the agenda, we seem unable to say what we would do different (the time for trenchant criticisms was 18 months ago, we need them to feed into policymaking, which will take a year or so at the rate these people seem to work), and I suggest Cameron takes more notice of his fellow MPs because according to MSN (which I use as a news digest as it is full of stuff which is directly important to ordinary people using the net rather than political hacks like ourselves):

"However, the fact that Tory leader David Cameron did not publicly back his ally was taken in some quarters as a bad sign for his future. Some MPs suggested that the shadow chancellor could find himself in serious trouble if the pound plunges when currency markets open again on Monday."

All this business about Osborne not criticizing Labour over the economy or Cameron not criticizing Brown over baby P surely raises the fundemental points of free speech, democracy, etc. I suggest a lot of people would be interested in the Tories pitching in over this. Now what that Russian leader Brown was compared to?

"(the time for trenchant criticisms was 18 months ago, we need them to feed into policymaking, which will take a year or so at the rate these people seem to work)".

I agree fully with you, Louise. In fact had the shadow treasury team mounted a sustained attack - before the last election - on Gordon Brown's record as chancellor, I think it quite likely that Labour's majority might have dropped to only 25 or 30, which, given the number of Labour backbench rebellions, could have made for some interesting situations.

However, that is all water under the bridge and we are where we are now. But we cannot leave our charge any longer and we must have some concrete proposals very soon for mitigating the recession, which we cannot now avoid.

Bash Labour?
Count me in.
Let me state the obvious. Cameron and Osborne are secure in their jobs. Any resignations would be political suicide (amid Labour rejoicing).
Public criticism of the Tory leadership from fellow Tories is inexcusable. You can offer advice and crticism on their website.
To sound off on this site merely aids the enemy.
The enemy, by the way is Brown, not Osborne.

John; as a floating voter, the enemy would seem to be political parties that are not offering an alternative thought through and different way forward. If it is true that Browns policies have got us into this mess, an opposition that looks like it has been agreeing with those policies is hardly going to attract votes at the next election.

Many of us have been saying for a long time that Cameron needs to offer the voters a Conservative vision for this country and get rid of all the lefty, greenie, climate change, rubbish that emanates from the socialist EU and has so far clouded any conservative message, we do not want to vote Blue and get Green if we wanted green we would vote green.

The Conservatives need to get real and for gods sake get some real thought out policies, preferably without great big gaping logical loopholes. You cannot guarantee that you can take back power from the EU unless it is done unilaterally and the country is prepared to face the consequences, which might well mean leaving the EU, so the leaders need to stop pretending otherwise.

"Some MPs suggested that the shadow chancellor could find himself in serious trouble if the pound plunges when currency markets open again on Monday."

That is incredible!

The pound has dropped dramatically over recent months because of one Gordon Brown, but barely a mention.
Now I am supposed to believe that on the back of Osborne pointing this blindingly obvious fact out over the weekend, the whole of the global financial sector will then take flight?

I noticed today that the government are briefing about big tax cuts again, now if I was a cynic, I would imagine that they are hoping it will have the same effect its had over recent weeks?
But for me, its what is in the PBR, upfront and carefully hidden away that will finally decide the short term future of Sterling.

Expect it to take a couple of days before the markets can wade their way through the small print.

I know that Gordon Brown and his press team were hoping, quite disgustingly IMHO, that this economic tsunami would be Brown's Falklands moment.

Without Osborne's timely intervention on the state of Sterling, a move that has seen the media turn on him for even daring to do his job, and question this government's economically disastrous stewardship.

What was going to happen?
Would Brown have just carried on spending and borrowing, and would the UK electorate have woken up one morning to find they had a Sterling crisis?
Instead of asking where the hell the Falklands were, they might have been asking how the hell this happened and no one told us?
Or maybe questioned why we were the last to know?

Two important points, if this is the treatment that Osborne&Co get for simple stating the blindingly obvious, and questioning the serious implications of further public borrowing on Sterling.
What on earth would have happened had Cameron and Osborne gone on the attack during the Banking crisis????
Cameron and Osborne have got to take the gloves off now, and, yes Osborne had to take that self imposed leash off too!

We have the Telegraph and its crew running a campaign against the Tories right now, and the rest of the political media apart from one or two still peddling the line that their is a convention on the opposition talking about Sterling, because to do otherwise would make them look bloody stupid for not doing a simple piece of journalism yesterday by checking their facts before they went with that line.

One of the most amazing facts about Gordon Brown's career has been building of a political myth by the political lobby.
And no matter how many times the Emperor is found to have no clothes, they will come back and try and dress him again, this time in a lycra superman suit that doesn't fit.

This man does not have the basic skills of a good politician, never mind a PM. He cannot handle even the most simple of briefs without a carefully prepared script and handlers. He cannot handle PMQ's, or even the most simple interview on his own without making you cringe, he can be dishonest and clutches at claims the opposition are being nasty and partisan because he cannot deal with criticism.

Do you actually know anything at all about markets Louise? Do you think a Shadow Chancellor has any ability at all to move the value of sterling? Either you've bought Nulabour spin hook line and sinker or you're showing real ignorance.
To remind you sterling has fallen almost 30% against in recent weeks before Osborne commented on it at all. Now tell me, why do you think that is?

I agree with every word Jonathan Isaby says here.
The media has gone way too far in lionising the PM - everywhere I look on the news Gordon Brown seems to be involved in some positive way.
Last night on the BBC wasn't about Osborne's criticism, it was about Gordon Brown regretting this criticism! If that isn't biased reporting I'd like to know what is.

"One of the most amazing facts about Gordon Brown's career has been building of a political myth by the political lobby.
And no matter how many times the Emperor is found to have no clothes, they will come back and try and dress him again, this time in a lycra superman suit that doesn't fit."

Votedave, I wrote that, and then I saw the very last sketch on Bremner&Co's programme tonight!
Nuff said.

It is both the right and duty of the Opposition to hold the Government to account

Like they did over Iraq, for instance. I'm glad they held the government to account there, instead of supporting an illegal war for oil!

Gordon Brown doesn't like being criticised - well all I can say is, "Get stuck in George". There are enough reported cases of Gordon getting in a huff and storming and blustering at Tony Blair when he was PM but our front bench don't need to cave in to these blatant bully-boy tactics! Let him rant and storm - the more the better!

Cameron has to unveil a new line of attack - maybe starting at PMQ - when brown starts one of his self-satisfying monologues:

here he goes again... the old style professional politician with half truths... getting out his credit card again...trying to buy your votes and sending you the bill after the next election..destrying the country's economy in the process

stunned that this thread has attracted fewer comments than DD's choice of music above!
Personally I think the tide is beginning to turn. The farce of the G20 which achieved nothing will be commented on today and I suspect that Brown's abject handling of this crisis will be laid bare.

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