Coffee House The View from 22

The View from 22 – Battle of the Chancellors special

30 October 2012

The Spectator hosted a packed-out debate last night on the motion — ‘George Osborne isn’t working: we need a Plan B’ — and you can now hear the outcome for yourself. As Isabel reported earlier, it was an evening of intense discussion and disagreement, so we have recorded the entire evening for you to listen at your leisure. The event lasted nearly two hours, so here are the timings for the individual speakers:

  • 03:12 – Alistair Darling (for)
  • 10:25 – Jesse Norman (against)
  • 19:04 – Matthew Oakeshott (for)
  • 27:42 – Fraser Nelson (against)
  • 36:10 – David Blanchflower (for)
  • 47:13 – Norman Lamont (against)
  • 54:30 – Question and answers with Andrew Neil
  • 1:39:08 – Final remarks

You can listen back to the debate with the embedded player below or by subscribing to our regular View from 22 podcast through iTunes.

The View from 22 – Battle of the Chancellors special. Length 1:49:49
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Show comments
  • Damian Buckley

    Terrific debate. I think the Plan A and Plan B camps are closer together than many people realise, which is perhaps suggested by Fraser Nelson’s point that the scale of Osborne’s cuts is only marginally greater than those planned by Darling.

    All the same, I think it’s unhelpful to brand Plan B borrowing as ‘more debt’ when Plan A has also involved borrowing – and at a rate much higher than promised by the plan’s advocates. Neither side wants more debt. The argument is about the best way to cut the debt. And it is an oversimplification to say that it’s cuts versus invest-to-grow. It’s the balance between the two that’s at stake. There have to be cuts, and there has to be some investment to stimulate growth. Lord Oakeshott in particular wanted a structural stimulus that would barely impact on our borrowing. He was the best speaker in my book.

  • Paddy

    Who would listen to Blanchflower?

    Never had a proper job. Socialist. Big friend of Brown.

  • Swiss Bob

    This Blanchflower?

    Blanchflower, who was until recently a member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee and has long warned of a surge in unemployment and youth joblessness in particular, called for measures such as wage subsidies to encourage employers to take on young workers. He also advocated removing national insurance contributions for anyone under 25 for two years. He predicted unemployment would keep rising “well into 2010” probably to around 3.4 million. “Attempts to cut public spending and withdraw monetary and fiscal stimulus too soon may push unemployment closer to 4 or even 5 million,” he added.

  • Skibbereen Eagle

    Darling let himself down badly by a very petulant reply to a lady bond dealer who pointed out that UK 10 year bond rates had closed for the day at 1.8%, whereas those for Spain and Greece were 5.6% and 10.18% respectively.

    • Daniel Maris

      I’m not surprised it was petulant. What relevance does that have to anything?

      And bond dealing is hardly a qualification for pronouncing on economic policy. The bond markets normally get it wrong.

      • anyfool

        And bond dealing is hardly a qualification for pronouncing on economic policy.

        And what qualifications does Darling bring to the table, lets see various ministerial posts inc some treasury ones during the period when he and his fellow party experts, financial geniuses to a man and woman who took a country in rude financial help with the best pension provisions in the G8 and in ten years totally destroyed the country socially and financially.
        So give me that woman’s advice before that communist buffoon.

        • Deborah Croft

          And what qualifications does Darling bring to the table …?

          He was only Chancellor of the Exchequer, that’s all. QBE.

          The difference in bond rates has little to do with Osborne’s policies. It has more to do with the UK having its own currency and therefore a much lower risk of default.

          • HellforLeather

            Osborne endorses, with enthusiasm, a BOE policy to keep interest rates artifically low by printing money (QE) on a Mugabonomics scale.

          • anyfool

            Did you actually read what i said before writing your critique, my post was about Darling being overinflated by idiots who should know better i mentioned he had held financial posts which would include Chancellor a title he had in name only, he was a Brown cover with no power as he was told what to put in his budget, ignore the supposed fights with Brown because if they were actual disagreements he is even more spineless than i supposed because anyone with an once of pride would have resigned, he is a man without any redeeming features as was shown in the expenses saga.
            That you state that the current bond rates have nothing to do with Osbornes policies show an alarming lack of awareness, what do you think they would be if the financial illiterates that are in the Labour Party were in power.
            Having our own currency does not reduce the risk of default it just gives you more time to avoid it and you can be sure if Balls or Darling were chancellor default would be at hand or interest rates would be nearer double figures than they are now thereby ensuring extremely deep cuts to public sector wages and pensions.

      • Skibbereen Eagle

        @ Daniel Maris

        Were you there ? If you were then you would know the topic was debt, increasing the UK’s debt (to provide a hoped-for stimulus) and the cost thereof – especially if, as a result, the UK’s credit rating slumped.

        The information the lady provided clearly touched a sensitive point in Darling’s make-up. And it seems to have touched likewise with you.

        And what evidence or authority can you provide that proves your assertion that the “bond markets normally get it wrong” ? (note the get-out-of-jail qualification – “normally”). Do you really believe you can beat the market – they won’t jump just because you say they should.

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