George Osborne’s speech on Friday was the best attempt we have heard yet from a politician to answer the future growth question. Matthew Parris, not a man given to hyperbole, described it as “thrilling” and “an example of what politics should be for”. Matthew Taylor, Tony Blair’s former policy chief, has also praised it, comparing it favourably to the speeches given by government ministers on the economy. This focus on the future is a potentially rich seam for the Tories to tap.
The Tories should learn from Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980: Reagan gave the voters straight talk about how bad the situation was and made sure that President Carter received his fair share of the blame for it but he never forgot to show how life would be better under the Republicans, how the country could make the economy grow again. Osborne, a keen student of American politics and the Reagan presidency, is beginning to set out the Tory version of that message.