Monday, March 12, 2007


Mike Ion comments on a story from the Sindie claiming that Michael Howard anointed Gideon Osborne as his chosen successor, according to a new book.
Mr Howard switched his support to Mr Osborne after becoming irritated by Mr Cameron's "squeamishness" during the 2005 election campaign. The former leader was also annoyed that Mr Cameron didn't want the job of Shadow Chancellor, preferring the easier option of Education spokesman.
The Mail on Sunday (not online) fleshed it out a bit more. Gideon was apparently all in favour of the Tories' play of immigration, believing it to be one of the strongest cards in their (limited) pack, while Ravey Davey C was a little concerned about it - to his credit.

However, Cameron apparently turned down the post of Shadow Chancellor as he was too scared of coming up against Gordon at the dispatch box. Bad luck, David.

I'll admit that I've had my doubts about Gordon. Not that he hasn't got the political depth, the intellect or the core skills to do the job. I'm sure that we'll find a flood of new initiatives in his first 100 days. Where I've had my doubts is about whether Gordon can deliver in selling those policies - he lacks the gloss of Blair's polished political performance. Perhaps that might even work to his advantage, as that lack of polish allows the passion to come through, especially on subjects like poverty - an issue that has run through Brown's political life like a continuous thread. Cameron can't compete, as he offers nothing but gloss and spin as we search in vain for definite policies.

He has been under such sustained attack because the Tories know how effective he could be against them. If he scares them that much, then we need him.


Simon said...

He has been under such sustained attack

Has he? I haven't noticed any attacks disproportionate to the simple fact that he is going to be Prime Minister within three or four months.

because the Tories know how effective he could be against them.

I dunno. I think John Reid or even Miliband would worry them more, because Reid is more aggressively populist and Miliband has youth, which is pretty much Cameron's only (weak) trump card at the moment.

Bob Piper said...

Simon has a good sense of humour. Brown has been under sustained attack from Tory bloggers like Staines, Iain Dale and the Dalettes and the likes of the Mail, Telegraph etc. and it is obviously because they are scared of him, in much the same way as Cameron has been targeted by Labour.

Freddie said...

Why the insistence on referring to George as Gideon? Is an adult not entitled to change the name by which he is known? Or are you trying to draw attention to his Jewish heritage?

Lord Saxondale said...

I sincerely hope that anti-semitism isn't at work on this blog, or I will personally ensure that the blogger or bloggers blogs his/her/their last.

Bring Gordon on I say. Whilst canvassing in a south Birmingham suburb last week (not a Tory area by any stretch of the imagination) more than a few people identify Gordon with stealth taxes. Gordon is essentially threatened by two pieces of paper - that which one puts in the ballot box and also the payslip...laden with deductions.

PoliticalHack said...

Given that I didn't even know that George/Gideon had any Jewish heritage, the accusation of anti-semitism is unfounded and actually insulting.

Lay off the threats Saxondale - you really don't scare me. Funny thing is how you and Freddie seem to travel together.

Freddie said...

Answer the question then. Do you think adults ought not to be permitted to change their names? Do you refer to Cliff Richard et al by their 'original' names?

I've no idea who saxondale is by the way.

Praguetory said...

Bob Piper admits that he attacks Cameron because he is scared of him? It's all falling into place or have I misinterpreted Bob's remark?

Lord Saxondale said...

I repeat if there is a whiff of anti-semitism on this site, then I will ensure that the owner of this blog is brought to book and if necessary prosecuted.

No threat intended. Just a clear message of what will happen if anti-Jewish content is posted.

PoliticalHack said...

Saxondale - Lay off the pomposity. Who appointed you to the Blog Police? There's nothing on here more offensive than the quality of my writing (unless you are a Tory or a LibDem of sensitive disposition).

Accusations of racism or anti-semitism are uncalled for and offensive.

Freddie: People can call themselves whatever they like, but I don't necessarily refer to them by their given name (Whitless is an example).

Freddie said...

Perhaps then, you could explain why in this particular case, you refer to Mr Osborne as Gideon?

PoliticalHack said...

As you ask so nicely, Freddie, it is for the same reason that I refer to Whitby as Whitless - to poke fun at him. Gideon's transformation into George gives the impression of someone trying to be a little less posh than he is.

Freddie said...

I, of course, accept your explanation, although it is a little odd. Is Gideon really posher than George? May I venture to suggest that, to avoid the unfortunate suggestion that you are seeking to highlight his Jewishness rather than his poshness, you desist?

PoliticalHack said...

Freddie: May I venture to suggest that you get your own blog and set your own rules.

This is my little lay by on the information bypass and I will decide how (and if) I will refer to Gideon/George.

Freddie said...

You invited comments and you got some. If every time you don't like the comments you resort to 'this is my blog, blah, blah, blah', it's not exactly encouraging of debate is it? Anyway, it seems you either don't know yourself why you call him Gideon or you're not prepared to say.

PoliticalHack said...

I'm not sure where the debate is here.

You suggested that I had an offensive reason for calling George by his given name, a suggestion that I have refuted. I have explained why I use the name - an explanation you accepted. You may use any term you wish to refer to Gideon/George on your own blog, but I write this and I choose how I describe people. A certain Tory blogger was FAR more offensive towards the Shadow Chancellor than I have ever been.

My policy on comments has always been clear - I encourage them, I don't fake them, delete them or edit them (even if they disagree with me) unless they are spam, libellous or grossly offensive. If I do delete, I leave a track to show something has been deleted. I've experimented briefly with comment moderation, but I prefer the open nature of the current system.

Simon said...

PH is certainly far politer than I would have been had someone made an unfounded insinuation that I was an anti-semite.

Freddie said...

Really Simon? Well, I think PH needs to examine his/her motivations a little more closely than he/she has been doing heretofore.

steve said...

Really Simon? Well, I think PH needs to examine his/her motivations a little more closely than he/she has been doing heretofore.

I think Simon you ought to shut up and leave before you make an everfn bigger fool of yourself.

At no point did I infer anti-semitism form PH and at no pojnt have I seen it in any of his posts.

It would seem that by your inference that there is that YOU have the problem and maybe ought to grow up and realise religion and stating your life by your religous group is like having a badge that says "look at me, I need an emotional crutch to get though life asnd if you says anything wrong about me you rotters, I'll scweam and scweam until I'm sick"

Sod off you pompous prat.