Is Osborne Cameron’s weakest link?
Guido Fawkes thinks that Labour’s attack on George Osborne has failed; he argues that because the recession is continuing and Alistair Darling’s forecasts are wildly optimistic (not exactly surprise) hit’s against George Osborne are wide of the mark. I think there is a truth to this; it certainly helps conceal Osborne’s failings as does the very fact that he is currently in opposition and not in the tricky position of actually having to implement policy. So, things like his mis-fired rhetorical toughness on bank bonuses go largely ignored.
However, it is not the Labour Party that Osborne really has to worry about; it is his patent unpopularity with sections of Conservative support and also no doubt sections of the Party itself. Simon Heffer, writing in The Daily Telegraph, explains this phenomena thus;
Mr Osborne is set to become Chancellor of the Exchequer not because he is a great economic thinker or strategist, and not even because he understands economics, but because he is Mr Cameron’s chum.
In other words they hate him because Cameron likes him and he is politically a softer target than Cameron. It is impossible for the Conservatives to remove Cameron at this time and for the foreseeable future despite how obviously discontented the ‘true blue’ wing of the Conservatives actually are with Cameron and with his attempts to modernise the party. True, Osborne is no economic genius and is much less than convincing alot of the time but that doesn’t detract from the wider point that the real problem is that he is simply not regarded as ‘one of them’ by the ‘true blues’. As far as this wing is concerned it is the birthright of the Conservatives to govern so why should they have to change?
This mentality is another obstacle that Cameron faces in his quest to ‘modernise’ the Party which in its heart of hearts has no desire to do any such thing. If Cameron wins the next election then that victory in theory should at least guarantee him at least one-term of immunity; however, Osborne will have no such luxury and will find his position constantly undermined virtually from the moment he enters office.