In Scotland Osborne was wandering around like an ancient king throwing coins to the commoners, for example 500 million coins to repair and expand infrastructure for housing Trident and it’s replacement, adding to the several billion such coins already spent or pledged to Trident.
Funny thing that, what with the MPs not having voted for us to even replace Trident yet, almost like he didn’t care about that vote. Almost as if Osborne had decided that we were going to replace Trident and the vote didn’t matter. Very presidential.
He keeps popping up visiting some company or another, bright yellow or bright orange high viz all clean and new as he looks on or tries something out. The typical campaigning politician, the companies friend, the peoples friend, vote for me.
Except that the election is over, the Tories got in. Unless that’s not the election he’s thinking about.
Cameron announced he will be standing down before the next election. Now at the time I was thinking 2019 or half way through 2018, getting his replacement a year and a half to get comfortable in the big chair before starting to election campaigning. Now it’s like Cameron is on his last year or so, like a US president in the second half of his second term, coasting in the job between holidays.
Chilaxing his way through a last few free holidays . Like an employee counting down the days till they leave and no longer caring about the job, what are they going to do, fire him.
You can see it in the media as well, play a game of 'Spot the Dave' and try to find him being featured in a way that doesn't make him look embarrassed or powerless or on holiday.
All the fun of Pig gate. An angry rich man, someone who had poured significant sums of money into the pockets of various Tories in return for a job at the big table, snubbed and back for revenge. Now as the Klingon’s say, revenge is a dish best served cold, mostly so they aren’t expecting it and you can get close enough to stick the knife in real deep, but five years seems a bit long even for that. Why not go the whole hog (sorry) and release the story a year or two later, why wait so long.
Unless perhaps waiting until Dave is weak and vulnerable makes it a better blow, like for example when the people round him are counting down the days till he’s gone and being nice to his replacement.
A few years ago, after a shock Tory coalition government victory pig gate would have caused a laugh for a few days but not much more. Now though we have a man who isn’t in charge anymore, he’s already said he’s quitting, just not when, so everyone is looking to his replacement and Dave doesn’t matter anymore, no point buttering up the guy that’s leaving. So pig gate is hitting a man who, like Caesar, finds himself without friends or allies when the knife goes in.
Let’s face it when one of the only senior political figures defending you is Corbyn you know your career is over.
A year from now if Cameron is gone and Osborne is our new lord and master people will look back and see the story of a man’s bits and a pig’s head as being the thing that started the fall of ‘Call Me Dave”.
Ashcroft will be seen by history as having struck the first blow in the downfall of Dave.
China, big country, potential market, source of much investment.
Here we have Osborne on his presidential grand tour, giving speeches and meeting all the right people.
The state media have been praising his visit and how respectful he has been, not a mention of human rights to upset his generous hosts. Stage managed to give the very image of a presidential visit, just without the president.
Instead we have seen him arranging for Chinese money and companies to put in bids for HS2, I wasn’t aware UK companies had been asked to put in bids yet, oh and wasn’t parliament supposed to be voting on the whole are we doing HS2 or not thing. Yet there Osborne is getting Chinese companies involved.
Almost as if Osborne had decided that HS2 is going ahead anyway and the vote didn’t matter. Being all presidential again.
So I’m thinking about this and about next year or the year after, I’m wondering when we will be bowing and grovelling as President Osborne passes by. Or at least expected to grovel in his presence anyway.
We have three big events coming up, three big votes that have the potential to stick a lot of mud onto the politician who gets them wrong.
Trident, the replacement of a very expensive nuclear weapon, its subs and the continuation of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. Going to be contentious that one, lots of passionate people involved. If by some chance it goes wrong for the government and they are faced with either shutting it down or moving it to somewhere in England the poor sod responsible for the mess is going to pasted in the media and the Yanks are going to be a bit upset.
HS2, big, expensive, getting more expensive every time someone quotes figures and, like Trident, it’s a government project which means it will take twice as long and cost three times as much as they claim. This one will rip up a lot of countryside, continue the London centric focus of the government by helping yet more businesses get to the big city for meetings and make lots of people and wildlife homeless. Lots of passionate people in this one as well.
Then there is the big one, the elephant in the room. Europe. The EU. The promised referendum. When it was promised UKIP was four million people and it was easy to make them look like the loony right, isolated and out of touch. Now though, not so much
This vote doesn't have a fixed date but it can't be left too long, it will be delayed and delayed and then rushed through most likely late 2016 or early 2017. This will give the government plenty of time to prevaricate and then panic to get it done before the major European elections mid to late 2017, which may well throw a huge spanner into any UK negotiations as the European powers look to satisfy their own voters and not the British.
Now with the media full of pictures of refugees filling roads and trains, with the government talking of hordes and swarms. With Germany talking of hundreds of thousands and with scenes like the Hungarian border turning into a new Iron curtain it’s far harder to talk about the benefits of the EU. Yes we aren’t part of schengen but as soon as the refugees get EU papers they are then covered by the free movement of Europeans within the EU which is something I’m sure some of the anti EU groups are highlighting.
With economic woes growing and Europe drifting slowly into trouble as the world’s economy demonstrates that it isn’t recovered and that things aren’t all rosey glasses and happy music.
It won’t take much to tip the balance of votes to Out, TV news programs changing from hundreds storming the tunnel to tens of thousands will do it, it doesn’t matter if those people are tens of thousands or genuine refugees. The pictures will matter because passions are running high, just seeing what people think is happening will be enough.
Job losses because of Europe will do the same, despite the brave words of our Politicians the UK economy is NOT robust or healthy because we live in the world and the world economy is most certainly not a stable thing right now.
A few events, TV news, big job losses, another recession or even worse a full blown recession and that will be it. Passions to the front, logic to the back and the vote will be a resounding raspberry to the Eurocrats.
Europe is a mess, it has a lot of benefits but also a lot of problems, right now its getting a lot easier to point out the problems and let’s not even talk about the slow degradation of democracy across the EU that appears to be happening.
Of those three President Osborne seems confident that Trident and HS2 will either pass or the votes don’t matter, he’s going ahead anyway.
The last one though, that’s the real deal. The man who leads the country to that vote and an Exit from the European Union is dead and buried. Career ended, there won’t be a cosy future career as middle east envoy after that, besides Blair isn’t likely to want any competition.
So Osborne isn’t going to want to be involved in any of those. Hence Dave. If they go wrong there will be Dave to take the blame, his fault, his mistakes, his problem. If they go right, well it was sound economic policy, the firm hand of the chancellor on the tiller, Osborne for President.
I’m thinking we will have Dave with us till early or mid 2017 now. He will be around long enough to take any blame then be gone. Leaving Osborne six months to get his new cabinet in place then a good two years to settle in and work on the PR before the next election campaigning starts.
Thirty months to build a solid team to lead the Tories into battle with Labour and to, what I’m sure they think will be an inevitable victory.
So Dave out by early(ish) 2017 and President Osborne presiding over us by mid 2017 with the blond mop as backup to charm the masses.
What do you think?