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Coffee House

Osborne’s serenade

3 October 2011

5:49 PM

3 October 2011

5:49 PM

As James said, Osborne’s speech was a potent blend of economics and politics. One passage in particular stood out
politically: when Osborne referred to those who booed when Ed Miliband mentioned Tony Blair during his speech. He said:

‘You know, there was a time when Labour seemed briefly to realise that to win elections it had to accommodate itself to the real world, stop being anti-business, make peace with middle
Britain.

Not now. It’s over. Once they cheered Tony Blair, now they boo him. I fought three elections against Tony Blair, and I know the damage he did to our country. But it wasn’t just him they
were booing last week. They were booing the millions of voters who once turned to Labour because they thought Labour had changed. They were booing the business people who thought Labour wanted to
work with them. They were booing all those people who thought Labour had finally woken up to the modern world. But to all those people who heard those boos and realised they were aimed at them,
for all those people who aspire, who want a strong society and a strong economy, to those people abandoned by Labour today. I say the Conservative Party will be your voice.’

Some political observers say privately that those boos will be the defining moment of this conference season. Osborne certainly thought they were worth a mention – and a pitch.

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