Budget Sketch: Osborne Speaks to the Tory Soul

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The first Tory budget in 18 years prompts a mass Die-In outside parliament.

Inside the Commons it’s a mass Die-In of the Labour party .

Osborne’s hour didn’t just make the political weather it changed the political climate.

Harriet Harman’s response began by lamenting the non-electrification of the Midlands mainline.

Mind you, she’d just been hit by a train.

Benefits. Subsidies. Tax. Pay.

Gordon Brown’s transformative budgets were written in an age of boom and borrowing. Osborne has achieved the same scale of change in an age of austerity.

Every Labour fox was destroyed. Not just shot but run over with a combine harvester.

Never mind deciles and target audiences and the calculus of electoral investment – Osborne has destroyed the opposition. And in an act of retrospective slaughter he destroyed Ed Miliband’s opposition as well.

He’s bumping up the wages of the lowest-paid by a third and reducing the taxes of 29 million.

“The best way to support working people is to let them keep more of the money they earn.”

If you want more than two children – you’ll be paying for them yourself.

Tax credits are recast as public subsidy to unscrupulous employers.

Corporation tax is lowered next year and the year after. We are headed to an optimum place on the Laffer curve. Watch foreign investment flock in.

We’re going to live within our means. He’s selling off government assets. He’s going to run a surplus. And he’s slowing up the pace of cuts so there’s more chance of re-election in five years time.

How all this speaks to the Tory soul. If Britain is a fundamentally conservative country there won’t be a Labour government in my lifetime – and never mind how old I am.

What will the morning bring? Experience tells us there’ll be some unraveling. Will Iain Duncan Smith’s exultation turn out to be a Kinnock/Sheffield moment? Or will the shift be seen for what it is – as a first moment of national renewal.

Another pint of Kool-Aid, barman, and don’t stint on the active ingredient!




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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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