Timo Soini, leader of the True Finns party told the packed European Conservatives and Reformists Group fringe event earlier: “the Euro is our currency, but your problem”. The nail on the head.
There is often more truth in satire than news reporting and yesterday gave us an amusing example. The Chancellor’s vague plan for the Treasury to buy small firm’s corporate bonds was reported on by the Daily Mash thus:
Osborne’s offer of credit to thousands of small businesses will make Britain the first conservative-led communist state when the loans are inevitably defaulted and the government ends up owning and running everything.
The Chancellor seems to think the solution to the credit crisis is more debt, even though many businesses are doing the opposite and de-leveraging. Banks make money from lending and they lose money lending to bad credit risks. The government thinks the banks are being too cautious even though the markets think there is serious trouble ahead. Guido thinks the markets have it right.
When challenged to introduce growth-stimulating tax cuts the Chancellor refrains saying that he won’t because he is a “fiscal conservative”. George Osborne presumably would concede that Nigel Lawson was also a fiscal conservative, yet he managed to cut the top marginal tax rate from 60% to 40%. There is nothing fiscally conservative about maintaining a tax rate so perversely high it generates lower revenues by driving high earners out. This isn’t fiscal conservativism, it is political defeatism.
It is even less likely that fiscally conservative Nigel Lawson would countenance Osborne’s proposed socialisation of the corporate credit markets. When the government starts lending money to companies that no one else wants to lend to, you can be sure of one thing, they are going to lose a lot of taxpayers’ money. Billions.
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Closer than the mood would reflect…
Given Cameron isn’t going anywhere any-time soon, Guido is a little surprise that one topic of conversation is already dominating the watering holes of conference – Boris for leader. Despite being confined to the graveyard slot on the morning that everyone is hungover, Boris is stealing the show. Dave’s fake smile said it all…
Osborne is the name that stands in BoJo’s way, but he hardly has the same level of support. The only person really singing Boy George’s praises is Michael Gove. He told the Telegraph: “Are there people in the Cabinet who have the capacity to lead? Yes, and George is pre-eminent among them”. Caveated. Without the prospect of a leadership election for three years, at very least, teams are being picked…