Bumping into John Redwood over a prawn sandwich this lunchtime, Guido put some questions to the seasoned Tory brain on the imminent government movements. Redwood wearily accepted that the “faces will remain the same” so “it’s what they are saying that has to change”. He vented frustrated that the Coalition had not “stuck to the script“, noting that: “We were promised a private sector led recovery and the opposite has happened, the private sector has been hit by rate increases instead“. Redwood might not exactly be expecting a phone call from No. 10, but seemed more irritated that “good advice from the sidelines is not being listened to“.
While Osborne was watching sport, David Davis then took to the stage at the Charted Institute of Accounts to give the economic status quo the Basher treatment, calling for “economic shock therapy” and earning a few chuckles with his admission that: “I understand that No.10 has a nudge unit, well what I’m calling for is slightly more than a nudge“.
The “headline grabbing trivia” of the Chancellor and Prime Minister was repeatedly savaged: “There is a conspiracy of deception between the two front benches to overstate the cuts. It suits opposition to say look at all these terrible cuts and suits government to keep our credibility with the markets“. And it wasn’t just Osborne that got it in the neck: “No new taxes, and yes I’m looking at you Mr Clegg“.
Dave and George’s new infrastructure spending was next to get both barrels, before Plan DD was announced: “We need a bonfire of regulations. And we need to start with employment laws. We need to take a knife to the Gordonian knot on the British tax code.” Davis quickly apologised to the accountants present given his plan will force some of them out of work. That was the least of the doom and gloom…