Saturday, 4 October 2008

“Do you know as much about economics as Vince Cable, George?”

and I thought it well worth reproducing (thanks to Sara Bedford for the research). It is about an exchange on the Today programe when Evan Davis gave both Alistair Darling and George Osbourne a dressing down over their economic failures, telling them:
“You both represent this part of the very same system of deregulated capitalism that has got us into this.”
But the best part came when he spoke directly with George Osbourne. Davis said:
“It sounds to me like I should vote for Vince Cable. Vince Cable was against demutualising the building societies back in the 1990s when your government was doing that. Vince Cable was sending me as an economics editor emails every three weeks, about the levels of debt through the last five years and he has been instrumental in saying that the taxpayer needs to be protected nationalising the banks and in having the upside risks as well as the downside ones are the way to go. Why if I am angry would I vote for you over him.”
Osbourne had no response, except to make snide remarks about looking forward to ince supporting a Conservative budget proposal. Evan Davis, sensing a back foot move when he saw one, went for the jugular.
“Do you know as much about economics as Vince Cable, George?”
The surprise and stuttering in Osbourne’s voice could not have been greater if Davis has produced his famed intimate jewelery and dropped if on the table at a family dinner party. He sounded although the most unpleasant remark had been made by an outsider at an upper class dinner party (and having been to several Tory Conferences in the 1990s representing my employer, that’s exactly how you can be made to feel).
“Well, er, I, er, oh, er …”
“He was the Chief Economist at Shell!”
offered Davis, helpfully.
“I was not Chief Economist at Shell, but, er um I do spend a lot of time talking to people across the economy .”
said Osbourne. Even over the airwaves you could sense him looking around for his press aide, hoping to be told that the time was up and he needed to go and discuss fashion trends for Autumn with Lorraine Kelly.