Saturday, September 20, 2008

Iain Dale: George Osborne should not be Tory chancellor

Yesterday Iain Dale suggested that if (Iain said "when" - arrogance may yet be the Tories' undoing) David Cameron becomes prime minister he should make Kenneth Clarke chancellor of the exchequer.

I have always liked Clarke, and the Tories should certainly have made him their leader after losing the election in 1997. He would have busked it and kept the Tories cheerful while they worked out how the hell they were going to fight back against Tony Blair.

But what is really interesting here is where this leaves George Osborne. Iain writes: "The idea of making Ken Clarke Chancellor should in no way be taken as a criticism of George Osborne."

Oh yeah?

The rationale he gives for this is that we are not living in normal economic circumstances. After the next election we will be "entrenched in a recession".

Yes, the current situation is extreme, but difficult economic circumstances are always a possibility and cannot necessarily be foreseen. You can never appoint someone as chancellor and be sure he will not have heavy economic weather to deal with.

If Osborne is not a suitable chancellor in the current situation, he is not a suitable chancellor at all.

Maybe we should see this argument by Iain as a tribute to Vince Cable's grown up authority. If it marks a break from the belief that our leaders must all be Andrex puppies, I for one shall be delighted.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Osborne & Little (no relation) is a successful niche company, but it is not on the same scale as Imperial Tobacco.

Incidentally, are young George's views on the Pugin wallpaper recorded?