No confidence in ‘Boy’ George

THE Tories have lost the initiative on the economic front.

GB played a blinder by flying off to the US straight after Labour Party conference: by doing so he cemented in the public’s mind the fact that the current crisis is not made in the UK. And since then the Tories really haven’t had anything to say, except that GB is personally responsible for the worldwide credit crunch, which no-one believes anyway.

And I’ve just seen George Osborne on Sky News. Now, I don’t doubt that many voters have their doubts about GB and Alistair Darling, but how on earth can anyone take GO seriously? He just looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights, mouthing inane soundbites with all the conviction of David Cameron saying he supports the NHS.

“Serious people for serious times” pretty much describes GB and Darling; it certainly couldn’t apply to “David” and “Boy” George.

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27 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economy, Gordon Brown, Labour, United States

27 responses to “No confidence in ‘Boy’ George

  1. Well Tom, as much as I appreciate your points, and accept that George Osborne might not look especially impressive, I know that opinion polls don’t lie.

    So when a Populus poll, released today, suggests that Osborne/Cameron lead Darling/Brown by 7% on the question of economic competence, I see that, despite your bewilderment, more people trust the unimpressive Osborne to run the economy than they do Darling.

    That should illustrate the scale of the problem, for Labour. More people, by quite a margin, trust George Osborne, than they do Brown/Darling. People would prefer Osborne to be Chancellor. Can the Government recover from that? I think not.

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    Well Tom. I am glad you can see so clearly in the fog. After what Brown & Co have achieved in the last 11 years your remarks just do not hold water. Can you not see its them and their like that are the cause not the solution. All they have done is late reactions. They have shown no leadership whatsoever. Its like I have said here before, all Labour can do is firefight. They are followers not leaders.

  3. Talwin

    OK, OK. In spite of all this ‘GB played a blinder’ rubbish; Christ, that’d be a first, I’ll bet you a tenner – owing to Brown screwing the economy for the past 10 years, I can’t make it more – that the Tories win the next general election. If you’re game on, I’ll get back to you in due course.

  4. Would any of you going on about how ‘Brown’s screwed the economy’ care to actually tell us HOW he’s managed to single-handedly cause a global financial crisis?

  5. Johnny Norfolk

    Seen the reaction this morning. Banks in free fall again.

    The biggest con of all was Browns ” Independence of The Bank of England”

    What he did was remove the BoE from the centre of government so he could do what he wanted without insider comment from the BoE.

    How long is it going to take you to understand Labour is finished.
    You need to sort yourselves out before commenting on the Tories.
    Nothing could be worse thanLabour the worst government we have had in living memory.

  6. Jeremy Poynton

    Fantasy world.
    Tom – here’s a running IMF commentary on your leader. Seems he is – as ever – being economical with the truth.

    Dec 2003 IMF gives Brown borrowing warning

    Sep 2005 IMF report warning over £1 trillion mountain of debt

    Sep 2005 Brown besieged over growth and borrowing plans

    Dec 2005 IMF fires new warning over Britain’s finances

    Sep 2006 IMF warns over UK property crash

    Oct 2007 IMF report UK house market is ‘heading for crash’

    Apr 2008 IMF: UK vulnerable to US-style housing slump

    Dec 2008 – UK BANKRUPT. Taxpayer revolt. 10 Downing Street destroyed by rioters, Brown tarred and feathered in Whitehall.

  7. joe bonanno

    Hmmm… we can certainly see that Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson are back and ‘lending gentle oversight’ to this blog.

    No-one is saying that the current crisis is ‘made in the UK’.

    What they are saying is that the UK economy has been mismanaged to such an extent in the last decade that it is – ipsos factos – completely unable to cope with any crisis wherever it is ‘made’.

  8. Joe – “No-one is saying that the current crisis is ‘made in the UK'”

    Er, except that “someone” is doing exatly that:

    “At the heart of the financial crisis is a simple fact. The tap marked ‘borrowing’ was turned on – and it was left running for too long.”

    David Cameron, speech to 2008 Conservative Party Conference

  9. joe bonanno

    …and as for the ‘Boy George’ jibe – do remind us how old Nulabour’s last but one saviour, ‘Boy Miliband’, is.

  10. Alasdair, there is nothing wrong with being in denial, after all, that is Gordon Brown’s problem. The truth is, GB refused to insist that the ‘checks & balances’, also referred to as regulation, were put in place to avoid a crisis of confidence. On his watch, the banks over-extended themselves, taking on too much debt and some very questionable investments. He knew what was going on, but either didn’t understand the consequences, or chose to ignore it.

    Gordon Brown was in overall charge as he kept telling us, but as soon as things go wrong, it is someone elses fault, America etc. God forbid that GB could admit to having made a mistake.

  11. Talwin

    Alasdair@10.26am.

    Alasdair, when did you first hear the expression ‘global economy’? Six months ago when the American banks started to get wobbly? Twelve months ago when we first started to hear about toxic sub-prime mortgages? I specifically said Brown screwing the economy for the past 10 years, viz. 1997-2007. In respect of that, God, where do I start? Setting up the ineffective & useless FSA – you know the one; the one that missed Northern Rock going down the tubes: and as Prime Minister presiding over the first run on a bank in 150 years. Shafting the best pension system in the world. Flogging off the family gold (but not before announcing the fact so it went for peanuts). Putting in billions and billions into education; OK, fine, but at least expect it to produce a system where kids can at least read and write. Ditto the NHS now ridden with mega-salaried managers and bureaucratic targets which impede treatment and ‘outcomes’. The ghastly, off-balance-sheet PFI system (OK, introduced by the Tories, but for very small amounts) embraced and fostered by Brown which allowed him to look ‘prudent’ by keeping billions of pounds off the books but, at the same time committing us, our children, and their children to, what, £250-300 billion of debt over the next 25 years. Buggering about with foreign aid destined only to buy Mercs. for government officials. Millions and millions spent on the results of uncontrolled immigration. Billions spent on a benefits system out of control. Allowing an economy to be built on hideous debt; spiralling house prices based on 125% mortgages often based on umpteen times income: which Brown ignored so he could prattle on about boom, boom, boom. And don’t say he didn’t know because there’ve been a series of documentaries over the past few years where journos have visited estate agents and mortgage brokers with hidden cameras and revealed these crazy offers. It could only ever end in tears and you must have read the criticism that Brown was happy to claim credit for the boom, but now the bust is everyone else’s fault.

    In respect of the ‘global economy’ of course its demise is not wholly down to Brown (but, please, let’s not be deluded into thinking that, for example, increased market fuel prices are not solely to blame for its high price at the pumps, that’s still largely down to Brown’s crippling fueld tax . No, his crime, along with the pathetic Darling, is to galactically dither in the face of world problems, without leadership or a discernible strategy. God, as recently as yesterday I saw on the news interviews with bankers who said he was still dithering in the face of the bankers’ request last Monday for an injection of £50 billion. This, of course, is the latest ‘proposal’ which this morning Brown described as ‘Bold and far-reaching’ as if he had come up with it. As far as I can see he didn’t; it was the bankers’ idea.

    And if I can see all the above – and let me tell you I know sod all about anything, just an ordinary retired bloke shitting himself about the future, his pension and his savings – how much have I forgotten, and how much else is there to be told by those who understand the economy?

    Even the Guardianistas are abandoning Brown: and, most tellingly, cast you mind back a couple of weeks when LABOUR PARTY MPs were revealing that they had given up on Brown. OK, they’ve been outmanoeuvred for the time being but watch this space.

  12. davidc

    gb may not have’single handedly caused a global financial crisis’ but he sure as heck gave it a good start !

  13. NFN

    Can all those witty Tory commentators who blame Gordon for the current financial crisis explain something to me?

    Irealnd has gone into recession already, and moved to protect its banks. Germany has also moved to protect its banks. Iceland is warning the country could go bankrupt.

    How are all those problems down to Gordon Brown?

    Tory commentators can continue trying to make their cheap political smears, but their attempts say more about them than they do about the reality of the situation.

  14. Doug

    At PMQs, Brown was very much the master of all he surveyed and Cameron had little to offer. His questions were swiftly answered and he was left looking lost.

    The irony of the global crisis is that it is the “light-touch” regulation carried on by Labour from 1997 and which calmed the city’s fears over the party, which has led to this. Labour bought into Tory business policy and now realises the error of our ways.

    The difference is that the left and centre left have a solid theoretical understanding of and belief in regulation of business. The right does not because instinctively it prefers free, unfettered markets. Now that this model has been shown to be unsustainable, the right is left in an ideological limbo.

    The question is whether the left will continue to make its case or will allow the right to reestablish itself?

    Whoever would have thought that a right-wing republican administration would effectively become “the people’s bank” by lending direct from the US treasury to business? We live in very strange times.

    Perhaps, like 1945 and 1979, we will look upon 2007 as when everything changed; the death of monetarism perhaps?

  15. joe bonanno

    Joe – “No-one is saying that the current crisis is ‘made in the UK’”

    Er, except that “someone” is doing exatly that:

    “At the heart of the financial crisis is a simple fact. The tap marked ‘borrowing’ was turned on – and it was left running for too long.”
    ——————————————————————–

    OK let me make it simple for you, in fact let me be quite clear 😉

    You run a football stadium that you leave to get dilapidated, you don’t tidy up under the – wooden – seats, so that a huge amount of combustible debris builds up. One day a fan drops a cigarette-end, it falls under the seats, and the whole place burns to the ground.

    Do you think the stadium owner (Captain Snot, in case you’re struggling to keep up with the analogy) bears at least a tincy-wincy bit of responsibility?

    I do.

    In fact I think the stadium owner bears a huge amount of responsibility.

  16. “Alasdair, when did you first hear the expression ‘global economy’?”

    Five years ago during my International Relations degree, but that’s by the by…

    “Setting up the ineffective & useless FSA”

    So what would’ve been the better alternative? Not setting up a regulatory authority at all?

    “pensions”

    While yes, probably a bad thing, that’s not related to the current issue.

    “Flogging off the family gold”

    Central bank gold reserves are old-fashioned and kinda pointless these days anyway – the currency is based on the strength or weakness of the economy, not a couple of tons of gold in a cellar…

    “Putting in billions and billions into education”

    Riiight, because that’s a BAD thing?!

    I’ve skipped a load of irrelevant bumpf here – the foreign aid budget has nothing to do with the current crisis.

    “Allowing an economy to be built on hideous debt; spiralling house prices based on 125% mortgages often based on umpteen times income: which Brown ignored so he could prattle on about boom, boom, boom.”

    I sort of agree – however, the foundations for this were built during the time of, who else?, Maggie Thatcher. Had he tried to curb home ownership and house-buying at any time in the last ten years, the country and the Tories would’ve been in uproar, all because of the ‘I must own a house’ mentality that Maggie created…

    What’s more, if you think that the Tory’s wouldn’t have de-regulated even more, you’re severely deluded.

  17. Talwin

    NFN @ 12.01

    NFN, contrary to your assertion I can find no attempt by anyone here to be ‘witty’; and no indication of any Party affiliation.

    It seems you feel that reasonable and calmly expressed criticism/frustration/fear/anger in a commentator is only evidence of ‘Tory commentators (who) continue to make their cheap political smears, but their attempts say more about them than they do about the reality of the situation’ ?

    One wonders what exactly you feel it says about them.

    The ‘reality of the situation’ (whatever one’s politics) is dire, desperate and extremely worrying for many of us. I notice that you make no substantive contribution to Tom Harris’s thread and so I find it curious why, on this occasion, you bothered visiting.

    Oh. Unless, of course, it was just the ill-judged attempt by a Labour commentator to be witty.

  18. Jeremy Poynton

    Well, Tom – no answer for me, I see; no snide comment avoiding the question, so let’s try again.

    Brown protests his innocence in the matter of the collapse of the banking system and the economy, yet …

    Dec 2003 IMF gives Brown borrowing warning

    Sep 2005 IMF report warning over £1 trillion mountain of debt

    Sep 2005 Brown besieged over growth and borrowing plans

    Dec 2005 IMF fires new warning over Britain’s finances

    Sep 2006 IMF warns over UK property crash

    Oct 2007 IMF report UK house market is ‘heading for crash’

    Apr 2008 IMF: UK vulnerable to US-style housing slump

  19. Jeremy Poynton

    Go on Tom, you know Brown is a dreadful liar. Ask him about this (if you have access to the bunker and the Politburo). Following extract further evidence to the IMF warnings that this is Brown’s doing. Act of treason to my mind, to let this happen. One might almost think, from the ghastly smile he sports at the moment, that he brought this on on purpose.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/42827c50-abfd-11dc-82f0-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

    short extract:
    Traditionally, the main source of credit in the financial world was the official banks, which typically forged business by making loans to companies or consumers. They retained this credit risk on their books, meaning that they were on the hook if loans turned sour.

    In the past decade, this financial model has changed radically. On the one hand, banks have increasingly started to sell their credit risk to other investment groups, either via direct loan sales or by repackaging loans into bonds; at the same time, regulatory reforms have permitted the banks to reduce the amount of capital that they need to hold against the danger that borrowers default.

    The net consequence is that the western financial system embraced what Paul Tucker, head of markets at the Bank of England, has described as the age of vehicular finance
    end of extract

    “This is the magic of the market. What started off as loaning a few thousand dollars to an unemployed man in a string vest has become the High Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leverage Fund.”:

  20. Jeremy Poynton

    Brown’s Mansion House speech from last year.

    How wrong can you get? Not much more than this

    http://ukingermany.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/?view=Speech&id=4616377

    Gordon Brown: Mansion House speech (21/06/2007)

    Gordon Brown: Mansion House speech

    HM Treasury, 20 June 2007

    My Lord Mayor, Mr Governor, my Lords, Aldermen, Mr Recorder, Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen.

    My Lord Mayor, Mr Governor, my Lords, Aldermen, Mr Recorder, Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen.

    Over the ten years that I have had the privilege of addressing you as Chancellor, I have been able year by year to record how the City of London has risen by your efforts, ingenuity and creativity to become a new world leader.

    Now today over 40 per cent of the world’s foreign equities are traded here, more than New York:

    * over 30 per cent of the world’s currencies exchanges take place here, more than New York and Tokyo combined,
    * while New York and Tokyo are reliant mainly on their large American and Asian domestic markets, 80 per cent of our business is international, and
    * in a study last week of the top 50 financial cities, the City of London came first.

    So I congratulate you Lord Mayor and the City of London on these remarkable achievements, an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London.

    And I believe the lesson we learn from the success of the City has ramifications far beyond the City itself – that we are leading because we are first in putting to work exactly that set of qualities that is needed for global success:

    * openness to the world and global reach,
    * pioneers of free trade and its leading defenders,
    * with a deep and abiding belief in open markets,
    * champions of diversity in ownership and talent, and of flexibility and adaptability to change, and
    * a basic faith that from wherever it comes and from whatever background, what matters is that the talent, ingenuity and potential of people is harnessed to drive performance.

    And I believe it will be said of this age, the first decades of the 21st century, that out of the greatest restructuring of the global economy, perhaps even greater than the industrial revolution, a new world order was created.

  21. Jeremy – do you think the Conservatives would’ve done anything different? They’re hardly the party of regulation!

  22. Jeremy Poynton

    Here’s that “serious” Mr. Brown addressing the City at last year’s Mansion House speech.

    Oddly, he is full of praise for the City and the financial services. And now he isn’t.

    How queer.

    Tom? You’re very quiet. Still trying to work out which Mr. Brown is the real one? We can tell you – he’s the one that brought this one us. And you know it. Stand up and be a man.

    http://ukingermany.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/?view=Speech&id=4616377

    Gordon Brown: Mansion House speech (21/06/2007)

    Gordon Brown: Mansion House speech

    HM Treasury, 20 June 2007

    My Lord Mayor, Mr Governor, my Lords, Aldermen, Mr Recorder, Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen.

    My Lord Mayor, Mr Governor, my Lords, Aldermen, Mr Recorder, Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen.

    Over the ten years that I have had the privilege of addressing you as Chancellor, I have been able year by year to record how the City of London has risen by your efforts, ingenuity and creativity to become a new world leader.

    Now today over 40 per cent of the world’s foreign equities are traded here, more than New York:

    * over 30 per cent of the world’s currencies exchanges take place here, more than New York and Tokyo combined,
    * while New York and Tokyo are reliant mainly on their large American and Asian domestic markets, 80 per cent of our business is international, and
    * in a study last week of the top 50 financial cities, the City of London came first.

    So I congratulate you Lord Mayor and the City of London on these remarkable achievements, an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London.

    And I believe the lesson we learn from the success of the City has ramifications far beyond the City itself – that we are leading because we are first in putting to work exactly that set of qualities that is needed for global success:

  23. Jeremy Poynton

    Alasdair – Oh, didn’t know the Tories were in power. I though we were talking about the “Labour” party. Talking about now, not if.

  24. Jeremy – I’ve deleted your last comment because it was unnecessarily rude. You know the rules – didn’t your mother teach you manners? Try again.

  25. Jeremy – Presumably you’re attempting to contrast this government’s ‘failure’ with something. De-regulated financial markets were, alas, the political and societal status quo for twenty years after Maggie scrapped regulation in ’86. So I don’t see how it’s Gordon Brown’s fault any more than it is David Cameron’s or Nick Clegg’s or any other member of parliament or the establishment or even society in general…

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