Reality Check of the Day

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.

Osborne's Corporatism Isn't Fiscal Conservativism

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.

Theresa May's Cat-astrophic Fur-fetched TailClaws For Moment

It never goes well when a politician utters the words “I am not making this up”. Often it turns out they are and Theresa May’s anecdote about a man not being deported because he had a cat is no exception. Larry the Cat may have been left at No. 10, but conference suddenly went cat-tastic. It’s the purrfect story for a subdued conference, and the tabby-loids are all over this fur-fetched tail. Cameron will be fur-ious, but Guido reckons she’ll get away with it, by a whisker and she can claw back her reputation . We will now take a paws from the cat puns.

Currently On the Streets of Manchester

No surprise that this one was cheered by some activists as it drove around the conference zone…

Boris v Osborne – the Numbers

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Closer than the mood would reflect…

The Boris Bandwagon

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…

Pickles Special

First non-liquid, non-canape nourishment in 24 hours. Normal service will be resumed…

Tuesday #CPC11 Top Ten Fringe Events

Updated courtesy of the FringeList.com service, based on users who have downloaded the free App or registered to receive free SMS text message reminders to attend events, we bring you the most popular fringe events:

#1 How The Conservatives Can Win The Next Election

#2 Peter Oborne In Conversation With The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP

#3 Winning Campaigns

#4 Cameron’s Candidates? Primaries, the A-list and the way forward

#5 Mayor Boris Johnson in conversation with Iain Dale, broadcast live on LBC

#6 Beers of Europe

#7 After The Coalition: The future Conservative agenda for Britain

#8 ResPublica ResCeption

#9 TRG Late Night Reception

#10 Coalition Blues: Can the Conservatives win outright in 2015?

Go to My.Fringelist.com and register for event reminders. Handily the App works even when you are in the conference zone and can’t get a phone signal…



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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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