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Growth Versus Austerity - Not Anymore for the UK, Prime Minister

Posted: 19/05/2012 00:00

Something really extraordinary has happened this week.

In his speech to the IOD in Manchester, the prime minister has fashioned a new narrative for his government's economic agenda.

Before jetting off to the G8 in the US, he has talked of austerity WITH stimulus for the first time - and seems to have consigned to the political dustbin that 'binary choice' rhetoric of his first two years in government.

He is talking about project bonds to promote infrastructure, Eurobonds to solve Eurogeddon and measures to stimulate global trade.

On the first of these he is nodding to Francois Hollande's policy approach. While Cameron did not meet Hollande in London in the run up to the Elysee poll - the prime minister once again shows his hand as the arch pragmatist - just like Hollande.

Something tells me the two men will get on just fine round the Camp David log fire this weekend at the G8 - they have both remodelled their parties and are prepared to remodel their approach with a 'when the facts change...' mantra.

On Eurobonds he finds himself for perhaps the first time firmly at odds with Mrs Merkel - a more dangerous strategy.

Falling out with his centre right colleague on this issue may feed the perception he is not clear on Plan A any more for the UK.

Already Labour is painting this approach as a move towards Plan B.

Following a tortuous few months for the UK Coalition, where hard questions have been asked about the strength of the government's' narrative have been asked, the prime minister's speech is very significant.

It could prove to be a defining moment where the emphasis permanently shifts from austerity alone.

In fact some of the UK papers were caught on the hop following the speech with leader narratives urging the PM to follow Hollande. Listening to the prime minister that appeared to be just what he is doing.

With low to no growth in the UK, Camp David may prove to be an appropriately named location for one D Cameron.

Is he now pitching his tent on new political ground? I'm fascinated.

 

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