Cameron’s Press Conference – Live

Cameron opened up with a preamble mentioning free enterprise, an open economy, sound money, micro-economic supply side reform and the importance of competitive markets. Ticking some of the Thatcherite boxes in his introduction.
He said he was pragmatic not ideological before turning to monetary policy, for an awful second Guido thought he was going to advocate some kind of Nixonian interest rate controls.

Then we got to the meat, the two decade long Japanese fiscal stimulus did not work, Gordon Brown has himself argued that fiscal loosening was wrong, weak currencies flow from weakening economies, the pound is weaker because the government is weak. Dave pointed out that the markets now see British Gilts as twice as risky as German Bunds. Gordon is abandoning every policy he has held to because he has no choice, so he is making a virtue of necessity.

He advocated “less of an increase” rather than cuts in government spending, saying Labour will lie that this is a cut. “Same old Labour, same old spin” with Mandelson and Campbell back to deliver the spin.

It was a reasonable diagnosis and he has set reasonable objectives. Not a lot of excitement, but a reasonable attempt to take control of the news agenda. He has, at last, formalised the Conservative Party’s intention to not keep to Labour’s spending plans in government.

UPDATE : Full speech here.




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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

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