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The Iron Lad: Osborne Hailed as Thatcher’s Heir

Kiran Moodley, special to CNBC.com
Thursday, 21 Mar 2013 | 7:33 AM ET
Rosie Hallam | Getty Images

The British media enjoy any opportunity to hail or condemn Margaret Thatcher, and the current Chancellor's 2013 budget – which emphasized home ownership and hard work – gave them such a moment.

The Daily Mail, a right-leaning tabloid with a circulation just under 2 million,was supportive of George Osborne's budget and created a photo-shopped image of the Chancellor with Thatcher's trademark bouffant and blue suit.

Under the headline, "The Laddies Not For Turning," a reference to a famous speech by the female prime minister, the newspaper praised the Tory MP for his attempt to restore the "Aspiration Nation" of the 1980s that Thatcher's particular brand of conviction conservatism introduced.

The Iron Lad? Osborne Turned Into Thatcher
CNBC's Squawk Box Europe discusses the British tabloid take on the UK budget.

Thatcherite policies in the new budget included a 130 billion pound scheme to help more than 500,000 buy a home, which mirrored the former prime minister's "Right to Buy" scheme that allowed council tenants to purchase their homes.

Of course, while a reference to Thatcher is a compliment for those on the right of British politics and society, for others it is anathema. Labour Party politicians, like Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, will use it to their advantage.

Indeed, with Chancellor Osborne joining Twitter yesterday, Balls could use the Daily Mail image to rack up more followers. On ITV1's Daybreak program this morning, Osborne said that he is now in competition with Balls in terms of follower numbers.

(Read More: Osborne Defends $5.3 Billion Housing Stimulus)

Balls currently has almost 78,000 followers, while newcomer Osborne trails on 34,000,impressive after just 24 hours on the social networking site.

Speaking of the Daily Mail Thatcher cover, Osborne said it made him "choke on my toast and Marmite this morning."

It's not certain whether that means the Chancellor approved of the comparison, or his new hairstyle.

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