As the Conservative Party’s annual conference kicked off yesterday in Birmingham with a hopeful opening speech from the party chairman Grant Shapps, George Osborne has given his long awaited speech today, not the Miliband style without notes though.
Reading his notes carefully in front of the podium, he vowed to cut a further £10bn from the benefits budget to fight the deficit in order to kick-start the economy and has also pledged for the rich to pay a higher tax, but the budget could not be balanced “on the wallets of the rich”. He also said “the economy is healing” but added that “healing is taking longer than we hoped, because the damage was greater than we feared.”
His speech deemed to be more serious and it felt like he was speaking in the Commons rather than at a conference, but of course, there was the occasional, sarcastic remarks at Ed Miliband – “People marvelled at Ed Miliband’s feat of memory. So did I.”
He did not let Miliband get away with using the slogan ‘One Nation’ last week and he described his use of the slogan as ‘risible’ and said “They are all part of one nation: one nation working together to get on. That is the nation I represent. Those are the people who I will serve as Chancellor.” Is it me or is ‘One Nation’ becoming a little bit overused now? I think the Tories want their slogan back as they have been dwelling on it for the past week.