|George faces a Brown-turn Posted by Fraser at 9 30 PM on Saturday, November 15|
TO win the next election, all Gordon Brown needs to do is persuade Tories to start tearing themselves apart.
It’s going well so far. His promise of tax cuts has seen mutinous Tories sticking pins into George Osborne dolls.
Our young Shadow Chancellor has about eight days to redeem himself. And the clock starts now.
Gordo has come back from Washington promising a "fiscal stimulus" package on Monday next week.
We’re hearing there’ll be tax cuts for the low-paid, for pensioners, for everyone. All from a broke government.
But you can bet his mini-Budget will have just one aim: to encourage a full-on rebellion against Boy George.
It will be the usual Brown trick, blowing smoke in all directions — trying to cover up the £60bn black hole in the accounts.
It was HIS tax rises, debt and fiscal incontinence that have led Britain into what’s probably the worst recession in Europe.
Gordo promising to save the economy is like Ronnie Biggs vowing to lead the investigation into the Great Train Robbery.
This is what angers Tories. They’re thinking: why the hell does Osborne let Brown get away with all this?
Because he spent too much time faffing about, thinking — as Brown did — that the bust wasn’t going to come.
I hear he was even thinking of writing a book recently. I wonder what the title was: "How to lose a 20-point poll lead in four weeks?"
I now know at least THREE Shadow Cabinet members who are openly talking about a new Shadow Chancellor. Yet just like the Easter plot against Gordon Brown, this all flounders on one question: who would take over?
William Hague? He’d be great value — but he’d refuse. Too much like hard work. He’s been there, done that, got the kicking.
Ken Clarke? He’s a popular giant and only he can call Gordo a lightweight who doesn’t understand economics. But the Tories can hardly promise "change" if they want to bring back John Major’s old Chancellor.
John Redwood? He predicted the crisis and has a beautiful mind. But his Spock-like demeanour tends to scare away voters.
One senior Tory told me last week: "Whoever’s next could hardly be any worse." I disagree. Osborne can do it.
This Tory economic non-policy was the JOINT work of Osborne, David Cameron and policy chief Oliver Letwin.
They ALL deserve the blame, for their lazy decision to sign up to Brown’s economic version of the road to hell.
They need to reboot. And remember that old JM Keynes quote: "When the facts change, I change my mind."
Osborne can do it. He must pledge to cut wasteful spending, split the proceeds between tax cuts and debt repayment.
He can say: "Brown’s tax cut is a con — it will bust you, and bust the country". He needs a clear, compelling message.
But if the best he can do is repeat his line about "fixing the roof when the sun was shining" the Tories will come out.
This isn’t the pussyfooting Labour party, who worship the quicksand their leader walks on.
The Tories are by now Europe’s leading regicide specialists, and haven’t had a kill for years.
Right now it’s whispers, confined to the tearooms and the urinals of Westminster. Very soon, it will get worse.
What Gordon Brown wants most for Christmas is a good old gore-splattered Tory mutiny.
And if Osborne bombs after the mini-Budget, he may well get one.