“A shining example of the art of the possible”

With all the economic gloom and doom about it’s good to hear that one person is upbeat about the economy, and that person is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Yesterday in Parliament Osborne gave a characteristically optimistic spin to the UK’s economic prospects. But, as Hugh Muir observes in the Guardian, one is not exactly filled with reassurance at Osborne’s confident analysis:

Finally, Britain’s finances are back on track, says Georgie Osborne, but how can we believe him? Hard to forget that Times piece he wrote back in 2006 saying that Ireland’s economic management was brill. And can we say that was just an aberration? ‘Fraid not. For that would be to ignore another interview which has now come to light; one Osborne gave that spring to Magill, an esteemed Irish current affairs magazine. Why are you here, they asked him? “To learn from your success,” he said. “Not so long ago, the idea that a British politician would come to Ireland to see how to run an economy would have seemed absurd. But today, Ireland is a shining example of the art of the possible.” Blame the other lot, said Georgie. “The left got us stuck debating a false choice, between lower taxes or spending on public services. Ireland proves that you can do both.” Four years later and it’s “Hello again Ireland. Here’s a cheque for 6bn quid.”

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About Holloway Rev

Paul Weary is a Methodist minister living and working in Holloway, North London.
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