This highly critical article in the Guardian suggests that the former chancellor’s reputation lies in tatters after six years of punishing the poor and rewarding the rich, claiming that this all prompted the referendum revolt.
Whilst, the cards collapsed for George Osborne, just like David Cameron, this article misses a number of points. I think that it’s too biassed but the conclusion is probably right.
Firstly, Labour left the national finances in a disaster and by hook or by crook Osborne improved matters. My colleague John Gelmini and I have repeatedly said that Osborne was never ruthless enough with the public sector. Also he let austerity last far too long.
Secondly, Osborne never had a cohesive strategy to improve the effectiveness of both the public and private sectors. He never really focussed on investment nor the massive improvements required to national skills and education compared to international benchmarks.
Thirdly, Osborne was a political leader first and financial minister second. He never addressed the weakness of the banking sector and created a property boom with government guarantees to win public confidence for the election.
In short, Osborne was too much smoke and mirrors. Like David Cameron, he gambled and lost.