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I fear you are whistling in the wind. The Tory Party looks half-hearted and half-baked on the economy. Cameron and Osborne are behaving like it is business as usual with immature political point-scoring - the global economy has entered entirely uncharted waters and we need a confident far sighted response.

Ooh, "Tax cuts should be for life, not just for Christmas" I like that one!

Let's keep hammering away at this line and about borrowing and Labour's mismanagement. The tide is turning indeed. I'm not Osborne's biggest fan, but he did a great job this weekend.

Please can this site be more consistent. I detect a certain editiorial laziness about recent postings. Why allow some kind of idiotic posting about George Osborne by Ridley Grove at 10.30p.m on a Sunday night. While debates about policy are legitimate the leadership of the Conservative Party deserves more respect that this type of snivelling bile. Too many commentators who think they have got all the answers without having to think through the politics of their answers or have them properely examined in the public square. Come on Conhome grow up a bit.

I'll be happier when these "waste-funded tax cuts" are spelt out.

The Cameroons share the New Labour thing of bigger announcements than delivery.

A much better performance over the weekend.

The pressure needs to be maintained. Brown has been getting the upper hand lately, it shouldn't be too hard to destroy him with the utter mess he's presided over.

Go for them!!

Georger: There is an inconsistency but only between different people. Ridley presented his view last night. I have just presented mine. ConHome isn't going to be a place where only one side of an argument is presented.

Posts on the ConHome website have been used in Labour-friendly sections of the media as so-called "evidence" that "Tories" want Osborne sacked as shadow chancellor.

These posts are probably from UKIP members and/or Labour trolls and the moderators of this website should bear in mind that such comments are being used as ammunition against Osborne.

Promising signs so far, indeed.

Good to see the daftness of Ridley Grove was shouted down.

Tim, is there any chance of a video on Reason 4?

I'll talk to my buddies at PoliticsHome.com, Ulster Tory to see if they can oblige...

It won't be immediate though.

Actually Cameron's 'not the Conservative party' has been caught out by not promising tax cuts before New Labour. There are tens of billions of pounds waiting to be cut from big government, QUANGOs, and Regional Development Agencies - the cupboard is not bare as Osborne previously claimed - it's bulging. A great pity 'not the Conservative party' voted FOR the UK's pointless, unilateral 'climate bill,' which will cost at least £240 billion by 2050. Can we have a proper Conservative opposition please instead of Blue labour?

Has DC had a word? Smacks a bit of a get behind the chaps rallying call...

With such an obviously inept government and a disasterous economy we should be home and hosed not obsessing about a low majority or a hung parliament...it really should be a foregone conlusion & a 97 style landslide!

Cameron is looking strong especially when he shows real passion (and sometimes anger) others look flaky and need to show some real improvement...

"ConHome has always thought Osborne would survive as Chancellor. We are beginning to believe that he'll succeed too."


Well, that says it all. Why, because you think you have got what you wanted, or because ConHom, the Telegraph and those anonymous briefers have now become the story?

I know what happened in the last few weeks, you lot took the heat and scrutiny off the real differences and rows going on between Brown and HIS CHANCELLOR!

If anyone missed Andrew Rawnsley's article in the Observer, I suggest you read it in full.
Osborne is waiting for Brown to tumble from his tightrope

" 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."

"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."


And Mike Smithson on PB.com this afternoon.
Is Osborne’s scalp a proxy to get at Cameron?
"With George Osborne continuing to make the news there’s a good analysis of his position from Michael White of the Guardian in which he suggests that the Shadow Chancellor’s biggest problems are on his own side - not the attacks from Labour.

White writes: “..Much more important to my mind than Labour attacks is that the people pushing hardest to get Osborne out are on his own side. And most of them are just the kind of Tories whose advice has helped keep their party in opposition for 11 years and counting…They’re at the ConservativeHome website, in the No Turning Back group, at the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. Just try a spoonful of Simon Heffer, but be careful to spit it out quickly”.

I think that this is spot on. Beneath the surface in the Tory party there is a significant group who have never come to terms with the Cameron revolution. Although they wouldn’t admit publicly many would prefer to see the poll ratings collapse because it would give them a foothold into getting rid of the leader who they believe is taking the party in the wrong direction.

They still remember the “glory days” under Maggie and a Tory party that does not have those values is one they find hard to support.

Publicly they always back the leader but they feel less constrained about about putting the boot into Osborne.

It used to be quite a joke watching the ConservativeHome threads (the site we used to dub ContinuityIDS) whenever there was a good poll for the Tories. They hated it and I recall Tim Montgomerie once smashing into good figures in an ICM survey because “it was carried out on the phone”.

I think Osborne will survive and will cause problems for Labour at the general election."

And the title of this thread?
"Waste-funded Tory tax reliefs will deny Gordon Brown the disunity he seeks in our ranks"

Also remember who tried to destabilise Cameron last year over grammar schools, and its thanks to Gordon Brown's lack of courage rather than some in our own party that we didn't pay dearly with an Autumn GE.

And do they learn, no! We are looking a GE *any time* between now and 2010. The Telegraph are really gunning for Osborne and the Conservative party because they are not delivering what they want?
Who the hell do they think they are!

Is a campaign to get Cameron and Osborne to deviate from their long term strategy to win a GE and give into the demands from the very group that has proved so toxic to the party for so long, worth the risk of another 5 years of Brown and his crew.....

Hear ! Hear ! Tim I totally agree , both sides of the debate should be heard or whats the point.

GO is a man with a plan. At the weekend I was slightly worried that the New Labour spin meisters may have pulled the wool over the media's eyes by insisting that GO had broken an unwritten convention that he could not talk about the weakness of the pound - my worries bourne out by the fact that the very men spinning are now AC and PM. However, if they think they can spin there way out of this economic crisis creating by Brown then they have been away from the frontline for far too long. There is now clear blue water between the two main parties and its 'tax' - tax cuts will win far more support than tax cons!

Osborne told it how it is without the mealy mouthed platitudes of Brown. Cameron must attack Brown's record more and more and MORE as must all MPs. Earn your keep you are called HM's OPPOSITION - remember ??

Posted by: dave | November 17, 2008 at 16:53

These posts are probably from UKIP members and/or Labour trolls and the moderators of this website should bear in mind that such comments are being used as ammunition against Osborne.

If you think this I suggest you take a look at the recent members' poll, which was what the papers were quoting.

Maybe you should send your post across to Michael White over at Guardian CiF who seems to believe ConservativeHome is part of the gang "from his own side" trying to get rid of Osborne.
Much of the Osborne attacks have all the hallmarks of the new deputy prime minister Lord Mandleson and his newly invigorated New Labour spin machine and the trolls are as much evident on this site as elsewhere.
Osborne is urging caution and issuing warnings about more reckless borrowing - that view can also be found amongst some LibDems and some true Labour MPs outside the New Labour inner circle.
Brown and the government don't like being shown up for what they really are.
However, I wonder whether people are ready for or indeed want this Captain Sensible approach, as I've indicated here.


Gideon was really good on Andrew Marr yesterday. Sure, there was a small hiccup on a yacht in the summer but it is behind us now. The way our front bench is going about demolishing Brown's credibility is quite systematic and we should stop whingeing.

Both Dave and Gideon are on to something and lets give them our wholeheaterd backing.

ChrisD and mike dowding etc really should spend their time at The Blue Blog. They clearly don't like debate. Over at The Blue Blog they'll be so much happier. It's only good news for the Conservatives over there.

I think that Osborne is a lightweight and a waffler. His tone of voice; his mannerisms; his body language - all smack of "wimp".

I'm no Lib Dem supporter but Vince Cable (one of the few who has ever had a proper job) comes across more convincingly. I just can't understand why he isn't a Tory.

The tone of the media seems to be changing.

I think the tide is going out, and they are getting to see who is still wearing swimming trunks - and it isn't their man Brown.

Flunked the G20, messed up social services review, messed up 'talking down stirling', (this is fogetting all the stuff he droped when he thought he was onto a winner - like 42 days etc...).

To be honest, one key mistake Brown has made is entirely down to his inabilty to make a decision -- while he was flying every kite, one by one, to see what people would go for (tax cuts, borrowing, nationalising banks etc), he left a key spot vacant - "prudence" - letting the shadow front bench consilidate their position and making it entirely their own.

He left his queen undefended, and now he is going to have to finish the game with out it.

Great work by Cameron - helping his team to work together; great work by Osborne rising to the challenge.

More! More!

I hope that GO will have prepared himself for every possibility when Darling presents his pre-budget statement. I hope he will point out that increases in tax credits are not tax cuts and they will not benefit all the deserving low paid and also that he will look out to see how the 5.3M who were disadvantaged by Brown's reduction in the standard rate are going to be compensated next year.

"ChrisD and mike dowding etc really should spend their time at The Blue Blog."

I know, you cannot have passionate and committed members of the Conservative party who desperately want to get rid of, errr, Gordon Brown and his government cluttering up a site like this.
I mean, for real debate on my party, why on earth should the views of the few right wingers and non Tories who dominate this site be allowed to be drowned out.

If this site is going to sit and scrutinise my party, or pressure it into following its agenda, I would like the chance to put forward my views here!

".....we need a farsighted and confident response"

Like Brown/Darling lies that we will get through this in better shape than other countries. The medium to long term for UK is DIRE. You will see just how dire in 2010/2011. Brown's economy was built on leverage- personal, corporate and Govt. It is a simple principle that the more the economy is leveraged the greater the recession.
Brown-Darling were the last to see this, took the plaudits for a boom built on reckless credit policies, failed with BoE and FSA to see an Everest of debt piling up all the while increasing the size of the state.

Far sighted solution.

1 Transfer Bank Supervision to BoE
2 Change policy with regard to inltion target and interest rate setting. Include housing/asset prices.
3 All derivatives to be traded through a recognised exchange.

Thats it.

Our children will be paying for Brown's Enron economy collapse for the next decade. Get used to it.

Tim, If it was two sides of an argument I could see your point but that is not what it is. Personal attacks on the Shadow Chancellor are not presenting two sides of an argument; they merely legitimise attacks from what are the Conservative Party's political opponents. While it is legitimate and right for this site to debate policy, it is too often used as a platform for personal attacks masquerading as serious debate which surely you would have to concede are not, on balance, helpful.

We'll have to agree to disagree Georger. I thought Ridley's post was acceptable and not too personal although I don't pre-approve CentreRight posts; only CentreRight authors. Some of the comments on ConHome sometimes get carried away and I regularly overwrite/ delete comments. I also banned two IP addresses from the weekend.

Please keep me on my toes though and email me when you spot comments you think are beyond the pale; [email protected]. Traffic for the site continues to grow and it's increasingly tricky to keep an eye on everything. Your help is appreciated.

You are VERY welcome here ChrisD.

I suspect Osbourne is safe and Labour faces will be smiling.

he growing clarity of the Tories' electoral message. That message has just been delivered very powerfully by David Cameron in the Commons, responding to the PM's statement on the G20 summit

So how does "splitting the proceeds of growth" work when are in recession? Increase taxes and decrease public expenditure? Osborne reaffirmed this policy recently. I'm not being difficult, I just want to know. Is he advocating an austerity program?

ChrisD, it wasn't the people who thought Osborne was useless that caused the Conservative poll lead to collapsed 20 points, it was the muddled ineffectiveness of the Conservative economic message.

Well I hope you're right Tim.I think Osborne's analysis of Labour's failings are good but I'm still not clear on what we would do in government. That is my main frustration.
Having said that,such is my desire to see the back of this monumentally incompetent government I would do anything to ensure its defeat.

You are VERY welcome here ChrisD.

Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | November 17, 2008 at 17:33

Are you implying therefore I'm not, Tim? Hurt of NHCA!

Love you too, m dowding!

x x x


There have been two things going on with the "George Osborne issue".

1) Labour's attempt to play the man rather than the issue, also as a proxy to get at Cameron. ( See Lord Mandymort et al ).
2) Frustration amongst the troops to see some punches landed on Labour over their spectacular and alarming economic failures.

It has been argued that those concerned about 2 were helping with 1, and there is a certain degree to which that can't help but be true.

However, the current performance which is hitting home against Labour would not have come about without 2.

George Osborne has been asked to shape up or ship out - it looks like he's shaping up nicely.

Sometimes we all need a kick to get us going.

Now we can all set about Gordon Brown and his charlatan co-travellers.

ChrisD and mike dowding etc really should spend their time at The Blue Blog. They clearly don't like debate. Over at The Blue Blog they'll be so much happier. It's only good news for the Conservatives over there.

Posted by: Vincent Wall | November 17, 2008 at 17:07

I am a humble activist but one involved in running CPF debate here in Herefordshire. As ChrisD points out, the blogosphere is tainted by Labour rebuttal trolls, UKIP nonsense et al.
This site is ConservativeHome and decent debate also requires constructive and sensible criticism. I have many times expressed such. Now the troll brigade have contaminated the site, it becomes more sensible to be loyal first, sceptic second. Andrew Rawnsley's "Politics Home" is another Labour biased output and it saddens me the relationship between Tim and they. It is however a democracy of sorts, though not for long if Labour stay in power!
Now, about The BBc, Rupert Murdoch.....whoops, sorry, musn't go there!!!

Whew, had me worried there, Tim!

ChrisD 16.59

Terrific post. The dinasaurs on this site should be on their knees thanking Cameron, Osborne & Co for giving us a fighting chance at the next election.
Why don't you wait till after the election? With a sizeable majority, PM Cameron would be very interested in your views.

Resident Leftie said "So how does "splitting the proceeds of growth" work when are in recession?"

Rather obvious - sharing the proceeds of growth is a general philosophy implemented during any period of growth. In a recesssion there is no growth so the rule does not apply.

It is the difference between conservativism and socialism. Conservatives apply their philosophy to the world as they find it, socialists try to make the world fit their theories and then ignore the evidence of their failure to do so.

I watched the G20 'debate' and thought it was amusing & clever of Cameron to use Brown's own words against him. I also found it amusing to realise that Brown really can't speak without notes - he was totally lost at one point and was, no doubt, grateful for the intervention by Speaker Martin on the pretext of admonishing Nicholas Soames. The fact that Brown can't/won't answer questions has not gone unnoticed and there is nothing his spinners can do to mitigate that.

Three crushingly good points from Cameron.

David Cameron and George Osborne always prove their doubters wrong in the end - like they did last autumn.

Hmm. Punch and Judy Politics. Green taxes. Not talking about immigration. Well Being more important than Standard of Living. Spend as much as Labour. D&G (Dave & George) aren't exactly perfect VoteDave.

I half agree Votedave but they also have to be dragged out of entrenched positions.

Last year it was necessary to force them to address some traditional Tory issues like crime and tax.

This time we've again had to get them talking about tax but also waste.

Man in a Shed @ 18.13 is exactly right. However unhelpful any recent petty personal criticism of GO (whatever its basis) may have been, the real concern of activists and supporters over the last 4-6 weeks has been the perception of the Shadow Treasury Team collectively sleeping on its feet while the arsonists have portrayed themselves as the fire brigade. If today does mark the start of the long overdue fightback, it's not before time, and DC's three themes identified above look like a first class start. (A passing thought: Muhammad Ali took a hell of a beating from George Foreman in the first seven rounds of the Rumble in the Jungle, but we know who hit the canvas in round eight...)

" The dinasaurs on this site should be on their knees thanking Cameron, Osborne & Co for giving us a fighting chance at the next election. "

Why the abuse? Some of us have every right to be heard having been pointing out the feebleness of the Shadow Treasury teams message long before the proverbial hit the fan.

As for the fighting chance, we there wasn't much of a fighting chance last year when the uber modernisers were in charge, then, only when the Conservative leadership moved back on the 'dinosaurs' political territory did the polls reverse. The same here, where us 'dinosaurs' were saying its the economy stupid, while the Uber's were peddling some rubbish economic message if there was one at all. Now that Uber's policy has done the Conservative party yet more damage in the polls, and it now looks as if its the values us 'dinosaurs' hold that will again have to rescue the Conservative party from the modernising factions stupidity!

To DC @ 19.20 - any perception of the Shadow Treasury Team asleep on the job has been one concocted by the media and accepted by those who don't realise that what we see and hear only represents the top third of the duck. Most of the work is done unseen - formulating the policies, deciding the best line & time of attack and so on. The fact that the all the msm have seemed intent on denying the Conservatives unbiased reporting to date hasn't helped. When was it that reporters became journalists? I'd like to see a return of the Reporter - someone who just presented the facts and did not seek to influence public opinion in return for personal glory. By the way, what's happened to the investigation into the leak to Robert Peston?

Resident Leftie said "So how does "splitting the proceeds of growth" work when are in recession?"

Its quite self-evident if there is no proceeds there is nothing to share.

Worse labours true tax rate has reached crippling debilitating levels so
Most people are going backwards in real terms. In reality 100% is now seemingly not enough. This economy has been taxed dry already, despite this our balance of payments is also going backwards. And how will labour deliver its tax cuts? It will pay it to those forced by circumstance onto tax-credits. Why? He is hoping to buy this group of people.
It is quite obvious that We would want to end tax-credits as it is an artificial subsidy.
However it does mean that employers can get staff for silly low wages. Of course the downside is those on tax-credits have little hope of escaping into the promised land.
I only hope that GO doesn’t inspire Brown into an attack on wealth. After all labour is looking around for somebody else to rob, having finished with the Banks for now.
I suspect that the rich would be willing to pay a little more, after all we don’t want a dangerous powder keg going off in our faces. Those expensive wars may have to be cut back on.

To be honest, I never seriously contemplated that he would go (despite having a petulant, but well earned dig at him over Mandycorfugate. Look everyone in a major political party has enemies, either earned of those coveting the position. Cameron has done well not to be dragged into the sniping (albeit mainly from proxies or non-entities or NuLab colaberative journalists selling their soul for some Broon Guff exclusive, which in itself proves to be more spin, leak or infighting salvo.

However Labour play this they can't fix the economy and they know it. Their objective now is to bribe their way through the next election.

George Osborne has been singled out because he has spotted a fundamental flaw in Labour's attempt to borrow their way out of recesssion, namely the effect it will have on the Pound. This has really rattled Labour, who know that it will effect the Pound in every pocket in the country, let alone foreign investment.

The Conservative leadership must keep pushing the Sterling message, because it is Labour's Achilles heel, they are terrified that the public will see that they have trashed the brand of Sterling. For our part we all need to get behind David and George, and hope Brown has the bottle to call an early election after he has given the voters a sweetner.

" any perception of the Shadow Treasury Team asleep on the job has been one concocted by the media "

Susan, please, there is very little evidence the Shadow Treasury team was on the ball, or doing any work, if they had been they certainly wouldn't have allowed Cameron to state a little over a year ago that the next election wouldn't be fought on the economy but social break down, and we wouldn't be seeing Letwin being drafted into try and find some Public spending waste if that work was being already done !!!!!!

Chris D and John - agree with your vg posts. We must keep our eye on the ball.

I'm starting to warm to Osborne again, he's working hard and getting results despite the immediate attacks. He's just got to keep on pulling his punches in a confident and defiant manner.

....... they had been they certainly wouldn't have allowed Cameron to state a little over a year ago that the next election wouldn't be fought on the economy but social break down:
Iain | November 17, 2008 at 19:55

The two are intertwined. Many have splurged their way into debt whilst deprivation has been ignored. Decent and properly managed welfare and education would have avoided where we are now. Ask Maggie!
Conservatives are often derided when in reality they have always governed for The Nation first, party second. Not like this self obsessed shower of champagne socialists and their media mates!

Sneer all you like Iain. Letwin has always been in the Treasury team despite what you read in todays's newspapers.

At the risk of reducing economic policy to reality TV, here's one for you all. After the property makeovers came the financial makeovers. Alvin Hall, Martin Lewis et al would say to a family in financial trouble that the first thing to do is to cut up their credit card, to avoid further expensive interest payments.

At the moment, we are a family in financial trouble, or as someone once said, "we're all in this together." But instead of cutting up our collective credit card, Gordon Brown is looking to max it out for us. Responsible government? I think not. Sell that one.

keep going folks, with NU_Con i.e the Dave & George show, the next stage of the polls is when NU_Con hits <39 with You_gov.

That's when the fun really starts.

Mapa, I'd love to see the smug look on your face disappear when our lead starts to rise again.

I have to admit my respect for Osborne has increased in recent days. All the nice folks in the media went at him for breaking that cosy convention to do with sterling.

They missed out the fact he's absolutely 100% correct.

"ConHome has always thought Osborne would survive as Chancellor."

Well he isn't Chancellor as there hasn't been a General Election. This counting of chickens has actually been a good part of the problem - we need to remember that there is still an election to win.

Osborne is on the up - and on newsnight Alan Duncan takes (the usually oh, so smug) McNulty to pieces over the economy too.

Luvely jubley. Camerons team are doing him proud.

Resident Leftie said "So how does "splitting the proceeds of growth" work when are in recession?"

Its quite self-evident if there is no proceeds there is nothing to share.

Perhaps it's the mathematician in me, but "sharing the proceeds of growth" when growth is negative means that you would share the negative growth, but I wasn't sure if Osborne had spelled this out. It's not a socialist plot. So what does happen when there is negative growth, which there is likely to be for a while? He's suggested supposedly funded tax cuts, and shifting the burden of taxation from income to green taxes. Will there be a spending freeze, a spending cut, will spending increase? I simply have no idea.

Susan, I hope you are right about unseen work behind the scenes. I think it's still relevant (taking my boxing analogy further) to state that what one fighter might know deep down to be a deliberate - and high risk - strategy of letting his opponent punch himself out is not necessarily going to be seen that way by his supporters at the ringside who see him taking a battering, with the judges' cards being marked against him as time ticks away. If now is the moment when GO can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, we'll all breathe a sign of relief!

David, you know that there is more to political thinking than what we see in the msm. These Conservatives will sting like a scorpion.

I think we've got rid of Louise.

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