George Osborne makes his much-trailed speech to the Conservative annual conference. Outside, the journalists were playing the game “which Prime Minister has the most balls?”
The Chancellor starts with goodish joke about entrepreneur and TV personality Karen Brady, who had introduced him. After the warm-up there is golden moment for a powerful follow-up. He missed it with a badly delivered pitch on the Government’s economic record, which was a bald set of statistics.
A grown-up party and HWPs
The First mention of debt was not the debt we own to the central banks, but indebtedness to efforts of hard-working people [HWPs]. A second mention to HWPs followed a little later, and a with a curious emphasis: “We are a grown-up party for grown-up people.”
Then a joke about Vince Cable which seemed to puzzle the audience. He also turned Miliband’s slogan [Britain can do better than that] against him. Then another joke about brother David Miliband [Cain and the less able]. He was certainly not making any effort to soften his image. The audience remained cool.
Fixing the roof
More on last government’s policy of not fixing the roof. Promised not to be fooled into believing in abolishing boom and bust, [an attack on last Labour Premier Gordon Brown who said he did when he was Chancellor, and has been reminded of it ever since.] The Chancellor promised to have stable surpluses to use to fix the economic roof when the storm breaks. Does this mean accepting a Laissez-faire fiscal policy?
Hard working people again, six minutes later. Building up to something bad about to happen to the nasty, lazy not hard-working people.
“I want to freeze fuel duty.” [Me? I want to visit Confused.com. Miliband’s energy price freeze bad, George’s fuel duty, good?]
Oh this is even trickier. He needs to diss his coalition partners if only in a tit-for-tat way. Audience remains a bit Confused.Com.
“We will not abandon the long-term unemployed.” That was the much trailed item. “We will have ways to help them”. Seemed pretty tough help. Actually he hurried on with less elaboration than i expected, to making a case for High Speed Trains and for Frackimg. He ended with a paean on to Margaret Thatcher’s life and death. We are heirs to her optimism, a Government with a plan for a grown-up country.
My first thoughts are that this was a surprisingly unconvincing effort from a man noted for his political astuteness, and met by a less than enthusiastic reception by tan audience usually not difficult to please. Outside the hall, the not-so-grown-up journalists were asking people to chose where to put their blue balls. The container showed Thatcher as having far more balls that Cameron.
Play the Game, Mr Cameron
On leaving the hall, Mr Cameron was asked to play the game of which Prime Minister has the most balls, but he moved past in a very grown-up way.
Render unto Thatcher
“Render unto Thatcher the balls that are Thatcher’s” I thought