Nice suit, George – now how about some policies ?

Andrew Marr had the pleasure of George Osborne’s company on his Sunday morning show on the Beeb today. The Shadow Chancellor treated us to more waffle about the “… values …” of a Tory government – but no actual plans. Particularly irritating was the deflection of questions on specifics by continually spouting that he knows the electorate best and what we really want is the end of a Labour government. So “Labour Out” then, at any cost.

Is it fair that the Conservatives cannot be specific (about cuts in public services, for example) without more economic data ? Seems reasonable but surely they could posit something more tangible than George’s “specific examples” ? They come across as being scared of being called out (again) by government economists who disparage any figures they generate (prompted by the likes of Darling and Brown who inappropriately used Treasury civil servants to rubbish previous Tory pronouncements).

Marr’s guests Greg Dyke and Jane Moore had already raised the interesting Sunday Times headline that Brown is on track for retaining power – the result of a YouGov poll which sees the difference between the two nags in this electorial race dropping to 2%. A prominent Labour-loving headline from a News International brand is certainly a bit of a surprise !

As the interview progressed, I felt Osborne did say more. The problem with this – and Osborne is not alone – is that to the viewer, the die is cast when he has spent 10 minutes already NOT answering the question. By the time he gets to telling us something, we have stopped listening.

So once again: what do the Tories have in store for us ? When are they going to say something tangible and stop blowing raspberries and going ‘nah nah nah’ to Labour ?

  • What will a Conservative government really do to the BBC ?
  • How will promised tax reductions (in inheritance and corporation tax) be paid for ?
  • What plans do the Conservatives have for electoral reform ?
  • What plans do the Conservatives have for reforming MP’s remuneration and standards in public life ?
  • What are the key foreign policy plans that the Conservatives wish to pursue ?
  • Foreign policy specifics, please: Afghanistan, Iraq and Europe would be a start. Israel, Gaza and the Falklands would also be nice to know. Come on William (Hague) !

Maybe we will hear more as the Tories gather in Brighton for their last hurrah before the election. Hope so. With luck, perhaps today’s middling media coverage will prompt Cameron to be more positive and less patronising in talking to voters. If not, he needs to learn that all Labour need do is sit back, say little and they will win. The latest Labour tactic of scaremongering about a return to a “right-wing” government under the Tories is working. Cameron needs to counter it – but with policies, not pouting.