October 2017, after the crash

October 2017, after the crash: George Osborne wonders what went wrong

The chancellor might have looked in control in 2015, but the UK was badly exposed as the global economy faltered


October 2017: just hours to go, and still the words wouldn’t come. Other conference speeches had been straightforward. A few easy gags about the Labour leader, some gravelly bits about tough choices and the long-term economic plan and then – whoosh! – a rush of confident promises to zap the deficit and win the global race. The hall’s menagerie of blue-rinses and sixth-formers in suits got the message: George Osborne – a man you can trust with your finances, even if not love with all your heart. But now what was he going to say?

The chancellor glanced down at the A4 leaves, crawling with scribbles from his speechwriter and aides, and sighed. How different things had seemed just two years ago. Tory conference, autumn 2015: an election won, an economy humming, and him credited as the genius behind it all. Lobby hacks said he was the next prime minister. Lefty flacks thought he was parking tanks all over their parched little lawn. Westminster feared him; Beijing respected him. The world had hit Peak Osborne.

Read more: The Guardian

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