Today to the surprise of pretty much no one, Lord Oakeshott reacted to the dysmal projections made by the ONS by calling for the replacement of George Osborne. He proposed that Osborne should be replaced by Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Skills and Innovation Vince Cable. Cable himself on this evening’s BBC Newsnight interview even loosely approved of the idea that he “probably would” make a good Chancellor whilst, importantly, acknowledging that he is still committed to the current set up.
Now I am not here to attach myself to the very anti-Osborne rhetoric of Oakeshott as I do respect a lot of what he has done as Chancellor, whilst acknowledging that he has never had any experience in an economic field. Osborne has certainly given our party a lot of space to be creative within the Budget for the last few years which has enabled us to promote Lib Dem policy, especially on taxation, to the top of the agenda. However, I do believe in such worrying economic times and with the recent projections of the economy shrinking, it is time we had a Chancellor with the experience necessary to help us pull the nation through these tough times.
That is why today I am calling for George Osborne to go and for Vince Cable to replace him as Chancellor. I know many will simply laugh off such a suggestion (even people from our own party) but I believe with an issue as important as the economy we need to put ideological barrier aside and back a man who has a proven track record in economics. As we know both Cable and Osborne vaguely follow the same track (Cable is always quick to back the direction of Osborne), so we would not necessarily see a drastically different road taken but at least we could sleep at night knowing that the ship is being steered by a man who is highly trusted by people from all sides (because lets not forget, the public still actually like Vince!).
So what I say is ignore the symbolism of having Vince at the head of the Treasury and consider that it may well be the very best thing we have to offer. And when I say we I mean this Coalition and I know I am not alone in this thinking.