George Osborne is all slogan and no strategy

by Dan McCurry

Their economic policy is from the 30s,

Their health policy is from the 40s,

Their education policy is from the 50s.

The electorate may be in the present, but the Tories are not.

They’re all old money, and no new blood,

More horse riding, than commuting,

More tractor, than hatchback,

More bone china, than chip wrapper,

The strange thing is that they could have been quite good. The most brilliantly targeted message to have emerged from politics in recent times, was George Osborne’s, “we’re all in this together”

In just five words it encapsulated teamwork, fairness and duty, in order to overcome our problems. But it was a slogan, rather than a strategy. If it were a strategy, then they wouldn’t have increased taxes for the poor and decreased them for the rich. If they had been fair to all, then this government would not be the architects of omnishambles, they would be the builders of Jerusalem.

It’s quite baffling that they came so close to being a successful government; that the strategy was right there in their hands, but somehow they just couldn’t follow it through. The problem is that they only have experience of their own narrow clique. They seem to have little or no experience of the world outside of Westminster and Bullingdon.

After working as a special adviser to chancellor Lamont, David Cameron must have been an expert on how the media can tear a government apart. With the fall of the Major government, he had ambitions for a parliamentary career, but needed to find a job in the meantime. So what work would enrich him as a future politician? Perhaps he should become a policeman, or work for the NHS, or get a job in the Foreign Office? No, he went into PR.

The mistake that David Cameron made was to believe that the problem of the Major government was weak presentation to the media, when in fact, their problems began with the collapse of the ERM. They lost credibility, and without credibility there is no respect.

The single best way to get the media on your side is to do the job well. The press respond less to media manipulation, than they do to a good or bad product. When George Osborne’s economic policy failed to deliver growth, it wasn’t the Guardian or the Mirror that told the Olympic audience to boo him, it was his failed policy that did that.

By making “we’re all in this together” a slogan rather than a strategy, the Tories have shown themselves to be hypocrites. They represent themselves but pretend to represent others.

It was all over the newspapers that Philip Green had diverted £1billion of profits to Monaco, in order to avoid tax. They responded by asking him to advise government on how to be more efficient. Today they jump on the bandwagon of tackling tax dodgers, because they see the electorate demand it.

They are torn between the their raison d’être of protecting privilege and democratic pressure. But it’s the democratic pressure no the sense of justice that motivates them to act.

The next generation of Tories should consider whether they want to represent just the elite, because this country is sick to the back teeth of them. The next time they pretend to be at one with the people, the people will see right through them.

Dan McCurry is a Labour activist whose photographic and film blog is here.


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11 Responses to “George Osborne is all slogan and no strategy”

  1. Ex-Labour says:

    Oh dear McCurrys back with his class warfare drivel.

    On the subject on tax avoidence / evasion I hear little from Labour about Margret Hodge and the “tiny” stake in the family business worth multiple millions – not including shares held in a trust in her childrens name – where the business pays a pitance in UK corporation tax in relation to its earnings according to some media commentators.

    Its quite remarkable that she has the gall to interogate others with sham indignation.

    Sort your own house out first McCurry, then we might listen to what you have to say.

  2. You’ll be pleased to know I own no companies or trusts.

  3. swatantra says:

    The Establishment have a knack of reinventing themselves; let me instance The Royals; they’ve just announced that Kate is pregnant; and so the saga continues.

  4. Ex-Labour says:

    @ Dan McCurry

    You cleasrly didnt understand my point. When I say “your house” I mean the Labour MP’s like Margret Hodge. Its no use moaning about Osbourne when you have Hodge in the ranks, especially when she’s quizzing people on tax avoidance. Breathtaking hypocracy.

  5. BenM_Kent says:

    Margaret Hodge – the Guido dog that failed to bark.

    Another one.

  6. Robert says:

    OK so tax avoidance which was brought up on labour’s watch as was banking bonus, we had one Labour high ranking official telling us about being rich and how people did not like it.

    fact if you do not like tax avoidance then sort it out by making laws, but you will need to pull the rest of the EU with you.

    It takes the biggest recession in living memory to sort this out.

    But will they, how about Non Doms as well another group who get away with blue Murder.

  7. The point of my article is that Osborne had a good strategy, if it was a strategy rather than a slogan.

    I don’t know anything about Margaret’s personal circumstances, but I doubt if it’s comparable to Amazon and Google. What do the Tories on PAC say? Are they attacking her, or are they collegiate?

    If they are collegiate then you are once again looking for excuses to defend Amazon and Google, because, as we all know, the Tories want the rich to dodge tax while the poor pay it.

  8. John Dore says:

    Crap article as usual.

  9. Tony Phelan says:

    Don’t know if this is crap as usual – just found the site. Looks bang on to me

  10. I agree with Tony Phelan.

  11. The use of a slogan is the thrust of the article, and the use of slogans that carry no weight are quickly rejected but the consumer/receiver. Branding and labels carry a heavy responsibility, but get them wrong and you are dead in the water. Coke, aids slim loss bar, Woolworth’s. Saying ” in it together” is easy, but the problems start to manifest themselves quickly because even the “Jeremy Kyle” quad make sense of it. This leaves Osbourne with a problem, if the plebs (romanic) don’t believe, then the proletariat certainly don’t.

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