Osborne has never struck me as having much of an intellect, still less as being bold enough to embrace change. Visionless, weak politicians instinctively like the big central State, and Osborne seems to be no exception.
The Tory party's most distinctive message had once been Cameron's desire to shift power from big government to localities. It gave welcome ideological substance to his rhetoric. The British people are not, like the American right, wholly averse to government and welfare. But in poll after poll, they dislike "big central government". They prefer what is local, communal, neighbourly. As they have shown in Scotland and Wales, they want local control over the raising and spending of taxes.Cameron's rejection of this programme under Osborne's influence has deprived him of his one distinctive and positive thrust. It was Tory and Tea Party at the same time. Though Cameron still talks local he refuses to free council taxes to take some of the pressure of central cuts, and even talks of freezing them. His decentralisation proposals are cosmetic and democratically empty.
If Cameron wants to gain in the polls, it's time he distanced himself from the yapping of his boyhood puppy.