06 October 2009

Can Osborne do it all over again?

George Osborne gets his headlines this morning with the announcement to increase the retirement age to 66 saving £13bn, although the change doesn't come in until 2016. 

Today, Osborne has a much more important task when he speaks later.  Obviously, he has to move the conference on from Europe.  He may have been helped in this task by Darling’s cynical attempt to undermine the Manchester party, but that he remains to be seen.  It will now be too transparent for Labour to repeat this trick before Cameron’s speech.

Osborne has got to show how the Tories will cut the deficit with creditable proposals.  It is vital that these don't unravel afterwards, which has already happened with the residential care scheme.  His job is to do the hard work with an agenda setting speech, before Cameron comes along on Thursday with the vision thingy and attempts to prove he is the Prime Minister-in-waiting.

Also, as Matthew d’Ancona was saying on Sunday, the Shadow Chancellor has also got answer “repeatedly and persuasively the PM's favourite attack line that, alone in the world, the Tories wanted to take no action during the crash, that they are isolated by their slavish loyalty to outdated doctrine”.

Osborne is capable of a game changing speech.  He proved this in 2007 when he was responsible for Brown for calling off the non-election, which Labour have never forgiven him for.  Today he got to do it all over again.

After the Europe debacle, Cameron is dependent on Osborne to change the political whether.

The Tory party is not just a one-man band.

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