Blair was the phoney. We will be straight with people | George Osborne - Times Online
Since the new year, we are the party that has been setting out the new policy ideas that will change Britain. Perhaps that has made it too easy for the Labour Party simply to attack us while escaping scrutiny itself. That will now change. We will continue to set out our own positive ideas, but we will also ask searching questions about Mr Brown’s record and whether he has anything new to offer. That is the spotlight Labour is desperate to avoid. It won’t be able to now.
That brings me to the second decision we have taken. Oppositions have two paths they can follow. They can either promise real change, or they can play it safe with phoney pledges. Tony Blair and new Labour did the latter in 1997. It took him to new highs in the polls, but led to new lows of public cynicism when the promised change never materialised. With the problems that the country now faces, a repeat of that experience would be a disaster for our democracy. The country yearns for change. When asked, more than 80 per cent of people believe Britain is heading in the wrong direction.
They know Mr Brown won’t change anything. What people want to be sure of is that the Conservatives really will offer Britain a new direction. That means more than promising change; it also means being straight with people about the choices needed to deliver it.
So yes, we will turn an economy built on debt into one that saves and invests. We will bring radical reform to our schools system, and do what no government has done before by overhauling a welfare system that has for generations trapped families in poverty. Our plans to take power away from central government and hand it to people mean a transformation in the way we are governed.
That then leads some to ask whether Conservatives can really deliver change. This goes to the heart of the issue that always faces the Conservative Party: do we represent change and reflect the modern world? We made our decision on that almost five years ago when our party members chose Mr Cameron to lead them.
Every time his leadership has been tested — whether in the days before the cancelled 2007 election, or in the heat of the expenses scandal, or when some did not want to increase our number of women and ethnic minority MPs — David has put his foot on the accelerator of change. He made us the party of the environment. We have shown how we will not balance the budget on the backs of the poorest.
So we have made our decisions. This election is a choice. At the end of it, you will either have Gordon Brown for another five years or a new lead from David Cameron. This election is about change. We Conservatives have changed our party and now we are ready to serve, ready to bring the real, lasting change that Britain needs.
George Osborne is the Shadow Chancellor
via www.timesonline.co.uk (Colour highlights added by me)
What are you going the change, Mr Osborne, seeing you feel the need to mention that all-mighty word so often? Your socks? Your diet? Your hair-style? The colour of your front door? What????
Please, for once, for a change, could you and all the others change your tune and state facts instead of election campaign drizzle?
Pledges - where? Serve - whom? Shown - how? Deliver - what and when?
Fortunately also in The Saturday Times - ponderings about ethics and morality:
Why the Ancient Greeks were wrong about morality - Jonathan Sacks
"Consider what moves people today: the environment, hunger and disease in Third World countries, and the growing gap between rich and poor. These are noble causes: nothing should be allowed to detract from that. They speak to our altruism. They move us to make sacrifices for the sake of others. That is one of the distinguishing features of our age. Our moral horizons have widened. Our conscience has gone global. All this is worthy of admiration and respect.
But they have in common the fact that they are political. They are the kind of issues that can only ultimately be solved by governments and international agreements. They have little to do with the kind of behaviour that was once the primary concern of morality: the way we relate to others, how we form bonds of loyalty and love, how we consecrate marriage and the family, and how we fulfil our responsibilities as parents, employees, neighbours and citizens. Morality was about private life. It said that without personal virtue, we cannot create a society of grace."
Which makes - for a change - almost the prefect link to my ponderings of yesterday - what really drives us?
OK, rant and ponderings over (for now).