Peter Hoskin

When did the Tories become an “alternative government”?

When did the Tories become an "alternative government"?
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There are a couple of noteworthy snippets in today's FT interview with George Osborne: the claim that the Tories may not take corporation tax as low as it is in Ireland; the outline of a "five-year road map" on business tax policy, etc.  But, I must admit, it's this passage which jumped out at me:   

"[Osborne] says his Tory conference speech in October, which included plans for a public sector pay freeze and an increase in the state retirement age, 'was an important moment' that showed a mental leap to being 'an alternative government, not just an opposition'."

These self-bestowed titles – "alternative government," and the like – are silly, really.  The only thing that actually matters is whom the public regards as governing material.  But it still seems odd for Osborne to be saying that the Tories only made the "leap" in October of this year – especially as William Hague was saying it back when Cameron took over as leader...