Fresh Perspectives, Sparkling Insights
Last Thursday's by-elections have galvanised the Chancellor into radical action. If things continue as they are until 2015, Labour could probably gain a plurality just by displaying posters of Daveybloke's best next-door chum with the slogan Five More Years; so George the Progressively Osborne has done what any statesman of his calibre would do, and brought in some new sales staff. Neil O'Brien is the director of Policy Exchange, a yap factory which Britain's leading liberal newspaper describes as "centre-right". In a political discourse where the Reverend Blair is "centre-left", this apparently means O'Brien believes that you shouldn't demonise the unemployed while you're kicking them and that gay marriage is fine for those who can afford it. O'Brien wants to launch a "war on unemployment", by which he means a tax cut for employers; and he worries that, after only two and a half years of throwing money at the banks, pandering to press barons and cutting taxes for people on seven-figure salaries, the Real Conservatives are seen as the party of the rich. O'Brien was born in Huddersfield, which gives him an insight into the mind of the northern prole that complements his luminous perspicacity.