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Calling Osborne’s bluff

20 May 2010

2:30 PM

20 May 2010

2:30 PM

I’ve just read through George Osborne’s speech to the CBI annual dinner last night, and there’s much in there about free markets and tax cuts that will encourage
Tory supporters.  But one passsage seemed a little strange to me:

"And on the subject of coalitions, let me be absolutely frank.

As a member of the negotiating team, we did consider whether we could try to bluff our way into a minority government.

But it was David Cameron’s bold vision and Nick Clegg’s great foresight which saw, before anyone else, that that option would be the greatest compromise of all.

A weak, unstable government, risking defeat night after night in Parliament.

Struggling to take the tough decisions that have been put off for too long.

How much better to try and form a stable government with a majority of about 80, able to govern in the national interest?"

My question: why would Osborne go out of his way to admit that the Tory negotiating team thought about "bluff[ing] our way into minority government"?  Is it just to big up
Cameron and Clegg for their alternative vision?  Is it to reassure Conservative backbenchers that the Tory leadership weren’t 100% percent set on coalition from the very beginning?  Or am I
reading too much into it?

It’s no big deal, either way – but still quite curious.  CoffeeHousers, your thoughts please…

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