Downgrade: What we need now is a Lib Dem Chancellor

George Osborne Chancellor
Debate Rating: HOT

The downgrading of Britain’s credit rating from AAA to AA1 by the ratings agency Moody’s might not be an economic disaster for the UK, but it is a political disaster for George Osborne.

I think even the most loyal Conservative would find it hard to argue with my assertion that he’s proven to be a dreadful Chancellor of the Exchequer and one which doesn’t come out well when compared with the last Tory holder of that office, a certain Ken Clarke.

From the bungled budget to the down rating, Osborne appears to go from one self-inflicted disaster to another.

So, why is he still in office?

It surely couldn’t be because he’s a life-long friend of the Prime Minister, could it?

Or maybe Cameron has taken seriously the long-held view that losing a Chancellor (either through resignation or sacking) means a PM’s own reputation is tarnished.

That may be to some extent correct, but can Dave really keep someone in such an important office who has so manifestly failed?

What the British economy needs is growth.

I’d argue it needs an economic stimulus and shovel-ready infrastructure projects.

Osborne’s austerity agenda has been shown not to have helped the economy... Indeed, it could be argued it has hurt the economy.

So, clearly, what we need is a Liberal Democrat Chancellor.

Now, I know that, sadly, this is unlikely to happen because the Tory backbenches would no doubt holler blue murder if a Lib Dem was promoted to this decision, but I think Cameron should consider it.

It could make political sense.

After all, with a new (Lib Dem) Chancellor the Government could legitimately chance course.

Think about it... If the Government changed course, and it didn’t work out, he could blame the Lib Dems.

But, I believe moving from austerity to a proper growth agenda would work.

We need a new New Deal.

We need to inject confidence into the economy.

This Government - the Tory side of it - seems to revel in demonising the poorest in our society, in turning one section of the community against another.

This is a disgraceful way to behave.

We need to bring people together, not tear them apart.

We need change. We need growth.

We need to be rid of Osborne.

We need a Liberal Democrat Chancellor.

Or, as a compromise, maybe we need the return of Ken Clarke.

Mathew Hulbert is a Liberal Democrat Borough and Parish Councillor in Leicestershire and is on the Executive and Council of the Social Liberal Forum.

Posted 25/02/13 by Mathew Hulbert Write a reply

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Comments
"We need to inject confidence into the economy." A lib dem,rightly or wrongly, might not inspire confidence.
26/02/13 18:59 by Amar Desai Desai (Disagree)
Osborne ain't going anywhere. The day he goes is the day Cameron goes. Cameron has already shown he sticks by his ministers come what may, unless their position is untenable. I remember saying the same before last Summer's reshuffle when everyone was hyperventilating at the thought of Osborne being ditched. It's just not going to happen.
26/02/13 14:04 by Ben Mitchell
75% of readers disagree - probably about right?!
26/02/13 13:20 by Mike Robb (Disagree)
It probably should've been Cable from the start.
26/02/13 11:32 by Sean Haughton
Not an impossible situation Anthony - via a peerage - but highly, highly unlikely.
25/02/13 20:55 by Mike Robb (Disagree)
There seems to be a shortage of candidates for Chancellor that inspire any confidence. Perhaps we should take the European option and employ a technocrat. How about Ann Pettifor? She really did predict the financial crisis and has been right in her analysis of current policy. I would certainly feel a lot happier if we had someone with plausible solutions rather than politicians who just seek to blame someone else.
25/02/13 20:31 by Anthony Hawkes
Matthew, it may be appealing but it will never happen.

The Conservative's will now allow one of the main offices of state to go to the junior partner in the coalition and, let's face it, the majority of the coalition government are Conservative.

Tory backbenchers are not going to vocally support a move away from the cuts agenda in favour of new deal, the greater likelihood will be they will call for more cuts.

No, I'm afraid in reality the only thing for it - and the most honorable one at this point in time - would be for the LibDems to let the Tories rule in a minority government, and I can't see that happening for one minute.
25/02/13 14:49 by Leon Spence (Disagree)
Agree, Vince Cable and George Osborne are in the wrong jobs. Osborne has a tendency to look after business, especially banks, but lacks the wherewithal to steer the British economy. Cable is like a fish out of water as Business Sec but has written some good stuff on the economy, foresaw a banking disaster and is a more natural fit for a job that's about so much more than balancing the books. Vince Cable as chancellor gives the govt licence to change course, and arguably is a more trusted figure. But alas this is politically impossible, given the difference in size between the two parties.. if only the Lib dems had converted more seats in 2010...
25/02/13 14:47 by Nik Porteous (Agree)
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