Week 44: Villain – George Osborne

by George_East on November 7, 2015


Tory_VillainLast week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to George Osborne, for his authoritarian and dishonest determination to see through the cuts to tax credits

You can spend all the time you like reading the Conservative manifesto from May’s election and you won’t find a whisper about cutting tax credits. There is a reference to reducing the welfare budget by £12Bn, but David Cameron and his party successfully avoided setting out any detail of what this meant and where cuts on that scale were to be found. They were aided in this by a supplicant media that did not ask the right questions and a Labour Party frightened to focus to much on welfare cuts, for fear of being associated in the public’s mind as the party of spongers.

Given there was no reference to cutting tax credits in the budget the House of Lords were perfectly entitled to raise objections to the measure.   The foot stomping tantrum displayed by George Osborne suggesting that somehow the upper house doing so was a constitutional outrage was as dishonest as the failure to include the cuts in the Tory manifesto in the first place. Of course the cry of ‘this is undemocratic’ has to be contrasted with the implacable opposition of the Conservative Party to any reform to the House of Lords – it is as devoid of principle as pretty much everything else about our odious Chancellor.

In response to the House of Lords’ vote George Osborne immediately announced a review of the Lords’ powers – acting like the bully who has had his nose tweaked. He also said he would think again while spinning that nothing fundamental would be changed, because of THE DEFICIT (and this is a government which is slashing inheritance tax, something which affects only a tiny proportion of the wealthiest). Osborne also claimed that changes to tax thresholds would somehow compensate for loss of tax credits: an £80 gain for a £1000 loss. Dishonest again.

Osborne is at the moment the dominant figure of British politics.   With the Labour Party, under Jeremy Corbyn, becoming less and less of a coherent political force, it was encouraging to see some effective resistance to this most brutal of Tory measures.  Osborne’s response makes him a worthy winner of the villain award – as it shows just how prepared he is to make the lives of the working poor immensely more miserable as a demonstration of his political strength.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

dan ash November 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm

You write that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is becoming less and less of a coherent political force. Don’t we all lament the unified Labour that endorsed Tory austerity.


Mike Killingworth November 8, 2015 at 6:41 pm

But does Corbyn – and, indeed, those who voted for him- actually want to manage capitalism, or even properly understand what that involves?


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