Posts Tagged ‘budget 2011’

“Same old Tories” doesn’t tell me much

28/03/2011, 11:25:49 AM

by Ray Filar

“Same old taxes, same old Tories”. Ed Miliband’s response to the chancellor’s “budget for growth” last week was characterised by an aggressive, knowing ennui. It was as if Miliband had cast himself as an aging prima donna reclining on a (red) velvet chaise-longue, warning her child away from an only seemingly reformed no-good suitor. “I know what they’re like, you know what they’re like”, he seemed to be saying. Don’t be fooled by “friendly” George’s marriage proposal, also known as his budget for “growth”. He’s still the same man who stole your money to buy a dead puppy as a present for your sister.

The presumption Miliband and his speechwriters are making is that we do know what the Conservatives are like; that we will easily remember what they’re like if we cast our collective minds back to 1997 when they were last in government (or when they last proposed to us, depending on how long this analogy can be dragged out). This message was clearest during one of the speech’s defining moments, in which, against a supportive background of taunts and cheers from buoyed-up Labour ministers, Miliband described Osborne as embodying the “hubris and arrogance of the early 1990s, the same broken promises…he’s Norman Lamont with an iPod”. (more…)

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Bullingdonia: Osborne’s banana republic

25/03/2011, 01:32:24 PM

By Dan Cooke

In other news this week, concerns were raised about standards of governance in the Republic of Bullingdonia.

The ruling party, with a strong traditional base in the south east of the country,  imposed a shock 12% tax hike on the country’s oil and gas industry. This is overwhelmingly based in the state’s northern province where the governing party recently won only one of all 59 constituencies in the recent general election.

Critics charged that, while the government of Bullingdonia claimed to be promoting growth, the levy would undermine the competitiveness of one of the country’s leading industries and that the lack of consultation on its introduction would undermine the certainty needed for international investment. While the ruling party argued they were fulfilling a manifesto commitment to a “fair fuel stabiliser”, it was pointed out that such plans never previously envisaged a levy on the oil industry. (more…)

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Budget 2011: David Cameron is Ricky Hatton’s Mum

23/03/2011, 07:00:02 AM

by Jonathan Todd

The current Spectator cover story claims that Conservatives are as struck by panic as they were in the autumn of 2007 when Gordon Brown seemed set to crush them by calling an election. George Osborne saved their bacon then and they look to him to revive them now. Everyone else is looking at Libya. Hence, the impact of the budget will be dimmed. But Osborne will try to pull a big enough rabbit out of his hat to wrest attention away from the middle east.

Osborne doesn’t begrudge Libya coverage, obviously; particularly not if it leads to his boss being seen as a competent and brave war leader. If – and clearly this is a massive if – a stable post-Gaddafi Libya emerges, then the earlier shambles will be largely forgotten and David Cameron will gain kudos, which will make him harder to dislodge from Downing Street. The resignation of Lord Carrington did little to dent the boost that the Falklands war gave Margaret Thatcher at the 1983 general election.

Osborne’s rabbit isn’t intended to divert eyes from Libya or the spotlight from Cameron. It will seek to disorientate Labour and have our leaders confuse tactics with strategy. Fiscal constraints limit the cards in play, but the cards available are all held by Osborne. He knows that he can use them to establish dividing lines that will set the terms of debate. He was as keen a student of Gordon Brown as either Ed Balls or Ed Miliband. (more…)

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