Week 12: Villain – George Osborne

by Charlie_East_West on March 21, 2016

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This week’s villain award goes to George Osborne for overseeing the collapse of his 2016 Budget statement due to the bitterness surrounding disability cuts and the subsequent resignation of Iain Duncan Smith.

For one of the few times in his gilded political career, George Osborne is in a marginalised position of weakness. When he sat down immediately after his Budget statement to a chorus of cheers from his own backbenchers, little did he know that by the end of the week his ambitions to become the next Tory leader (and therefore Prime Minister) have blown up in his face.

Osborne has underestimated the power of the quiet man – Iain Duncan Smith. It is an open secret that Osborne and IDS haven’t exactly seen eye to eye over the years, with stories that Osborne considers IDS “a bit thick” – this internal feud has festered and now exploded around Osborne. This battle is partly about ego, but it is also about two separate visions of the future of the Tory party, the EU referendum and also future Tory leadership alignment.

Duncan Smith’s resignation has perhaps fatally wounded Osborne. It is a potentially seismic example of political revenge best served on a cold dish with the only leadership winner being Boris Johnson.

Osborne may have been a master tactician in terms of undermining external opposition such as the Labour Party, but he has failed to build alliances within his own party and now been outflanked by the enemy from within, in this case, Iain Duncan Smith, who has stabbed him in the front, back and sides. It may now be impossible for Osborne to recover from this especially now that David Cameron appears to be throwing Osborne under the bus over the disability benefits fiasco.

Politics is a bloody ruthless business, with Osborne being as ruthless as they come. Right now however, Osborne is receiving a dose of his own medicine.

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