Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The George Osborne affair

Gordon Brown is trying to up the ante on this by calling for an enquiry, but I can't see this having any great lasting impact. Clearly, though it is embarrassing for the Conservatives in terms of their ability to communicate their concern for the problems of those on relatively low incomes. It is also doesn't help Osborne's reputation much which has suffered somewhat during the financial crisis with rumours of a return for John Redwood to the front benches.

Osborne seems to have upset Mandy by breaking the code of 'omerta' which covers these occasions and Nat Rothschild is also upset. Never mess with a Rothschild.

The report in the Financial Times verges on the sensational for the pink 'un. The Russian oligarch's yacht is described as 'something straight out of a James Bond film, complete with deep-pile carpet, uniformed crew and speedboats.' Oxford University's Bullingdon Club, of which Mr Osborne and Mr Rothschild were members, along with Dave Cameron, is described as 'an elitist society whose members like to disport black tie and a condescending sneer.' It is also described as a society 'known for its drunken hellraising' which could apply to student activities at the most unfashionable of universities.

The FT speculates that Nat Rothschild was angry on behalf of his friend Oleg Deripaska over Dave Cameron's anti-Russia stance during the Georgia conflict during this summer, when the Tory leader proposed withdrawing British visas from oligarchs.

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