Thursday 14 July 2016

George Osborne has finally been sacked

One of the first things Theresa May did as Prime Minister was to sack George Osborne. Given his appalling performance as Chancellor the only surprises are that it took so damned long, and that the woman who ended up sacking him was one of the only people in David Cameron's government who rivalled him in sheer bloody-minded ineptitude.

Over the last few years I've written dozens of articles criticising George Osborne and his ideologically driven fixation with his economically illiterate "let's cut our way to growth" austerity agenda.

It would take weeks to write comprehensive analysis of all of George Osborne's blunders over the last six years, so I'll just provide a few bullet points:
  • In 2010 Osborne promised that his austerity agenda would eliminate the budget deficit by 2015. In 2015 he promised that his austerity agenda would eliminate the budget deficit by 2020. In June 2016 he admitted that eliminating the deficit would be impossible by 2020. In July 2016 he was sacked.

  • George Osborne repeatedly turned a blind eye to corporate tax-dodging. In January 2016 he even presented a deal to let Google pay a 3% tax rate on their profits as some kind of triumph!
This is a non-exhaustive list because there are plenty of other things too like lying about having no plans to cut VAT before the 2010 General Election, the pasty tax, booting reform of the financial sector into the long grass, turning up to parliament looking like he's on a severe drugs come-down, the Tax Credits debacle, shooting down EU legislation intended to clamp down on tax-dodging ..

Despite all of this evidence of failure and ideologically driven lunacy, George Osborne managed to stay as Chancellor for six years because he succeeded in doing the one thing he needed to, which was to transfer massive amounts of wealth from the poor and ordinary to the super-wealthy minority. As long as he continued doing that he was always going to get a free pass from the billionaire sociopaths who own the majority of the UK press.

As long as Osborne continued giving tax cuts to corporations and the super-rich and turning a blind eye to tax-dodging, the likes of Rupert Murdoch (S*n, Times, Sky), Jonathan Harmsworth (Mail, Metro), The Barclay brothers (Telegraph, Spectator) and Richard Desmond (Express, Star) were always going to give him a very easy ride.

I've been criticising George Osborne for so long it should have felt like a triumph to see him sacked and sent off to the back benches with no fanfare. But it didn't because the Tories are still in power and despite her tirade of misleading rhetoric about how she gives a damn about poor people and the working class, Theresa May has given no indication that she's going to change direction and ditch Osborne's socially and economically destructive ideological austerity agenda.

The problem with Tory ideology is that it's like a Lernaean Hydra. You can cut off some of its heads (David Cameron and George Osborne) but it simply regrows even more appalling ones like Theresa May and Philip Hammond to continue restructuring society in favour of the super-rich minority at the expense of pretty much everyone else.

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