Osborne overplays his hand

The two most recent polls, one showing Labour with a 5-point lead and then a second two days later indicating a 7 -point lead for Labour, may just possibly suggest that the electorate is finally getting its mind around what the Tories plan to do over the next 5 years if they win, and they don’t like what they see.   They keep on being told by the Tories that the cuts are more than half over, which they plainly are not, and they had previously put up with austerity on the grounds that  by 2015 nothing much more would need to be done, and anyway cuts were for shirkers and scroungers, not hard-working people like themselves.   It is now beginning to dawn on them that all these sweet billets-doux cooed at them by Cameron and Osborne are just so much moonshine.   The £30bn further cuts (at least) in the next Parliament are going to hit them hard – tax credits cutbacks, huge benefit cuts focused 80% on women, further large squeezes on local authority budgets leading to big job cuts, etc. – and understandably they don’t think that’s fair.   In fact they’re seething.

It is just possible that the Autumn Statement/mini-budget on 3 December will signal the point at which sentiment begins to shift away from the Tories.   I believe that that was the point at which an over-confident Osborne badly over-reached himself.   He was so sure that an uncompromising rigidity over imposing huge further public spending and benefit cuts and even trying to thrust them down Labour’s throat as well would win the day with the electorate and cement his reputation as the Iron Chancellor the country needed.    He badly miscalculated, as we are now seeing.

This now confronts Labour with its most important choice in this Parliament.   Is it going to continue with its feeble me-tooism policy – spending cuts throughout the next 5 years, but slightly gentler, over a longer timescale, and a bit more flexibility for capital spending?   As public sentiment begins to shift away from endless cuts, that would let Osborne off the hook: we would have all 3 main parties united against a majority of the British people.   Or is Labour going to be brave at last and have the guts to tell the truth, that it’s not a matter of tweaking the austerity policy here and there, it’s the fundamental policy that’s wrong.   This is Labour’s biggest chance,  but don’t count on it!


4 thoughts on “Osborne overplays his hand

  1. As James Galbraith wrote in ‘The Predator State’, the difference between the right and social democratic parties is that the social democrats actually believe the neoliberal fairy-tales… and that seems to be the case with Ed Balls. Unless EB is replaced, how can the LP move forward?

  2. Shouting in the dark m and m but is the party listening to you it seems
    the blairites are not but ossie taken from the poor to keep the rich
    happy isnt it funy they portrayed austerity to the poor yet not to themselves but the tory party has plumbed new heights by culling
    The stock yet we had hoped aleast labour would be labour not just another tory party yet austerity hasnt helped but will labour now takecontrol no ttip no private sector working whot once was ggovernment’s jobs has we find these pay little but take their monies offshore not benefiting the people are labour going to go back to being
    just that jeff3

  3. Well, George Osbornes’ policy of sending the British Nation on a long holiday to Wigan Pier would seem to be in place solely to maintain the means of money supply whereby Banksters get a 100% free ride. If Ed Balls is unable to change this multi generational crime then the general public, in the face of cross party consensus has but one way forward.

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