Friday, November 14, 2008

Calls for Kenneth Clarke to be shadow chancellor grow

Back in September Iain Dale started a hare running by suggesting that Kenneth Clarke should replace George Osborne as shadow chancellor. Now The Mole on First Posts suggests that senior Conservatives are pressing David Cameron to make just this move.

Looking back, I see that I was rather rude about Iain's attempt to suggest that his call was no reflection on George Osborne's performance. He suggested that Osborne would have made a good chancellor in normal circumstances, but that Clarke was more suited to a recession.

Maybe there is something to this after all. Can one divide all politicians between those suited to good times and those suited to hard times? A provisional list might look like this:

Good times
Tony Blair
David Cameron
Nick Clegg
George Osborne
David Miliband

Hard Times
Gordon Brown
Margaret Thatcher
Vince Cable
Denis Healey
Alistair Darling

Well, it's a thought.


Anonymous said...

I wish Osborne stays. But then again, I'm no friend of the Conservative Party.

Frank Little said...

Rather like the last man on the moon being the first scientist, Ken Clarke was the first competent chancellor appointed by the Thatcher/Major administrations.

dreamingspire said...

Blair wasn't good for anything after his first term - or perhaps that was when good times turned to bad. Nick Clegg is, on your list, now clearly in the wrong job. I wouldn't include Darling in either of those lists. Huhne? Featherstone (proving how tough she is at the moment, very honest)? Ros Scott (she is still political, even as Party President)? Hoon (he has made a good start at DfT, but needs to prove he can carry it through, I suppose)?

Charlieman said...

I'd split your definitions:
Leader in good times
Leader in bad times
Opposition in good times
Opposition in bad times

David Blunkett, for example, was a furious opponent but a dreadful minister.