George Osborne and the worst of all possible worlds


Picture the most Conservatives’ most avowed enemies. They think that when Nye Bevan said Tories were “lower than vermin”, he was being too generous. They believe that any Conservative or Conservative-led government will, as a matter of course, grind its boots into the faces of the humble while planting warm and loving kisses on the backsides of the mighty.

On one point, however, even they may make a concession. Whatever else it does, a Tory government will protect taxpayers. Conservatives believe in encouraging prudence and responsibility. They think the individual is best placed to make decisions about his or her welfare. Let the government take too much of other people’s money and it will waste it on dangerously misconceived attempts at “social engineering” or, as the Conservatives said of Gordon Brown, use it to create a “client state” of bribed voters.

George Osborne’s conduct at the Exchequer has destroyed their one reason for tolerating Conservative rule. He has all the Tory vices and none of the Tory virtues…

Carry on reading