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George Osborne's mischievous smile

Michael Crick | 16:10 UK time, Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A revealing comment by George Osborne at Demos this afternoon suggests what we've long suspected, that he and David Cameron don't always see eye-to-eye on foreign affairs.

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When asked about foreign policy in a question and answer session, Osborne replied something to the effect of: "I think I'd better leave the foreign policy to William Hague... Michael Gove and I stay strictly silent on foreign policy."

Then he gave a mischievous smile.

It's the mention of Michael Gove that is the telling point, for Gove wasn't even present at the Demos event. Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, like Osborne himself, is thought to be a "neo-con" in foreign policy - whilst both men are fully signed-up Cameroon modernisers in every other respect.

It's a division which is likely to become a lot more public if the Conservatives achieve office.

Update: I'm terribly sorry - I've just discovered that Michael Gove was at the meeting, but not on the platform. Nonetheless I think the general point is still very valid.
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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Why will the division become a lot more public?

    Maybe, unlike the Blair - Brown conflict, Osborne and Cameron actually respect each other and won't undermine each other.

    me thinks this is a bit of pro-Labour spin from Mr Crick.

  • Comment number 2.

    Michael Gove made a similar comment recently in response to a question from a reader of the Independent. Here is the quote:

    Q. "Why is the Conservative Party not calling for the abolition of top-up fees? Bernard North, Sutton"

    A. "I am afraid I will have to dodge this question – it is one for my colleague, the brilliant David Willetts, who deals with universities. "

    It is clear that the Conservative shadow cabinet knows not to step on another shadow cabinet minister's toe. George Osbourne's comment betrays an honest and open attitude to the differences of opinion in the shadow cabinet.

  • Comment number 3.

    Osbourne reminds me of the cad in Tom Brown's schooldays, Flashman, I think he would be pleased to be so described

  • Comment number 4.

    I would stick to reading the entrails of chickens if I were you, Michael. It was good enough for the Romans, so I expect Boris can give you some lessons.

  • Comment number 5.

    "it's the mention of Michael Gove that is the telling point, for Gove wasn't even present at the Demos event."

    "I've just discovered that Michael Gove was at the meeting, but not on the platform. Nonetheless I think the general point is still very valid."


    Thinking is good. And, when it comes to reporting, for some, telling, and possibly quite unique.

    It's a division which is likely to become a lot more public

    No doubt. No doubt. But then one will need to critically assess how often and from where one learns of what one hopes are folk capable of independent thought, especially if any factual basis has a 'narrative enhancement'.

  • Comment number 6.

    Mr Crick, once again you spout your left-wing rubbish. I have re-read your posts and nearly all of them are anti-Conservative.

    Please go away.

  • Comment number 7.

    I don't see this as left wing rubbish. You conservatives are full of your conspiracy theories.

    Penny Trader [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 8.

    Flashman sucking up to a wannabe Harry Whorton?

  • Comment number 9.

    Do your commenters who prattle that you are anti-conservative know the truth of the matter?

    I suspect that some of them do.

    A mutual friend, and your tory-friendly assumption about the next election - part of the bandwagon effect intended by Tory HQ no doubt - say quite the opposite.

    While you and former Young Conservative National Chairman Nick Robinson are in post the Beeb is as Labour looking as the Guardian.

  • Comment number 10.

    leftieoddbod is right about Osborne and Flashman.

    Flashman didn't always find suitable organs for his nefarious purposes though: in the Tory Party Osborne has.

    To·ry (tôr'ē, tōr'ē)
    n. pl. To·ries
    . . . .

    [Irish Gaelic tóraidhe, robber, from Old Irish tóir, pursuit; see ret- in Indo-European roots.]
    To'ry adj., To'ry·ism n.

    As the £40m fortune Osborne expects to inherit comes with a title from N Ireland and his family are members of " the Ascendancy, the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy." as Wiki has it, this is particularly appropriate.

  • Comment number 11.

    Michael Gove is one of the great intellects of the Conservative party and should not have been overlooked in your piece Michael.

    The more time this terrible toff gets on air the less likely a Tory victory.

    Keep him in the public eye he’s like Rigsby from Rising Damp only less endearing and a lot less funny.

    George and Mildred (David) may have their differences on Foreign Policy but it's their views on the economy which baffle everyone...They don't appear to have one...Dithering about whether to support the Prime Minister when the rest of the world and their aunties recognise it..Save us from these fools

 

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