Posts Tagged ‘Osborne’

The A-Z of Corbsplaining

11/10/2015, 09:59:54 PM

There’s been a lot of change in the Labour party of late – new people joining, new faces at the top and new language being used.

To help readers, Uncut has produced this handy guide to Corbsplaining, keeping you up to date with the party’s exciting new vocabulary.

Print it out, take it to your local CLP meeting and dazzle Labour friends and colleagues with your Corbsplaining skills.

Next stop, the NEC!


Assist members making their voice heard – Use veteran hard left organisers to corral a herd of £3 hipsters to deselect troublesome MPs.

Austerity – Any cut to public spending, of any kind, at any point, by any level of government. Does not include cuts to military spending, which are completely different and fine.


Britain – Socialist utopia with a progressive majority that opposes all austerity*

*Apart from at general elections

Burnhamite – A malleable substance that can bend and merge to form any shape required of it before ultimately imploding.


Corbynite – A rare and abstruse substance that destroys the trust of voters.

Campaign Group – A group of MPs who do not campaign but do tweet a lot.


Democracy – A vital part of civilisation, to be protected and supported at all costs*.

*Not applicable to residents of Iran, Russia, Donbass, Gaza, Lebanon or Venezuela.

E (more…)

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Why our politicians’ cracks need careful probing

14/09/2011, 09:19:54 AM

by Kevin Meagher

THERE is no roadmap. No right and wrong about how “down with the kids” our politicians are allowed to be. No clear indications about where the “line” is that they should not cross when it comes to humour.

Wit is allowed, that much is clear. Disraeli, Churchill, even Wilson were exponents. Sarcasm too; but after that it go all blurry.

Last week both the prime minister and chancellor found themselves in trouble after foraying across these invisible demarcations with faltering attempts at mirth. David Cameron’s description of Nadine Dorries as “frustrated” during a reply to her at prime minister’s questions drew hearty guffaws at her expense. “Frustrated. Ha! He means she hates the coalition – but he also means she isn’t getting any! Hilarious”.

His pregnant pause gave lie to his subsequent protestations that it was merely a slip of the tongue, so to speak. It seemed deliberate. All he had to do was tee-up the gag and let the dirty minds of our Parliamentarians finish it off. They ignobly obliged.

He is said to have form. Cameron has what earlier generations would have called a “blue” sense of humour. Not a denotation of political allegiance on this occasion, but a predilection for making nob and fart gags.


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Snail-pace growth? They have snow in Europe too. What they don’t have is Osborne.

26/07/2011, 03:00:34 PM

by Rachel Reeves

Throughout the phone hacking scandal, the chancellor has tried to keep his role in the “regrettable” appointment of Andy Coulson as the PM’s director of communications out of the spotlight. Despite being the one who allegedly recommended Coulson’s appointment, Osborne has done his best to bat away any responsibility for his role in that crisis.

Today, as the latest data show that GDP grew by just 0.2% in the second quarter of 2011, the chancellor is no doubt wishing he could be as slippery in evading responsibility for the staggeringly anaemic “recovery” that is now entrenched in the UK.

Growth of 0.2% in the second quarter of this year is a slow-down from growth of 0.5% in the first quarter, which in itself was only just enough to counter the contraction in the economy of 0.5% in the last quarter of 2010. Compare this to Q2 for last year, when the economy, in its third quarter of economic recovery, was growing at 1.1%, thanks to the decisive action from a Labour government that knew a strong recovery was critical to getting the country back on its feet and the deficit down.

Now, as a result of the too far, too fast approach of the government since May 2010, growth has continued to falter, a year and a half after the economy moved into recovery, and the economy is flat-lining. Three years after the peak of GDP before the recession started, output has not managed to recover by even half of the 6.4% that it fell since the first quarter of 2008. This recovery is turning out to be anaemic, as well as historically and internationally weak.

Today’s GDP figure of 0.2% is far below what the treasury needs if the economy is to meet its forecast for growth of 1.7% for this year. And let’s remember, that forecast has already been downgraded three times – the independent office of budget responsibility was forecasting growth of 2.3% for 2011 just a year ago.


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Cameron’s bullies are bossing the common room

17/05/2011, 07:54:21 AM

by Dan Hodges

Thank god for David Willetts. And Michael Gove. Raise  a glass to Andrew Lansley. If they had half the political nous of David Cameron and George Osborne, the Labour party would be toast. Dead as a Lib Dem parrot. Or whatever that strange bird is they have as a logo.

The Tory front bench is basically two gangs. The Bullies and the Geeks. George Osborne is chief bully. He goes to bed every night dreaming about how he’s going to get up in the morning, whack the country on the nose and nick its pocket money. He tells us all he’s doing it to toughen us up. But really, he does it because he enjoys it.

His sidekick is Eric Pickles. A rough northern lad, Eric likes nothing better than picking on southern softies. During local election night, his victim was Sadiq Khan. “You were supposed to win a thousand seats. How many have you got, Saddo”? Sadiq looked like he just wanted to run home to mummy.

Then there are the brainy kids. David Willetts has such a big brain it won’t all fit in his head. Like the universe, his skull is actually expanding, and at a  rate so fast, his hair can’t catch up. Michael Gove is also super-intelligent. But while Willetts comes across as a friendly boffin, Gove retains a vaguely sinister air. In fact, he looks a bit like the Nazi in Raider’s of the Lost Ark who has that artifact burnt into his hand. Andy Burnham should ask to check next time they’re at the dispatch box.


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We’re for the whole country. Osborne is for the City.

11/04/2011, 12:00:00 PM

by Jonathan Todd

It’s only when politicians have bored themselves through repetition that their message begins to hit home with their audience. I’ve heard this dictum attributed to both Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. Its genesis is of less practical consequence than the reality that Labour’s message of too deep, too fast is now hitting home.

The debates around the causes and management of the deficit are complex. The simplicity of Labour’s message overcomes this. The arguments to which today’s publication of the interim report from the independent commission on banking will contribute are also highly technical. Labour requires a straightforward, powerful line that resonates amid this detail.

This should be that we are for the whole country, not just the city. We’re not banker bashers. We’re with Kitty Ussher on the short-sightedness of that. But the financial sector isn’t presently delivering to the extent that it could for the rest of the country. It’s one of the few sectors in which the UK can claim true global leadership. Labour recognises and celebrates this success. (more…)

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Ruthless, brutal, heartless: our attacks are music to Tory ears

15/01/2011, 10:23:16 AM

by Dan Hodges

The trouble with politics is there’s never a ragin’ Cajun around when you need one.

Ed Miliband has begun the New Year by springing from his corner with the speed and ferocity of Jake LaMotta. Cameron and Clegg have been pinned to the ropes as the punches rain down. VAT. Banker’s bonuses. Oldham. One killer blow and they’ll be eating canvass.

But something’s holding Raging Ed back. The final hay maker feels heavy in the glove. For some reason, he can’t quite put them down.

James Carville would know the reason.  Bill Clinton’s campaign manager had the answer to every political conundrum. And it was the same answer.  “It’s the economy, stupid”.

Ever since the graphic, “Conservatives retain Basildon”, flashed across our television screens that cold morning in 1992, Labour strategists have held one truth to be self evident. The party that is not trusted to run the economy will not be entrusted with running the country.

Bill Clinton’s election victory later that year confirmed it. For the first time for over two decades a progressive party had taken on the right, and bested them, by selecting the economy as their battleground. As we watch Barack Obama move to heal his nation, and look back wistfully at three consecutive election wins, it’s easy to forget the significance of that victory.

But some have forgotten. To them it’s no longer “the economy stupid”. Now, it’s “the cuts stupid”. Polly Toynbee’s “red carpet of opportunity” lies enticingly before us. As the Tory led coalition scythes through our public services a terrified electorate prepares to leap gratefully into the arms of their Labour protectors.

Possibly. The Lib Dem’s are already in free fall as a result of their cynical act of appeasement. The Tories cannot indefinitely defy the laws of political gravity. Ultimately, the cuts will take a toll of the architects as well as the victims.

But a word of warning: if we have learnt anything about this Government it is that their callousness is underpinned by a low cunning. Cameron and Osborne are not fools. They have a strategy. And we are playing to it.

Ruthlessness implies competence. Brutality; strength. Heartlessness; decisiveness. (more…)

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The swaggering arrogance that is storing up pain for the Tories

01/11/2010, 05:30:00 PM

As George Osborne sat down to the sound of rapturous applause and shaking order papers, he had achieved what few had thought possible. He had fronted up to the biggest political challenge facing a chancellor in years and ended not just still standing, but firmly on the front foot.

After a hoarse hour spelling out the detail on the investment and the reasoning behind the savings, Osborne climaxed his comprehensive spending review with the sort of political sleight of hand that must have had the absent Gordon Brown nodding in grudging approval. After all the cuts, all the efficiencies, the elimination of Labour waste, the fledgling government, thanks to turning around the economy, had actually cut less than Darling had planned. Your move Mr Johnson.

"We're all in this together"

Except, of course, that he hadn’t. Osborne’s move was calculated to win a short term tactical battle. The treasury team would never have attempted such a move against a Brown or a Darling. They took the gamble to instantly put Labour’s new shadow chancellor under pressure. The braying 30 and 40 somethings in the cheap seats loved it. Of course they did. The backbenchers were raucous but whilst this was a tactical triumph it was a strategic disaster. (more…)

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Labour must start to make its case on the economy, says Nick McDonald

19/07/2010, 12:46:46 PM

The leadership contest offers the chance for a debate about the future of our party. That debate is important; it will define us for the next decade. But whilst we must reformulate what it means to be a progressive party, and be seen to do so, debate will not win us the next election.

To do that we have to convince the electorate once again, not that we are progressive, but that we are trustworthy and that we have the right economic polices. Moreover, we must persuade the public that the economic decisions the Coalition Government is now taking will be disastrous for this country in the long-term. That is largely how Labour won power in 1997 and it is how we will win again. It is natural and necessary that we turn inwards after defeat and re-evaluate what the Labour Party stands for, but let’s not equivocate too long; we need to get back at them, and soon.

The party that develops the best lexicon to explain its economic position will win the next election. Voters do not necessarily care that cancelling the Future Jobs Fund is simply wrong, or that cancelling school building projects, or transport projects, is wrong. However, they will care if they believe that cuts will harm growth, or remove confidence, or adversely affect the housing market.


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The week Uncut

26/06/2010, 01:37:54 PM

A fullish week for June: a big Commons debate on the strategic defence review, an ‘emergency’ budget, the first ever select committee elections and David Miliband’s desert island discs.

The most important thing in all of which was George Osborne’s demeanour. It was a political coming of age. An uncertain boy made man by the advantages of office. For the first time in his Parliamentary career, he knew what he was talking about.  He had the facts at his fingertips; the fat ballast of her majesty’s treasury behind him. (more…)

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Tuesday News Review – The Budget

22/06/2010, 08:03:24 AM

Now is the time to fight

George Osborne to unveil his emergency budget

“So tomorrow, when George Osborne puts the fragile recovery at risk with his ideological onslaught on public services, by pretending the economy is worse than it is, and using the quisling Lib Dems as political cover, it will be up to acting leader Harriet Harman and shadow chancellor Alistair Darling to lead the Labour response. But it is also important that the David and Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott pile in, and do so with real impact. Not just as a way of highlighting the risk Osborne and Co pose, but as a way of showing party and country what they have by way of argument, strategy and fight.” Alastair Campbell Blog

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls warned: “A VAT increase would hit the poorest hardest – pensioners, the unemployed, those on lower incomes.” – The Mirror

“Leaderless they may be, but Labour MPs are able to agree on a common line to use against the Government’s deficit-reduction plans. They argue that the public expenditure cuts to be announced later today by the Chancellor George Osborne reflect not necessity but desire bordering on the sadistic.” – The Independent

“Yesterday Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband called on Lib Dem MPs to vote against the Budget. “I say to the Lib Dems very clearly that they should exercise their consciences and be willing to oppose this Budget, on issues such as VAT and fairness,” he said.” – City AM

“Alistair Darling, free at last of Mr Brown’s budgetary meddling, is almost a lone defender of his party’s economic legacy (which is not as grim as Mr Osborne pretends). While the leadership contenders have done some Osborne-bashing, none offers a coherent vision of how capitalism can be reconnected to the public good.” – The Telegraph

“Labour’s reply to the Budget in the Commons will come from the party’s stand-in leader, Harriet Harman. But Labour’s big hitters are already predicting tax rises and claiming they will hit the poor hardest. The shadow chancellor Alistair Darling told Sky News he would be “absolutely astonished” if VAT does not go up, probably up to 20%. “If you need money, income tax and VAT are the cash cows,” he said.” – Sky News

Darling defends his legacy

“Former chancellor Alistair Darling said a move from the RPI Index to the CPI Index, which he believed Mr Osborne would announce and which would save the exchequer £1 billion if he did, had been discussed when he was still in the treasury […] Unlike other senior Labour figures, Mr Darling, who is not a leadership candidate, sought to adopt a reasonable approach: accepting the need for some cuts, but disapproving of others.” – Irish Times

Alistair Darling, not a man given to hyperbole, is on top form defending his economic legacy and attacking what he sees as ideological cuts from the Tory-led coalition. He has been a regular on the air-waves at a time when Labour lacks leadership, and this passionate piece in the Observer was a model Keynesian take-down of the Government’s fiscal plans.” – The New Statesman


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