Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has added his voice to the chorus of those calling for the resignation of the Chancellor George Osborne. This follows Iain Duncan Smith’s explosive U-turn on the government’s disability cuts and his accompanying resignation from the Cabinet. In an interview with Sky News, Corbyn was damning of the Chancellor’s record on the economy, his honesty with the public, and the recent budget.
The budget requires that a number of votes be taken on it, and there are very serious doubts as to whether it will get through the Commons in its current form. Shadow Chancellor John Mcdonnell says that the budget needs to ripped apart and drawn up from scratch. He points out that there are gaping holes in the budget, with over £4 billion in cuts not accounted for.
I can’t see how the Budget can now go forward this week because a huge hole has now opened up within the Budget itself. Already Osborne had to find £3.5m of cuts which were unidentified but now there’s another £4bn so I can’t see how this Budget can proceed this week.
But George Osborne is also facing a barrage of criticism from within his own party. In the wake of Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation one Tory MP unflatteringly compared Osborne to the Child Catcher character from the children’s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, saying:
Osborne’s dead in the water even without the budget. George is like the Child Catcher. The IDS resignation just cements the idea in the public’s minds that George is unpopular, unfriendly and has not done a very good job.
I suppose what I’m asking is… What’s a bloke got to do in your job to get the sack?
Upon Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation, one Tory MP said:
The wrong person has resigned. If George Osborne had been as good a chancellor as IDS has been at the [work and pensions department] we wouldn’t have a deficit now.
The Chancellor’s hopes of becoming Prime Minister are now widely believed to be dead in the water, with another senior Tory saying:
George is clearly unfit for the job.
The same MP, just to ram the point home, also said:
The resignation letter couldn’t be more pointed. It is saying he is literally not fit to wear the mantle.
It’s a rare moment when so many voices are in agreement. On the left and on the right of the political spectrum, within the halls of Westminster and outside it, there is a realisation that the Chancellor’s entire stewardship of the economy has failed.
But this furore is also part of a split in the Conservative party. The usual obedience to Cameron is starting to crumble. Recently he has been told to ‘stop acting like a dictator’. The prospect of a British exit from the EU has been a flashpoint for the chaos, but so too was the cabinet’s defeat on cuts to Tax Credits – a move as unpopular among Tory backbenchers and the House of Lords as it was among the public.
As has been pointed out many times before, George Osborne is not qualified to run the economy. With an bachelor’s degree in Modern History rather than economics, it is doubtful whether he would have snagged the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first place, if it were not for the fact that he was in the same class at school as David Cameron. It is time for Osborne to go.
-Will Osborne jump, or does he need a push? Demand Cameron dumps the Chancellor.
-Write, blog, or just voice your opinion in the pub. Spread the word, he’s got to go.
-Grab the attention of your local MP by writing to them.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?