The thoughts of George Osborne

George Osborne in the Commons, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

George Osborne has a very interesting piece in the Telegraph of Dec 16th. Some of the points he makes invite a degree of comment.

He refers to the UK’s “full and committed membership of the EU”.  I’m sure that in using those words he certainly speaks for the Deputy Prime Minister (pictured with him above).  And he speaks for the Guardianista tendency (to whose opinions the Party seems to attach much weight).  But I suspect he speaks for rather few Conservatives.  Indeed they’ll be asking which Party he’s speaking for — if not which planet he’s on.  Given that we’re out of the €uro (thank heaven) and partly out of Schengen, it’s scarcely even true that we’re full EU members.  And as for committed — the majority of British voters (and most Party members I speak to) are anything but committed to the EU.  Most want out.

He speaks of Chinese tourists who “will visit Britain” (in this Olympic Year) “as tourists, carried on Airbus wings and Rolls-Royce engines”.  Great.  That’s of course if their airlines can find a slot at Heathrow, and that Chinese airlines haven’t decided to boycott EU airports because of Brussels’ lunatic Emissions Trading Scheme as applied to airlines.

“We are doing what it takes to become one of the most competitive places to do business”.  Yes?  And how about infrastructure?  How about power stations?  And energy costs?  How about UK/London airport capacity?  Foreign investors won’t be attracted by a high-speed train to Birmingham if they can’t get a flight to the UK.  What about the 50% income-tax rate?  Or 60% when you include National Insurance?  That makes us an attractive place to do business?  It looks as though we’re deliberately trying to drive wealth-creators and entrepreneurs away.  And don’t even get me started on the Deputy Prime Minister’s Mansion Tax proposal!

He speaks of “an opportunity through the G20 to defeat the forces of protectionism”.  Yet the EU (of which we are full and committed members) has been a major obstacle to completion of the Doha Round, while its protectionist Common Agricultural Policy is denying third world farmers the opportunity to trade their way out of poverty.

I admire the Chancellor’s rhetoric.  I endorse much of what he has done.  But we will continue to have a problem until the reality matches the fine words.

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8 Responses to The thoughts of George Osborne

  1. OK everything you say is correct and I am as shocked as you are with the roll over and tickle my tummy mentality of Nick Clegg towards Europe and all its ridiculous rules and greenery.

    I saw the article and, I am afraid, just didn’t bother to read it.

    I suppose the great thing that the Chancellor is doing is maintaining the triple A rating. But even there, government expenditure is far outstripping Mr Brown’s extravaganza.

  2. C.Wardrop says:

    Why is he saying such invidious rot?
    Does he want to benefit the UK or to stay in power? If so, his remarks will not help him or us.

  3. fausty says:

    The Chinese will almost certainly use the EU’s ETS scheme as a negotiating tool in trade talks. So some good might come of Osborne’s visit.

    China appears to want its currency elevated to “reserve” status, which makes the purchasing of goods at Selfridges in Yuan interesting:

    http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/europe/2012-01/13/content_14439048.htm

    Now if only we had the option to trade in a basket of currencies in the UK. The BoE wouldn’t then be so keen to trash our currency via QE, would he?

    Why do our Dear Leaders insist that free trade should be the Holy Grail, when they simultaneously devalue our currency? Currency devaluation amounts to protectionism, of sorts. Is this hypocrisy, doublespeak or ‘diplomacy’?

    • Ian says:

      It’s “let’s look after the bankers” again. QE1 money was gambled on food derivatives, thus raising world prices and triggering the islamic spring (plus more bonuses). The bankers weren’t just “sitting on it” as the financial press claimed.

  4. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    The worry is that he actually believes what he is saying.
    The same can be said of both Cameron and Clegg.
    With this trio leading us to ‘The Promised Land’ , somehow I don’t think we’re going to make it.

  5. Do you remember when the Conservative Party used to be driven by conservative principles? And if we find we can’t remember them, we could do worse than to use Jeffersonian principles.

    • Peter Hulme Cross says:

      Yes, I do. And that’s when I used to vote for them.

      These days the Conservative Party has abandoned its principles under its ‘modernisation’ agenda, it has a leader who isn’t a Conservative, it has a europhile agenda, and I just can’t vote for it anymore.

      That means I can’t vote for anyone.

      Not Labour, not LIb Dems, not Greens. And not UKIP either under its current leadership. UKIP needs its leader IN THIS COUNTRY spreading the message and building up the Party. Making entertaining speeches and empire building in Brussels is no substitute for that.

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