From day one, George Osborne framed the debate on the economy as a debate about borrowing, debts and deficits. Unlike defensive Labour, however, the voters don't seem to buy it.
The public seem less convinced by the failed politics and failed economics of the past than ever. What people do want to see is a credible alternative to austerity that holds out hope for the future and removes fear and insecurity from people's lives.... As opinion polls show clearly, the British people don't believe in George Osborne's 'long-term economic plan'. And nor, it seems, does he.
In today's autumn statement, the Chancellor George Osborne has cleverly used a mix of spin and deceit to hide the biggest, unaddressed issues in the British economy: the national debt and deficit... Only Ukip, it seems, is being truthful and honest with the British people on the realities that we face on our budget deficit and national debt in an ever competitive world.
As the Chancellor rose to his feet this afternoon to deliver the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament, he had a real opportunity in front of him - a chance to set out both a bold vision for the longer term and to help families struggling now.
BUDGET CUTS. The headline has been blasted on the front pages of every newspaper (apart from the tabloids obviously, who opted for more cultured titles such as 'BUDGET CUTS MORE DIFFICULT TO EXPERIENCE THAN THIS VIDEO OF A PREGNANT HAMSTER' and 'PAGE 3 GIRLS USE QUOTES BY PLATO AND ARISTOTLE TO DESRIBE GEORGE OSBOURNE').
While within Westminster the debate continues to go round and round, here in Newham the urgency for Government action is clear. Tomorrow, the Chancellor should start to reframe social security as a long-term investment rather than a bill in which to find politically easy yet socially damaging short-term.
We can't go on just trying to cope with the effects of problems, we need real commitment to preventing them or reducing them early. Without this, we will continue wasting young people's potential, and wasting money that would have been better spent earlier.
In the first 10 days of #CameronMustGo trending on Twitter there have been in excess of half a million tweets using the hashtag. Behind in the polls, with Ukip snapping at his ankles like a Pekingese, the mass vote of no confidence in the prime minister is the last thing he needs as he hurtles towards the general election...
Last time, I discussed the need for the NHS to differentiate between 'treatment' and 'care'. In the last week, three stories have emerged to support this view
If we want an informed debate, it would help if the immigration figures mean what the public thinks they mean. Figures should be accurate, with long-awaited entry and exit checks implemented. They should be reported in a way that makes sense to people.
This is the statement George Osborne would not want you to see because it makes clear that subsidies, allowances and reliefs extend right across the UK economy. And they do not, by any means, appear to go to those who necessarily need them most. The view he has presented on this issue has been partial, to say the least, and frankly deeply misleading at best.
What is sure is that all the best plans start with a clear vision. If our prospectus achieves nothing else, then we hope that inspires others to pursue ideas that will define a new generation. We cannot go back in time to correct historical under-investment, but we can make plans for a future where once again the North will flourish.
For Cameron to say, in response to the Wanless report, "It is important that it says that there wasn't a cover-up. Some of the people who've been looking for conspiracy theories will have to look elsewhere" seems astonishingly callous and shows little respect for survivors.
The average British family has not been anywhere near so fortunate as the highest earners, however, and will be £974 a year worse off by 2015 because of tax and benefit changes introduced since 2010... Can there be any greater fallacy than George Osborne's desperate claim that "we're all in this together"?
To make sense of this the government needs to understand that caring does not function like the money economy. Time spent on it is not a cost to society, but a vital benefit, and the more of it a society can do, the richer it becomes.
More is it at stake than immediate political positioning. The agendas adopted now will define the policy space for most of the next parliament... Perhaps the present consensus on the haste of deficit reduction is deserving of greater scrutiny than is currently afforded by much of the UK's political class.