His Mansion House speech offered an opportunity to shift the tone of Brexit policy towards openness, liberalism, free trade and responsible capitalism.
Conservative MPs should get wise to Osborne’s attempt to bluff, panic and stampede them into backing Single Market membership – and no proper migration control.
The Party is damned if she goes quickly, and damned if she doesn’t. And, all the while, the threat of a no confidence challenge hangs over her head.
It is doubtless bad manners to ask, on day two of his new job, what he will do next. But posing the question and trying to answer it is irresistible.
The former Chancellor begins his transition from the Commons as an MP to a newspaper as an editor.
He will carry on “fighting for that Britain I love” as editor of the Evening Standard.
During a meeting with other disgruntled Conservative MPs, George Osborne allegedly told the Education Secretary: “Now you see why I didn’t do this.”
You may well hear grumbling from businesses about the levy which will help to fund them – but the effort will be worth it.
The Government’s opponents face a choice between cobbling together a rearguard vehicle for the negotiations or adapting to what comes next.
Ultimately, happiness derives from things outside the state’s control. To the extent they can, politicians should encourage businesses that deliver them.
His time as an MP is surely coming to an end, but Conservatives will miss the former Chancellor’s enthusiasm for technology and global competitiveness.
If politicians will create a big, interventionist state, then voters will expect them to manage it on a full-time basis.
If an MP neglects his constituents then they can throw him out.
Yet even if their concerns don’t ultimately lead to them backing someone else, these shouldn’t simply be dismissed as having no consequences.
In the short-term, this editorship unleashes a clowder of cats in the Conservative dovecot. In the longer, the move looks like a step nearer Westminster’s exit door.