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And undermined the substance of what he was saying by trying to cram in as many sound bites as he could. Someone needs to tell Osborne some simple basic facts are a dammed sight more destructive than any number of smart Alec sound bites, in fact these sound bites cheapens his message.

Iain said "tell Osborne some simple basic facts are a dammed sight more destructive than any number of smart Alec sound bites"

You are quite correct. In fact he would be better served aiming to eliminate soundbites altoghther. The change would be refresfing.

Better still, get Cameron to aim to wipe out soundbites from anything said by the shadow cabinet. Soundbites are juvenile and their time is over!

During privatisation the Labour opposition talked down IPO share prices by threatening renationalisation if elected and making claims about the consequences of privatisation. That was accepted, although it cost taxpayers billions in potential revenue as IPO prices could have been set higher, because it was their policy (albeit wrong). It is Conservative policy to be fiscally responsible and oppose borrowing, therefore we have the right to be vocal about it and explain why we feel this way.

Why now is Labour's defence always to accuse the opposition of party politics. Isn't that the idea of a party political system?

Some good solid soundbites from George in a good solid performance.

all politians use sound bites, its the only way to get your message across in the media,
they only use the best parts in a interview.the tories need them more, espeically when they are up against a bias media totally devoted to the labour party...say no more. dont believe what the media and some of the press report its called brain washing the wider public.
Osbourne has guts - I applaund him for telling the truth, espeically on the pound
(the pound has been falling for weeks)you watch the labour spin machine go in overdrive,(along with the media) taking the focus of brown and onto osbourne and trying to blame him for our present situation. It seems this goverment espeically brown do not like any truths spoken - wheres freedom of speech..

Agree, David T. Do Labour want to stop any form of opposition? We can't ask about Baby P, we can't mention Sterling has been in freefal for weeks....we and the public should be angry that labour think people can be gagged. Look folks, we have to face upto facts - the Labour spin machine is in full flow again. It can be seen everywhere. I totally disagree with Hawkeye. The reason New labour were so successful in the past was the very careful choice of messages which the whole party then repeated over and over and over again. Notice how Brown is saying in every phrase that the economic crisis is global, started in US, we are best placed to tackle it, he is leading the world. They have worked out a narrative (a false and misleading one) but nonetheless a carefully crafted piece of spin. We have to work out or own narrative and everyone has to work it.

George's comments seem to imply we have a fixed, not floating exchange rate.

But, then, so too do the criticisms.(They also assume anyone cares what George thinks.)

He also needs to make clear that 'devaluation' is a good thing, if it does not become a rout. It's the first automatic stabiliser.

A strong pound now would be crucifixion.

george your right on the sterling question - but i will have no respect for you or cameron for that matter if you dont drop this disastrous sharing the proceeds of growth claptrap-we need deep cuts in public spending now- to do that you need someone prepared to stand for what is right not necessarily popular - how about john redwood.

Geoff, I don't think his comments do imply that. Exchange rates should be free to float within reason and the Government of the day is able to influence them to a degree.

Of course people (the markets) care what he thinks, just as the people with influence on markets extend to bankers, investors etc etc. It's just that we live in such interesting times that the more marginal commentators are not being heard.

Which is why this is such a storm in a teacup.

I think that George Osborne acquited himself quite well on Andrew Marr, in fact I should think Marr won't get much praise from HIS bosses!!!

I would like 'Iain' and 'Hawkeye' to give us some exact examples of how they would put across small bits of policy, when being interupted continuously - with the express intention of foiling a cohesive message - that is of course when a Conservative politician actually gets some airtime at all!

If Osborne had tried to get across one long message, and it was interupted in the way that ALL politicians, particularly Tory ones ALWAYS are, then the long message would end up completely meaningless and the interview would have been a waste of time. You need to try and put yourself in his place and see how well you would get across a message - any message.

It seems to me that people, particularly men don't 'do' imagining how THEY would 'feel' or 'cope' in a situation, these days - if they ever did. An example! Did the bridegrroom/footballer who did the solidarity gesture on the football pitch, aimed at his 'friend' in prison for wantonly killing two little boys and injuring their father, did it even enter his head how HE would feel/react if that had happened to him (he probably has children already, as it is the modern way!). No, obviously not, because HE would have gone on an aggressive rampage in similar circumstances - judging by how footballers usually react.

I am sure you would be the first to grumble if Osborne didn't get across any particular messages and just rambled on!

But Stephen Hoffman, George Osborne is NOT in a position, to 'make deep cuts in public spending NOW' he is only the SHADOW Chancellor and cannot MAKE policy! And although Labour are only too willing to pinch Tory policies when it suits them, getting rid of their friends in quangoes and agencies is not something that they can afford to do!

Yes Patsy I agree. The quango payroll vote can't be touched by Labour as it's an esential part of their core vote. And someone like Marr only has to throw back TaxCuts=Nurses Out On The Streets because that's not an argument easily debunked in a short and hostile interview.

These things need to be formulated and costed as the economic climate evolves. What we see today isn't what we will inherit.

Osborne has already blown it. First impressions last.

Even if he has redeemed himself on the Andrew Marr show, who the hell is watching that?

I have no confidence this man knows what is wrong, or how to fix it. Ultimately the problem is our imported regulatory regime. He won't even mention it, so why will he fix it?

I lost count of the number of repetitions of "Gordon Brown". It was like a deserted lover, pathetic and bathetic in his cups, bewailing the departure of the significant other. Or a rabbit hypnotized by the rapidly-approaching headlights.

I failed to hear any positive Tory policy (though there were several efforts to justify past jolly japes).

The boy George has blown it (not for the first time: remember Ms Natalie Rowe?). Time to put him out of his misery, at least in this particular job. We need a safe pair of hands (Hague? Clarke? anyone?) before the Party wades even further into the morass Osborne has dug for us.

You want examples of how to get a simple message across ? Here :




Can anyone remember ANY other labour slogans pre-'97 ?

Sadly, whether they had any substance or not became irrelevant. That old saying "No smoke without fire" was turned into "We will make lots of smoke, so people will be convinced there must BE fire.

Thanks, Alistair, you singlehandedly turned politics from grim all the way to the gutter you already inhabited with your porn.

Alan Douglas

Spin Machine?

The hands of Lord Mandelson are all over the press at the moment and will be until the next election, we'd better get used to it.

We need to make the point, as George did, that people will make a choice at the election and it is important they know our views. We have to stop this Gordon Brown do away with politics rubbish and ram home the message that he is to blame:

interest rates too low for too long - change in the index used - Brown's fault.

no money put aside during the boom - Brown's fault.

Early warning system by IMF - they've been telling Brown for 5 years he was stoking up trouble.

We have to be brutal - much more brutal - about how brown landed us in this mess.

And on another note, did anyone see John Reid, the man who send forces to Afghanistan and "hoped they would leave without a shot being fired". Now with over 100 dead and no end in sight we should be making his role in this mess clear. How on earth does he even get airtime from the BBC. A bloody disgrace if you ask me - and we as a party failed to punish him enough over his crass and deeply misleading statement quoted above.

George uses 'sound bites' well -- the problem with labour sound bites was that they were not backed up with anything!

George made good points, well explained and used 'sound bites' to sumarise them - thats just good communication.

A few more sound bites would have been good - to characterise the poor position of the UK going into the recession (and Brown being in denial about this). Also -- he said "we have borrowed too much" a few times - who is 'we'? if it is brown/labour (public debt) then pin the blame firmly on them, if it was refering to public endebitedness - then this needs to characterised as brown/labour regulation being wrong.

Good stuff.

George Osborne is clearly an analytical thinker who is looking forward to the time when we are back in power.His short term problems should not prevent him from his excellent work. Brown has had all the "BBC" press coverage, but the results of his polices will come home to roost and George will be there to clean up the mess.

Cameron and Osborne have lost their context. The nicely-nicely Blair lite approach is as redundant as our national economy.

When straights are dire, cometh the hour cometh the Chuckle Brothers hardly fits purpose. People look for strength and the stalwart resolution of clearly stated intent and even, I, could almost be inclined toward Brown* as many are now, evidentially, increasingly inclined.

*I shall now wash my mouth out with neat sulphuric acid.

Some some cahones, chaps.

The alacrity with which the BBC have jumped to make an issue about some 'convention' that supposedly prevents shadow chancellors talking about a sterling crisis is extremely suspicious.

Ken Clark has been a minister since 1979. He says he has never heard of any such convention.

If there ever was one, the convention must last have been heard of over thirty years ago when George Osborne was a child.

Clearly this is a synthetic issue dreamed up either by the BBC itself, or by Labour spin doctors.

During the recent US elections, several observers noted how uncannily the BBC's coverage tracked the 'talking-points' issued by the Obama campaign to Democrat spokesmen.

Could it be that NuLab have copied the US system and now issue Talking Point Memos to their friends in the media, which in turn provide the basis for BBC editorial priorities?

If so, this is a very serious scandal indeed.

The real story is that Oliver Letwin has been brought into the Treasury team to draw up plans for spending cuts. Cameron has, in effect, said that Osborne is not up to the job.

An excuse will be found to move Osborne, probably to Chairman, before the general election and Letwin will become Shadow Chancellor.

Isn't it amazing how spending cuts can now be found? For the last three years the "modernisers", in reality Luddites like Finkelstein, have been telling us that state spending must rise in real terms.

The "share the proceeds of growth" slogan summed up the statist attitude of the Cameroons. Their premise was that the government "owns" the growth and gives us serfs our share.

Such expediency and opportunism is disgusting. Whilst the change in direction is welcome, it is demonstrates that the Cameroons have no principles or firm beliefs.

There can be no clearer example of why people do not trust politicians and stay at home on polling day. What a bunch of shysters!

Geoff, I meant that comparing it to Bretton Woods era devaluations is comparing apples and oranges - fixed exchange rate devaluations are more significant.

By contrast, as Paul Krugman says, exchange rates are now so volatile that you don't need to worry about them. They adjust to prevent other things needing to.

But, please, let James Review Mk II not be on the cards.

This was a good performance from Osborne.There was nothing wrong with either the soundbites or the constant references to Gordon Brown.The theme for me was being honest with the British people.You can not continually borrow to solve financial problems.

This is a simple and accesible method which chimes very well with ordinary people.The very people who are now,belatedly in some cases,learning the benefits of thrift and financial planning.

There will be in the coming weeks the need to broaden George's attack.This will come to a head when we see the pre budget report.It will be George's duty to bring out the implications of this and to point to an alternative route.That route must have at it's heart two things:1, a dedication to managing the public finances properly and 2, pointing the way to a smaller state.

The way to control and remediate debt issues is not to borrow more.

If we have come to Letwin as Shadow Chancellor then all is lost and the Conservative party is doomed.
Osborne at least had the ability to speak a language that is understandable to the man in the street; Letwin speaks in econogarble. I am unable to understand why we wish to bring back men who have already failed - Letwin had this job before. Ken Clarke is lazy and not a loyalist. Redwood is brilliant but attracts lightning.
So, why is Michael Fallon's name not mentioned more - sound, loyal, numerate and experienced.

Libertarian @ 12.27 - back on your boring bandwagon again, you tried to pretend the other day that you are not a troll, however you give such a good imitation of one, I would suggest that if you get your apparent wish (read your blog yourself, you make it quite clear that it is Labour you wish in again!!!), if you did get your wish, you would have to change your habits, because criticism of the government IF Labour got in again would be NOT allowed, and it is quite feasible to bring in that sort of legislation. So just go to LabourHome and tell THEM how awful you think the Tories are, they would love it! The rate you go on you might even get a gong (for what its worth!!)

"Isn't it amazing how spending cuts can now be found?"

Libertarian I find it staggering that this work wasn't already being done in the Shadow Treasury office, which is the only way you can read Letwin being brought in to do this, and if they weren't doing the ground work on trying to find ways to cut the bloat state under Brown, it suggests very little work was being done there at all, which probably explains why, when we are in an economic melt down, the opposition has managed to make it a liability to their electoral hopes than the Government who has got us into this mess.

We all know that, these days, image is everything. Ann Leslie had it exactly right on 'Sunday, Radio 4', when she said that unfortunately, even though George Osborne is 37, he looks seventeen and three-quarters.
He might be extremely bright, and might even make an outstandinhg Chancellor, but that is not the point. Voters won't vote for a boy to look after the U.K's finances.

I am starting to think that the trolls are in the majority here... Oppinions without facts are rather a waste of bandwidth...

People who vote labour may be stupid enough to be led by contrived spin (evidently they are from the last few election results), but it doesn't change minds here.

I guess the posting aren't about changing minds here - it is to allow people like Marr to say that there is a 'whispering campaign' against osborne -- in a way I suppose there, however the whispering is by labour trolls not tories.

Iain at 1040 objects to sound bites!!

Others have mentioned a few used by Labour.

Here are a few more.

Remember, Iain, that the vast majority of people who vote do not watch Marr or any other political programme but when bombarded on radio and news programmes in tiny 5 or 10 second spots SOUND BITES are the only and effective manner in getting across something that will register (when constantly repeated) in people's minds.

It is not rocket science. BUT it works. That is why there are such things as advertisements dear boy....they work. Think before you write utter and crass tripe!

Education, Education, Education,

Tough on Crime. Tough on the causes of crime.

The NHS is safe with us.

I watched Jackie Milburn play for Newcastle!!

The pound in your pocket!

A mars a day..........

Brush your teeth with P.....

An apple a day .......


I'm getting a bit worried about how personally conhome is taking the criticism of Osborne.
Osborne didn't hit back at his critics today - he did his job as shadow chancellor and made a very strong argument about how dangerous and damaging Labour's economic policies are.
That is exactly what he's been failing to do up until now, and was exactly the reason why I had lost confidence in his ability to fill the role of shadow chancellor. If today's excellent performance is a sign of a recognition by Osborne that he needs to raise his game I take that as a very positive sign.
I do worry slightly, though, that it appears to have required large volumes of public criticism before Osborne realised what was expected of him, and that initially the reaction, especially from this website, was to try and shut down the criticism on personal grounds rather than a rational assessment of Osborne's performance to date.

George must shrug of the critiscism.We must attack Brown's view that borrowing is the route to salvation.The real choice iis not fiscal stimulus or not.It is how you manage an economy to allow for all eventualities.

Our public finances have been neglected.Gordon Brown has squandered massive sums of our money without any improvement in efficiency and service.People who use the NHS or struggle to send their child to a decent school know thes facts ver well.We should not turn inwards at this time and attack George Osborne.We all know who the enemy is and why we must be rid of it!!

Osborne was calm and collected on Andrew Marr, and very articulate about the problems facing the £££.

Very good stuff, keep it up GO.

@patsy "I would like 'Iain' and 'Hawkeye' to give us some exact examples of how they would put across small bits of policy"

The problem with soundbites is that they sound too trite. Particularly when they are repeated over and over and over. They start to sound like something that they sat down and spent a few hours dreaming up. What's wrong with simple, brutal English? "They have emptied the country's reserves, there is nothing left to spend", "We are bankrupt", "The government is making a complete mess of everything it touches". John Redwood is particularly good at this and he sparkled on Any Questions. Simon Heffer did the same thing on Question Time. Straight talk!

As for interuppting interviewers, throw it back in their face - "I'll answer the questions if you shut up and let me". It has been done before and usually knocks the interviewer off their stride.

Many of the public like straight-talk. Soundbites are contaminated with the filth of Labour-Spin.

I hope this steadies the ship.
Osborne is better in interviews than in the Commons.

He has ability, and is a quick thinking strategist (who tangibly helped avert a disaster in Sept/Oct 2007 by performing strongly at the Conference and helped get the election cancelled).

But I have often had reservations about his gravitas in a recession.

He is probably staying - therefore if we don't support him, we're sunk.

There are many expensive beaurcratic government schemes which, if slashed, could deliver large savings without any effect on services. It's positive that more is being done to identify those (some already have been by the Tories).

Tax cuts will not be as substantial as I want because the amount of debt is so high, but we do need some to give the private sector a chance to regenerate the economy.

We also need to think harder about helping smaller companies get credit. I really think they're not getting much of a look in and some of the banks are now lending on outrageous terms to perfectly good small firms.

"Letwin will become Shadow Chancellor."

Please, no. He was one of the reasons why we didn't win the last election. We need to get away from posh twits and back to someone with a bit more normality in their veins.

At the risk of sounding a discordant note, Osborne was competent but certainly not sufficiently effective to end any concerns over his performance. And, harsh as it is, he still looks - and sounds - like Pitt the Younger on Blackadder. Despite the money spent on voice coaching, it rises appreciably when he's under pressure and queaks - as today.

OK. The substantive issue is that the portfolio requires an intellectually robust heavyweight, particularly at the present time. Osborne is neither. If Cameron were to show real mettle, he would sack Spelman (it's a mercy on every front) and make GO Party Chairman. He could then put someone in the Shadow Chancellorship who would develop a coherent economic strategy for the country and be an effective parliamentary and TV performer.

@Patsy Sergeant, 12.46

Patsy, you are the boring one. Like Malcolm "In The Middle" Dunn, all you do is shoot the messenger rather than address the issues that I raise.

Why do you never debate, just attack those who disagree with Cameron and Osborne?

Perhaps you can enlighten us as to why Oliver Letwin has been the given the key role of finding large spending cuts.

What do you think it says about the performance of George Osborne, Philip Hammond and the Treasury team? It is hardly a sign that Cameron has total confidence in them.

How would you feel about someone being given a large part of your job? I would be livid, take it as a huge personal insult and resign.

In an effort to keep it simple and short -:

Osborne was quite right to draw attention to the dangers of not paying sufficient regard to Sterling's position, particularly after we have had a 25% loss in value against the usd since July.

What our economy needs is a massive saving in public expenditure and privatisation of those assets that the Government could sell such as Royal Mail.

The fiscal stimulus stuff which Gordo wanted in the G20 communique was taken out by the other 19 leaders. Or at least that the very strong evidence from Dani Rodrik's weblog at http://rodrik.typepad.com (compare Dani's leak of the communique of 10th November with the final version).

It's completely outrageous to think that folks back home will hear about Gordo's "leadership", when in fact the other 19 leaders appear to have given our Great Helmsman a monumental snub. ZaNu-Lab really is the most apt description of what's going on. I'm glad the MDC-Tories (they share much of the same naivete) are beginning to get angry. We don't do street protests like they do in Harare, but it's time for the Tories to hit a few more raw nerves such as Cameron at PMQs and Osborne on the sterling crisis.

I thought it was a vastly improved performance by Mr Osbourne. He came across as much more determined, confident and focused. A real heavyweight but not yet a "big beast". I think a few grey hairs and wrinkles would help give him as bit more "bottom" but I'm sure he'll get those soon enough the longer he's in the job.

"Please, no. He was one of the reasons why we didn't win the last election. We need to get away from posh twits and back to someone with a bit more normality in their veins."

Posh twit? Can we please leave the chip on the shoulder class warfare to the Left please. Frankly I don't think anyone should be ashamed of having a posh accent or being well educated.

Presentationally, Osborne did well. It was one of his better showings.

"Libertarian @ 12.27 - back on your boring bandwagon again, you tried to pretend the other day that you are not a troll, however you give such a good imitation of one"

Patsy, I can usually spot a troll at 50 paces and Libertarian is definitely not one. Criticising the party leadership doesn't automatically make someone a troll.

@Richard - I'm sorry, Letwin was a turn-off as Shadow Chancellor last time round. Although I don't believe I have a chip on my shoulder, being nice middle-class myself, Letwin to me suggests that the Tories only breed wonks, pamphleteers and not people, say, like Laura Moffatt, who looks quite attractive to people below the "metrosexual" class.

Letwin had a good brain but I can't believe he is representative of many of the people we want to attract. He didn't do a brilliant job as Shadow Chancellor last time he had the job - he didn't come across well as a balanced counterweight to Brown, and he looked like he got the job because Howard needed to pay him off for letting him stand unopposed, though Letwin would have never won any leadership contest - and would be just compounding the problem a lot of people have with Osborne. Posh twits have their uses, but we need someone with much more political presence and solidity, not just another identikit Tory banker.

I'm sorry but in the real world people don't trust Osborne, and they didn't trust Letwin. Granted, we don't have many options available, but Letwin was a handicap not an asset last time round. It's not that he's posh. He's just too academic (as is Redwood btw - that's a bit of a problem, too many academics, too few real men of political gravity).

@pp - treating the voters as fools doesn't get you very far at an election.

Watched it and was very pleased with Osborne's performance. How some "Tory" Activists can be calling for him to go is beyond me. Mark my words - Osborne, Cameron, and the Conservative Party will win the election.

Hoolio: "We don't do street protests like they do in Harare"

I wish we would. The Conservative Party, Pressure Groups, the Lib Dems and angry citizens all out protesting against Labour's mismanagement of the economy would destroy Brown for good. Look at the effect the fuel protests had early in Blair's Premiership!

"George your right on the sterling question - but i will have no respect for you or Cameron for that matter if you dont drop this disastrous sharing the proceeds of growth claptrap-we need deep cuts in public spending now- to do that you need someone prepared to stand for what is right not necessarily popular - how about John Redwood."QFT.

Its good to see George making the news at long last. So when do we tell the voters that its going to be hard and the cuts will be deep. I think the vast majority would like to be told the truth. Redwood would do that...if D.C. leads the public into a false notion of what is coming. he will be rightly pilloried, derided and hated, most especially if we win. I predict that riots will break out in our first summer in power. The longer Brown is allowed to get away with it the worse our first term will be. To start with the minimum wage has to go. Welfare benefits must be reduced or more likely allowed to fall, assuming the we have inflation ( even the truly sick will have to take at least a 20% cut). The unemployed will either have to employ themselves, about time too, or price themselves back into work. We will need to encourage self determination with subsidies for start ups. The BBC should be tasked with programs aimed at and encouraging self employment

"I'm sorry but in the real world people don't trust Osborne, and they didn't trust Letwin. Granted, we don't have many options available, but Letwin was a handicap not an asset last time round. It's not that he's posh. He's just too academic (as is Redwood btw - that's a bit of a problem, too many academics, too few real men of political gravity)."

Very true, Louise!

David Davis for Shadow Chancellor?

Libertarian, if you are even contemplating shifting our present Shadow Chancellor at this moment, you don't have the interests of the Conservative party close to your heart.

I always find it interesting on here to note that the most vocal critics of Osborne tend to not belong to that party.

Yes Chris D, absolutely right!I note that the majority of the usual suspect chose to comment on this thread making personal attacks on Osborne ,Letwin etc and not the one below which shows the Conservative party united in its criticism of profligate borrowing from the government.
Mark Hudson, congratulations! Another 15 seconds of fame with a quote in the Sunday Times no less!I hope you're proud of yourself.

If anything, there's too much inverted snobbery in this country.
The idea has been fed that you can be a role model/celebrity through vandalising the English language whilst offering no skillset whatsoever has caused malign social effects.

But Oliver Letwin's skills lie in posts other than the Treasury. To answer the serious point, he probably is involved in finding the savings because he has a revolving brief as Policy Director.

I am worried about the credibility of conhome due to the number of trolls and Labour activists posting on here.

Conhome has already been used by Brown in PMQS and I suspect it will be again.

It is a shame but I know of a few within the party who don't come here much now because of the likes of "louise" and "libertarian"

I highly recommend Andrew Rawnsley's article in the Observer today.

In fact, it would be worthy of a diary piece to contrast the one which gave Iain Martin's views a platform this week?

Osborne is waiting for Brown to tumble from his tightrope

Some snippets.

" The unreconciled right are clamorous for the Tories to pledge sweeping public spending and tax cuts. He is not yet 40, a source of bilious resentment among jealous older Conservative MPs.

Too jejune, they sniff. Not enough bottom, they rumble. Fighting the last war, they complain. Feed us some bloody big tax cuts, they snarl. There is also aggravation that the Tory party appears to be the Dave and George Show, with only walk-on parts for others. The Daily Telegraph, which is no longer really the house paper of the Conservative party but is still read by a lot of Tory MPs, has become the loudest megaphone for those calling for him to be replaced.

That would, I think, be madness. For David Cameron to fire his Shadow Chancellor would be to humiliate his closest collaborator in the modernisation of the Tory party and to present a tasty scalp to Peter Mandelson. Having been through a couple of involuntary departures himself, the Dark Prince would relish having the head of his Corfu holiday companion in his trophy cabinet."

"The Tories have rushed out small-bore measures - such as their National Insurance rebate plan - that won't cut through to the voters and seem too slight, given the gravity of the situation. That's tempting many of them with the thought of lurching to the other extreme and trying to out-bid Labour on tax cuts. It is George Osborne's refusal to heed that siren call that is causing him most trouble. And yet he is taking a much more strategic view than those Tories clamouring for an instant fix to their predicament.

The Shadow Chancellor is calculating that Gordon Brown is purchasing short-term advantage at a high long-term cost. By finally abandoning altogether the territory of fiscal responsibility, the Prime Minister has given the Conservatives the chance to take ownership of that precious ground.

Grand gestures by the government may cause the Conservatives discomfort when the Pre-Budget Report is unveiled on Monday week. The Shadow Chancellor thinks that's not as important as which party looks the more trustworthy on the economy at an election in 18 months' time."

"The big peril of cutting taxes while boosting spending is that this shatters confidence that Britain can pay its debts. Sterling has already tumbled by more than 25 per cent against the dollar in less than three months. The pound is now at an all-time low against the euro. It is, incidentally, daft to accuse George Osborne of 'talking down the pound' when it was plummeting before he opened his mouth. The markets are pricing British debt as much riskier than German debt. The Prime Minister is locked in argument with his Chancellor, whose officials are highly alarmed about the ballooning deficit. Whenever Mr Brown makes statements that excite expectations of dramatic tax reductions, Alistair Darling hurries to douse everyone with a verbal bucket of cold water. If the measures in the PBR prove to be a damp squib, expectations will be deflated. And the Prime Minister with them. If the package is packed with fiscal fireworks, but Britain nevertheless slumps into a really nasty recession, then it won't look so clever in a few months' time.

The Prime Minister has to take a double-or-quits gamble. The Tories do not. George Osborne's critics are only thinking eight days ahead. He is trying to see 18 months ahead. That makes the Shadow Chancellor smarter than those Tories who want to toss him overboard."

Libertarian, if you are even contemplating shifting our present Shadow Chancellor at this moment, you don't have the interests of the Conservative party close to your heart.

Nothing new there for Libertarian, I think you'll find, Chris...

It is not George Osborne's credibility that should bother us.Instead it is the credibility of Brown and Darling.The team who boasted about an end to boom and bust have left this country horribly exposed in our time of need.

If we keep on pandering to this media driven nonsense relating to Osborne's competence our eye will be taken off the ball at a crucial moment.People know in their very souls that increased borrowing is know is only deferred taxation tomorrow.This is the central truth.It is an utter lie to argue that all the major world player's endorse the Brown approach of unfunded tax Con.This message must be rammed home in the next 10 days by George and our front bench.

It is clear to me that battle is now joined and the economic choices are crystalising before our eyes.Conservative home contributors should save all our fire for the real autors of this country's problems.The impression that some relish George's Osborne's perceived difficulties must be banished.

This makes me SO CROSS. Osborne is NOT POSH. He is a SALESMAN. He must be kept on as shadow cancellor AT ALL COSTS.

The fact that Dolly's Fan Club are suggesting that Osborne should go and be replaced by anyone from Oliver Letwin to Mickey Mouse (in other words, anyone with a pulse)confirms that Osborne is at last beginning to land the odd punch or two on Brown/Darling. Add to this that the G20 effectively told Brown to go 'forth and mulitply...' indicates that the wheels will soon come of the 'Gordon Saves The World' bandwagon. As such, Labour need to start a 'Tories in Turmoil - Leadership Challenge to Cameron' narrative and fast, before the public see that their Emperor really does have no clothes. Snap General Election? - perhaps, but with around 40%+ of Conservative Associations still to even begin the search for a PPC, we face being in the same old scenario of the Conservative Party being caught with their trousers down and having to rush around like headless chickens to put PPCs into constituencies 'on the hoof'. As such, numerous Candidates have little or no knowledge of the constituency they are supposed to be fighting (and more importantly, the electorate have little or no knowledge of them) and are disadvantaged from the outset. What exactly IS John Maples doing in CCHQ to deal with this issue?...

"Snap General Election? - perhaps, but with around 40%+ of Conservative Associations still to even begin the search for a PPC"

Interesting point, but for balance, do with have the % of Labour and Libdem associations in a similar position.
I was under the impression that we were best placed in terms of candidates chosen this time last year, when that infamous Autumn GE was hyped up?

Would appreciate anyone who could give us the figures?

I have my reservations about Osborne - as posted before.

It's not personal - it's about gravitas in a recession, and I hope he can turn that round by doing more informal interviews where he explains policy better.

But the fact that the other parties so clearly want him out tells us something.

"It's not personal - it's about gravitas in a recession"

But, that is the problem right now, the media are trying to fit Brown into an economic lycra superman suit. They have given him gravitas, but has it made him the right man to steer us off the rocks he guided us onto?

I don't care if Osborne comes across as a posh spotty chav to some on the right of our party, but, right now he has been bang on the money with his strategy from the day Cameron won the leadership contest.
While those same critics have been proved continually wrong for the last three years, and even worse, for the last 15 years too.

I keep hearing this wonderful word *gravitas*. What we have in Osborne, is a bl**dy good street fighter. If even one or two of those whinging, cowardly, nameless MP's had shown just half his enthusiasm and hunger over the last few years while they were running the party as back seat drivers, we might have managed to get above 200 seats in Westminster.

To be frank, those grey heads with gravitas are the ones that sat or their ar*es extolling a right wing agenda that bordered on UKIP's for nearly 10 years.
And it left us pulverised time after time on the ropes against the much smarter New Labour crew.

Blair and Brown didn't exude gravitas when they walked through the doors of No10 or No11 back in 97'.
No, they represented change and a new direction for the Labour party and the UK.

To be frank, those grey heads with gravitas are the ones that sat or their ar*es extolling a right wing agenda that bordered on UKIP's for nearly 10 years.
And it left us pulverised time after time on the ropes against the much smarter New Labour crew.

There's not much to say to that except "hear, hear", is there?

A Cllr - I have as much a right to post here as you do. I am a Conservative Party member, though if the party ever doesn't want me they won't have me.

@Chris - my dad calls Osborne "Piers Fletcher Dervish" - if ever you needed a vote, it's his - senior management of a construction company about to go belly up, and he's voting Labour.

Enough said.

Doesn't reflect well on your dad then does it?


Maybe you could write a single piece explaining why you consider yourself a tory, and why you don't consider yourself labour nor Lib Dem.

Anyone considering you a troll (to me, your postings here seem indistiguishable from trollish ones) - could then get a some idea of where you are coming from.

Osborne set out what Brown and co have been doing to get Britain in this economic mess. That is what is, in my opinion, missing from the shadow cabinet, a concerted effort to hold the government to account without mincing of words and/or thinking that being blunt isn't somehow the 'honourable thing'. Recently it has been reported that Conservative supporters have been questioning Osborne's role...I wish some would think about what they are doing. He is one of the best in the shadow cabinet. panicking and shifting him out of the frontline would be a massive mistake. I say well done George! Keep up the good work!

Libertarian @ 14.44 - You really are a p.a., but as to what those two letters stand for ....... If you think you are a 'messenger' then I am a butler!

You say that you 'raise issues' and try to tell me that I should 'debate' them with you.

Firstly: You choose to make a statement of your own opinion as to why something has been done, then YOU debate YOUR statement as if it is a fact. I see no reason why I should enter YOUR hypothetical fantasies!

After you have told us what the 'real story is' and what 'Cameron has, in effect, said', you come to the conclusion that 'such expediency and opportunism is disgusting'. I could say the same about YOUR sordid little bit of verbal manipulation, but I will just say that you are a p.a.


You are not a tory. It is time for you to go from here. The game is up.

Louise, you also need to make shorter snappier posts, wherever you make them. Less use of the "I" word for indulgence.

I have been active all over the internet for many years - my inspiration to actually start posting on this site was quite recent, to say that osbornes fantastic handling of mandy's yachtgate thing had changed my mind about him (yes, a mistake to have been there, but handled with integrity, honesty and openness - Mandleson take note!) - it became clear that osbourn has many great skills, and the inteligence to continue to develop them -- he just needed a higher profile.

The more I see and hear from him the better I like him.

Go George!

Lib dems have Vince Cabel and Nick Clegg. They're amazing, wonderful! Vince has all the answers, can just defer everything to him.
It's still on track for Lib dems to recover from the polls and overtake both parties in time to win in 2010. Stupendous momentum.

Lib Dems to gain all the seats in Hull, Sheffield, and the west country!

With ConservativeHome's spear prodding gently into his back, stiffening his resolve, George advances slowly on the enemy.

So horrified is DC at the unaccustomed prospect of a Shadow Minister actively attacking Labour, he orders up Leftwing in support...

... of Labour presumably.


Letwin will become Shadow Chancellor."

Please, no. He was one of the reasons why we didn't win the last election. We need to get away from posh twits and back to someone with a bit more normality in their veins."

Louise has a point, I wonder if the public is so ready to vote in the "Eton in club"
I suspect not. That is the great strength of Clark, the public believe in the man. First we get the "all Jewish" leadership now the all posh twits mafia. However unless we are willing to have a branch and root reform of the party the PCP will continue to be dominated by the wealthy and their children.
There are of course many exceptions but the PCP remains one of the last places to get with the times. I suspect that we will still be waging a war on the exclusion of women long before the PCP reflects the real make up of the UK. Democracy in our lifetimes?
Unlikely !


You are not a tory. It is time for you to go from here. The game is up.

Prehaps its time the Tory's went and left the Conservatives to run the party. No more Top Hats !!

Think about it dinosuares !!

"I am worried about the credibility of conhome due to the number of trolls and Labour activists posting on here.

Conhome has already been used by Brown in PMQS and I suspect it will be again.

It is a shame but I know of a few within the party who don't come here much now because of the likes of "louise" and "libertarian""

Would it not make sence to have a subcribe in system with mod's who can ban or better still make it a rquirment to use our Party
number as a log-on. That was Home can do what its built for...ie representing the party.

That way CON-home can be just for party members. Then you can shut up about trolls.

I am an on/off member... the party is generally in line with my views (small state, anti-socailist, anti-facist, pro self-reliance), but I don't adopt 'the party line' for the sake of it, I form my own oppinions. I joined when IR35 was introduced and the party opposed it; left when howard supported ID cards (disgraceful); and am back again.

I think it would be unfortunate if the site had to be made member only.

p.s. I did read elsewhere that lib-dems were in trouble for using a similar scheme, with out having got the consent of their members to have their details used in such a way.

I have to say Malcolm Dunn that I was surprised as anyone else to be quoted by The Sunday Times.

In point of fact, I have not been a Party member for nearly 2 years now and would not dream of embarassing myself socially by claiming that I was. Now I may have been so for the 20 years previously, but that's an entirely different matter.

If a journalist wishes to quote me without verification, it's hardly my fault is it old man?

Thank you Libertarian @ 02.38 you gave me a good laugh to start the day off.

Again I will put my hands up and say that I did join in the move George debate...but, I am happy to say that he had a very good weekend, so prehaps he has gotten the message. What I and a lot of the right want is for George to pile the pressure on Brown, and for him to tell the truth about the mess Brown and Darling are making of the public accounts.

PS REDWOOD, wants his base to fall into step,who am I to argue with such a great man.

PP you have a good point, I too have often been at odds with the PCP. Maybe a subscription and mod system would be less exclusive and offer the possiblity of getting rid of persistant Trolls.

I don't understand the critical comments on soundbites, all a sound bite is is a short comment that gets your point across.

Redwood, Clark, Letwin, Davis, Hague all have their merits and I suppose one of them will have to do.

However, Howard Flight is head and shoulders above them all when it comes to actual understanding of the economy.

Flight's career as an MP was cut short by a leader with a tendency towards "lynch law" and a dislike for true Conservatives.

There is now a clear talent deficit in Conservativeland and Labour have just boosted their team substantially with the re-introduction of Mandelson.

If the Conservative's want heavyweights on their Treasury team Flight could be back in the Lords tomorrow! (look at the speed Mandelson arrived!)

Instead, no doubt, we will look after the donors - while Rome burns!

Hi. In the future I'm going to keep here links to their sites. But I do not worry about the sites where my link is removed. So if you do not want to see a mountain of links, simply delete this message. After 2 weeks, I will come back and check.

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