David Davis’ speech today is the most significant criticism of the coalition’s economic policy from Tory ranks. Davis might not be the force he was back in the early 2000s but he’s still a big figure who demands attention.
To be sure, there’s much in the speech that the Chancellor would agree with—the criticism of green taxes, for instance—and it is worth noting that Davis avoided calling for Osborne to go. But the speech with its call for ‘economic shock therapy’ and lament that the cuts have been done at too slow a pace was full of criticisms both implicit and explicit of Number 11. ( I wonder, though, whether in coalition a speedier deficit reduction programme would have been possible.)
There are a considerable number of Tory MPs and ministers who, privately, sympathise with the Davis critique. I suspect that after the reshuffle a few more of them will go public. The fringe at conference this year could be as interesting as the main stage.Tags: Conservatives, David Davis, Growth, UK politics