The Osborne and Darling show….
Both main Party leaders must be silently tearing their hair out at the actions of the Chancellor and his shadow respectively. I would expect neither to survive in their roles post-election though Osborne may well have a longer period of grace if the Conservatives cobble together a government. Osborne’s speech to the City tonight which promised immediate cuts is a flat-contradiction of David Cameron’s earlier u-turn which suggested they might not be so immediate. If both truly believe, as the Daily Telegraph says they do that:
the majority of the City and economists back their strategy to looks to make significant savings this year if they win the election
then they are more deluded than it was previously imagined. Only this week the IMF has warned against early cuts and later on in the same article a leading City economist:
warned that cutting the deficit immediately could spark a full-blown sterling crisis and a ratings downgrade.
George Magnus, the highly respected senior economic adviser to investment bank UBS, said that a premature move would provoke a “savage” reaction in currency markets, with the pound falling to as low as $1.05 against the dollar, and beyond parity with the euro.
Vote Conservative for a run on Sterling and a guaranteed double-dip. Sunny Hundal, writing on Liberal Conspiracy, need look no further for his explanation of the Conservatives poll free-fall. Osborne would probably take the fall if he was not so close to Cameron.
Meanwhile, one has to wonder what possessed Darling to make his now infamous ‘forces of hell’ comment. It certainly was not sound political judgement and looked more like an attempt to clear himself of blame for the current crisis as opposed to constructively assist Labour. It should be a cause of considerable relief that the public, in my eyes, couldn’t care less about Darling’s hurt pride. Darling has done alot to confuse Labour’s economic narrative something Osborne is also guilty of and this is a problem; Darling does not seem willing or able to carry forward the radical program of economic restructuring that is so desperately needed and should be Labour’s message.