David Cameron’s statement to the Commons on the G20 wasn’t as lyrical as his response to Russia’s ‘small island jibe’. But it was a reminder of the needle that now exists between Cameron and Miliband. In previous times, these statements—which are far less tense affairs than PMQs—have seen a bit of badinage between the two front benches. But that has now gone.
The statement was dominated by Syria, which Cameron called the ‘refugee crisis of our time’. When Cameron talks about his defeat in the Commons on Syria, he speaks very quickly, with no pauses between the words. It’s as if he wants to get talking about it over as quickly as possible.
It was the exchanges on the economy that were most revealing in terms of domestic politics. Cameron made much of Britain being an ‘economy turning the corner’. Miliband hit back that this didn’t feel like much of a recovery to most people, that it was a recovery for the few. Cameron’s response to this attack was to cite how more than a million new private sector jobs have been created and the number of new apprenticeships. The Tories, though, are, I suspect, going to need a more direct answer to the charge that this is a ‘recovery for the few’.
In his speech this morning, George Osborne hinted that there will be some specific policies on the cost of living soon, saying ‘there are important improvements we can make to the scale of energy and water bills, the cost of housing, the fees paid for everyday financial services, the expense of rail and road travel.’ Getting these right is going to be key to the Tories rebutting Labour’s cost of living attack.Tags: David Cameron, Economy, Ed Miliband, G20