Aaagghhh... Twitter not working and it's #askthechancellors time! So let's blog it...
Alistair so far coming across as most human, most likeable (but then I do like him, he actually has a very dry sense of humour). The journos before questioned whether the unflappable Chancellor would prove to be flappable.... I predict not, though he's displaying more passion than most might have expected. Especially those who listened to his Budget speech last week! (Sorry Alistair, but it brought a whole new meaning to 'not playing to the gallery', except on the tax agreement with Belize announcement, the drama of which was somewhat lost on me because I thought it had already been in the papers; it hadn't, we'd had a briefing at the whips meeting earlier).
Osborne opening his response to the "why me" question with "I've been watching someone else do the job for five years" was a bit of a schoolboy error, did nothing to counter the notion that's he's inexperienced and never had a proper job. And Cable seems to be playing interrogator rather than answering questions. Now he's talking about savage cuts. Savage to me means vicious, attacking the weak and vulnerable. Radical cuts would be a better choice of terminology if he wants to signify something more than 'substantial'. (Twitter working again now....)
Might as well do a postscript... as predicted, Osborne wasn't exactly bad but didn't inspire confidence, and doubt if he said anything to win over anyone who wasn't a Tory in the first place. He comes across like a junior minister at best. Would have liked Alistair to have kept up the momentum a bit more, if he'd been stood next to Osborne I think dynamics would have worked better. As for Cable, people seem to like him but I just don't see the passion, or the politics. Does he really want to change the world?
(Also, I'd like to see him and Clegg firmly put on the spot about the unions, and what role they see for them in protecting workers' rights in a modern economy.... I don't think the support is there. And, as I've just been reminded on Twitter, Vince Cable said on this week's Any Questions that all strikes in the public sector should be banned. True, my jaw dropped when I heard him. David Miliband, btw, was very good on it - worth a relisten for his summary of Labour plans to cut the deficit).