Is Osborne’s scalp a proxy to get at Cameron?
Some words of comfort from Michael White
With George Osborne continuing to make the news there’s a good analysis of his position from Michael White of the Guardian in which he suggests that the Shadow Chancellor’s biggest problems are on his own side – not the attacks from Labour.
White writes: “..Much more important to my mind than Labour attacks is that the people pushing hardest to get Osborne out are on his own side. And most of them are just the kind of Tories whose advice has helped keep their party in opposition for 11 years and counting…They’re at the ConservativeHome website, in the No Turning Back group, at the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. Just try a spoonful of Simon Heffer, but be careful to spit it out quickly”.
I think that this is spot on. Beneath the surface in the Tory party there is a significant group who have never come to terms with the Cameron revolution. Although they wouldn’t admit publicly many would prefer to see the poll ratings collapse because it would give them a foothold into getting rid of the leader who they believe is taking the party in the wrong direction.
They still remember the “glory days” under Maggie and a Tory party that does not have those values is one they find hard to support.
Publicly they always back the leader but they feel less constrained about about putting the boot into Osborne.
It used to be quite a joke watching the ConservativeHome threads (the site we used to dub ContinuityIDS) whenever there was a good poll for the Tories. They hated it and I recall Tim Montgomerie once smashing into good figures in an ICM survey because “it was carried out on the phone”.
I think Osborne will survive and will cause problems for Labour at the general election.
As ever today’s original cartoon is by Marf of LondonSketchbook.com