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I think I'm pretty alone in thinking yesterday's speech was not that fantastic. But I do agree,he's made the right decision on borrowing.

You, you are probably pretty alone on this side of the fence. I thought he was excellent yesterday.

Safe he may be but is he dry?

Well done again George.

You were brilliant mate!

Yesterday's speech was very good.
However, he must follow this up with a well-defined policy of what he would now do if he were Chancellor. Time and again he is asked about what the Conservative party would now do and his replies are weak to the point of evasiveness.
There is much that needs to be cut. Mr Osborne must summon up the courage to say so and then specify what "grands projets" and wasteful expenditure he would cancel and reign in.

I should jolly well think he is safe; he has done everything to accomodate those of us on the right who wanted a more robust approach and it would be churlish not to offer immediate, public support in return. He has been principled, robust and dynamic. It is partly due to the strength and passion with which he exposed Labour's incompetence that it is now, once again, on the ropes.

I know this is rich coming from me - nervous and eccentric and too ready to carp - but we must for heaven's sake stick together now. Any sort of Conservative government is better than the current socialist shower. I'd even vote for Ken Clarke if it meant finishing with Gordon Brown. At last our wallets are speaking again, and henceforward they will be solid for Osborne.

Safe as houses...

I really hope so. Also I hope he has removed himself from the non-Treasury work but I have seen no one appointed in his place for the Campaign nor a new party Chairman.

George has bought himself some time but will he use it wisely? David Cameron now needs to act and find others to do the non-Treasury work.

For me, he comes across as someone who is doubted but always proves his critics wrong in the end.

I thought George Osborne's speech was very good (but he needs to slow down just a little bit). What fascinated me was Brown's body language, and his facial expressions, which were plain weird, and a little scary.

Darling's response to Osborne was very weak, and Harman and Yvette Cooper looked none too comfortable either.

Which tax cuts would he reverse?
The reduction in income tax for the cast majority of people in the country? The lower VAT? The improved regime for businesses welcomed by the FSB?

Which tax increases would he reverse?
Hammond has already he said he would not reverse the 45% pledge. Does that make him a socialist? What about all the high earners supposedly fleeing the country? Shouldn't it be a priority?

What spending would he cut?
Let's see a big list of all those wasteful quangos and NHS managers he wants to cull. Surely ,the flabby public sector could do with a trim. Or is just going to be tinkering with waste at the periphery?

Osborne's future depends on clear answers to these questions.

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb.........

Yes, I agree with Malcolm Dunn 100% and the Book of Revelations must be coming true. GO's speech was good, but not exactly the Gettysburg Address. Anyway, the economic events are so profound and yesterday's pronouncements so impactful, that I rather think it will be a while before we know how any of this shakes out.

I thought he did pretty well and Im warming a touch. Brown tried to laugh it off (see those grins and jokey looks at his mates when Osborne was speaking). I think its rather sick for Brown to show any joy in burdening the country with such debt.

I want to see him provide a more detailed analysis of the build up to this recession. Specific things Brown did or did not do which has led to this. Brown only tells half the truth when he says America was to blame.

Hes doing well, lets see him tighten the noose by explaining why things went wrong with a targetted and well thought out analysis of the crisis and its build up. We need more intellectualism in his speeches and a little less of the rhetoric which can at times seem a bit too much.

I sometimes despair at some of the comments on ConHome. Osborne is holding the government to account which is what principled opposition is all about, perhaps that has not really been happening thus far!
The 'what would you offer' as an alternative is something for the main manifesto, not for now, as all that will happen is that the ideas will get stolen, reworked (badly!) and presented as Lab policy, remember IHT and how that was corrupted. Cameron/Osborne may find themselves having to publish the manifesto earlier than for a mid 2010 GE which in the eyes of many is the most favoured date.
The likelihood of Lib Dems ever forming the next government can be discounted and it is also unlikely that they will hold the balance of power (flying pigs comes to mind!)

Didn't the Tories want to "share the proceeds of growth" until very recently? Where did they think that growth was going to come from when it was plain to those willing to see that the economy was holed below the water line? And they wanted to a limited extent to match Labour public spending commitments. It has to be said that as with Iraq the Lib Dems got the strategic view of the economy right whilst the Tories didn't. But heh, that's Ok. I am sure Dave and George will get there in the end. Even if the rest of us don't.

Surely Osborne’s performance in the Commons is not the main issue. What is, is the lack of policies – any policies! Just imagine if he were the actual Chancellor now: he stands up and says that his response is to freeze Council taxes and to talk tough with the banks. He would be seen as more of a joke than Darling!
We need a Tory front bench that can bring in some radical thinking with new policies that address the malaise in this country, and Osborne and his mate have shown a woeful lack on this score.

the political immaturity of some people just astounds me.

'Michael Reiser' The Conservatives are in OPPOSITION. The only time they should come up with real policies is at the general election time.

I, for one, would be extremely happy and understanding, if they say that they cannot make any pledge or policy until they have a good hard look at the Treasury Books! BUT I would also like them to say they will be extremely honest with the people by publishing the true hard facts. That would, I believe, ensure that the Labour Party never again are elected to govern this country!

James Maskell at 16.54:

"I want to see him provide a more detailed analysis of the build up to this recession. Specific things Brown did or did not do which has led to this. Brown only tells half the truth when he says America was to blame".

James, have a look at Matthew Elliot's offering from the TPA today and Howard Flight's "From Boom to Bust" last week.

In today's Telegraph are several articles (Roger Bootle, Damian Reece and Vince Cable) on the subject or John Major's article in the Times a few days ago.

Plenty of people are pointing out that Northern Rock occurred a long time before the sub prime fiasco and have analysed how Gordon Brown's actions in 1997 had a very direct bearing on the end of the credit boom.

I thought GO was excellent and voiced some of the anger we all feel about a Government of all the Labour talentless, of all the Labour useless and for their own ends only. Just look long and hard at the DEBT. A broken society and a broken bank.
GO was so good we might see an 11% lead in the polls any time soon? Oh..., right.. I see.. we are..., h'm!

I think we need to be careful not to blow this recession up to big. "Its going to be bad" will do for now, lts not about draging the nation into the fire-pit. As for George he is doing a resonable good job now, so lets be willing to accept that the guy is listening to the party. Debt is the big issue right now, but we still need to back Britian and talk up our ability to get through dispite Brown's sloppy math.

Let's turn the question around and ask resident leftie why all the umpteen billions Labour is spending is "essential"? Essential in terms of buying votes for Gordon Brown no doubt (think of the cost of devolution for starters) but is he saying that unless the public sector devours a bigger and bigger share of GDP, civilisation as we know it will come to an end?

I'm still waiting for the spin that tells me that a trillion here and there is small change; that Gordon is the next Warren Buffett; and that it's all the fault of evil Americans and bankers.

Sorry, but just when you think Osborne has wised up to finance the goes on Sky News and says that the government should get the banking system going by guaranteeing loans made by banks and small businesses.

Sorry, but that just shifts the burden of responsibility for credit decisions from banks who have trained staff to make credit decisions (arguably not very well in some cases) to the government (who have no such expertise). Either that or the banks approve the credits knowing they will get an automatic governement guarantee. Either way it doesn't work.

If the banks are a problem, then you have to clean out the mess rather than papering over the cracks.

So far, so good. No more Mr Nice.

As I posted the other day using the boxing analogy, your opponent is now on the ropes Mr Osborne. Now you have got to go in hard and finish the opposition off, especially Mr Brown. He is a menace to this country.

Go in hard and fast, show no mercy, accept no quarter, just do him (as we used to say in the East End).

So far, so good. No more Mr Nice.

As I posted the other day using the boxing analogy, your opponent is now on the ropes Mr Osborne. Now you have got to go in hard and finish the opposition off, especially Mr Brown. He is a menace to this country.

Go in hard and fast, show no mercy, accept no quarter, just do him (as we used to say in the East End).

Posted by: Michael McGowan | November 25, 2008 at 18:23

Let's turn the question around and ask resident leftie why all the umpteen billions Labour is spending is "essential"? Essential in terms of buying votes for Gordon Brown no doubt (think of the cost of devolution for starters) but is he saying that unless the public sector devours a bigger and bigger share of GDP, civilisation as we know it will come to an end?

No, but there should be a real choice. I'm all for cutting waste, but I think the public sector is fine at its current size or slightly larger % of GDP. If the Tories disagree, they should say what they want to cut. The size of the public sector hasn't mushroomed under Labour as a percentage of GDP. As of 2007 it was lower as apercentage of GDP than the Tories ten year's earlier.

Labour is spending the money. They are the government. If you don't like it, oppose it. Say what you want to cut, and let the voters decide. You think devolution is a waste of money? Promise to reverse it. You think that the potato marketing board should be abolished? Please say so. Name and shame the civil servants sucking the life blood from our hard working entrepreneurs.

Or, stop pretending you have an alternative other than piecemeal opportunistic announcments. We don't see huskies on the glaciers so much now, do we? Are we still committed to switching the burden of taxation from income to green taxes? I look forward to your fuel and airline tax increases. Are you still micromanaging businesses employment pratices to encourage McDonalds to churn through their workforce? Do you want to create an enormous state bank in competition to private enterprise using public debt, the biggest nationalisation in history? Who knows? You tell me. We know what Labour policy is. It's set out. What have you got?

Michael Reiser at 17.34:

"Surely Osborne’s performance in the Commons is not the main issue. What is, is the lack of policies – any policies! Just imagine if he were the actual Chancellor now: he stands up and says that his response is to freeze Council taxes and to talk tough with the banks. He would be seen as more of a joke than Darling!"

This is a problem, because I don't think the public has any real idea what the conservatives are offering as an alternative to Darling's budget.

Tomorrow they have forced a debate, so something positive might emerge but this evening, Alistair Darling on C4 News said what Brown always says:

"We have tried to do something to get things moving; would you prefer us to have done what the tories propose - which is to do nothing?"

resident leftie @ 18:57

When you say:
If you don't like it, oppose it. Say what you want to cut, and let the voters decide

Who do you mean by 'you'? -- do you think every one who prefers the tories to labour is identical?

I suspect there are plenty of labour supporters who don't like much of what brown or blair has done (they can't approve of both) and may like the tories even less - how would they 'oppose it and let the voters decide' ? Similarly how can anyone here specificall 'oppose it and let the voters decide'?

I think you live in a slightly odd world...

Oh yes and PS. Nice one george - Your handling of the corfu fallout was perfect (I see mandy still has questions to answer re eu tariffs and oleg), and you have just done better and better ever since.

Resident Leftie is a bit of a joke isn't he? His desperate bleating gets quite dull after a while

Don't mess with George:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DWq5nxOWHW0

David Belchamber quoting Alistair Darling: "We have tried to do something to get things moving; would you prefer us to have done what the tories propose - which is to do nothing?"

- Government action at the seat of the problem to get the credit market moving again for businesses, with loans insurance.

- VAT payment holidays for SMEs struggling with the current situation

- Focus on jobs - eg. NI holidays for those taking on the unemployed. And, I have to say, a far better plan on skills and training than Labour have ever had.

- Government at all levels that lives within its means, just as families have to do.

- A two-year council tax freeze, shared between local and national Government.

- Not racking up debt today through ineffective political stunts like the VAT "cut" that we will all have to pay for with interest tomorrow. It's on the nation's credit card, and the APR will be the killer.

Hardly nothing, as I'm sure that you agree, David. I'm sure I've missed one or two, perhaps others here woud be kind enough to fill in the gaps. Now we need to get out there and sell that message.

Hi Hardcore - I also posted a boxing analogy last weekend, calling the Ali-Foreman fight to mind and wondering if GO had it in him to get off the ropes and float like a butterfly/sting like a bee in round 8 after his opponent had given him a battering but in all probability punched himself out in the process. Well, maybe this is where Darling - the Clunking Fist's puppet - is on the canvas taking a slow count after GO has floored him with a perfect right hook. If he is going to haul himself up off his feet before the bell, here's hoping that GO will show him no mercy and really let him have it until his corner (in the form of Mr & Mrs Balls, perhaps?) decide to throw in the towel.

Posted by: Andrew S | November 25, 2008 at 20:47

Resident Leftie is a bit of a joke isn't he? His desperate bleating gets quite dull after a while

A substantive rebuttal of my points, thank you. And it's "his or her desperate bleating." My standing offer remains open. If a single contributor here emails me and asks me to bugger off, I will.

pa[email protected]

Safe because of his friends.

Stick around Resident Leftie, it would get ll if it was just Tories talking to each other (although that said, we do seem to find a lot to argue about!)

*dull

Posted by: RichardJ | November 26, 2008 at 01:32
Stick around Resident Leftie, it would get ll if it was just Tories talking to each other (although that said, we do seem to find a lot to argue about!)

Not as dull as it is on Labour Home. Why oh why is their no decent equivalent to CH, but without the dubious ideology? This, I suppose, is a backhanded compliment to the Editor.

Have just listened to Ken Clarke in the PBR debate - what a formidable performer - he made Osborne look pretty small beer by comparison.

He is safe for now nad it has to be said that he has been far more effctive since he was given a taster of what fate awaits a dud.

"Osborne look pretty small beer by comparison" But Ken is not "IN" and George is, lets work with what is possible. Ken has a number of chips on his plate if not on his shoulder. If GO screws up ETON will suffer, we are being asked to allow that a great deal of history shapes the inner circle.

Surprised that no one seems to have picked up on the vibe, it is the panto season after all, but Osborne should be more worried by Cameron's gloomy face than anything Darling could throw at him. Do you really think the Labour front bench is going to start a chorus of "he's behind you" every time George speaks.

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