Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
23 November 2016, 12:31
This is James O'Brien's must-watch demoilition of the Conservatives' austerity programme.
James noted that Philip Hammond has used a lot of Ed Miliband policies as part of today's Autumn Statement.
And he says that proves that George Osborne's insistence on austerity was entirely unnecessary.
Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "Six years of being told that if you were troubled by the scale of the cuts being inflicted, in many cases, upon the most vulnerable, or at least the least well-off people in our country, then you were a 'deficit denier'.
"Remember when Ed Miliband didn't mention it in his conference speech and that was yet more evidence that the man was useless. The man was a joke. The man not only had a father who hated Britain but he didn't recognise the urgency of the deficit.
"All of them told you that we absolutely had to freeze public sector pay. We absolutely had to pick the pockets of disabled people and make them go through incredibly undignified experiences in order to establish their right to continue just about surviving. Some of them declared fit for work subsequently died. As you know many of them suffered stress-related conditions that have contributed to their physical and mental decline.
"And the rationale behind all of it was "We simply can't afford it. We simply can't afford it. We've got to freeze the pay for police officers, we've got to freeze the pay for nurses, we've got to freeze the pay for doctors. We've got to stop giving teachers pay rises, we've got to sack some public sector workers, we've got to get rid of the councils, the bins can't be collected. We've got to cut this, we've got to cut that, we've got to cut tha,t we've got to cut this, we've got to cut it all.'
"I really like the look of Philip Hammond, I like the cut of his jib. But he has adopted policies that were in the Labour Party manifesto and absolutely jettisoned all the policies that were in the Conservative Party manifesto. He couldn't have kicked George Osborne's vision further into touch if he tried."