Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Short memories

According to a poll carried out on Iain Dales' Diary, Gordon Brown is the worst Labour Chancellor ever, with 44pc of the vote compared to just 13pc for Jim Callaghan, who devalued the pound in 1967. Even allowing for the fact that many readers of Iain's blog wouldn't have been born then, some historical perspective is called for, methinks.

Norman Lamont, meanwhile, rates as the worst Tory holder of the post, with 38pc compared to 23pc for Anthony Barber. It is unclear how many people voted for David Derrick Heathcoat-Amory.

Iain also asked his readers who should be Chancellor in the "next Conservative Government." Without necessarily conceding that this is anything more than a purely hypothetical question, I voted for Vincent Cable, as he is head and shoulders over anyone else David Cameron could choose.

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Barnacle Bill said...

A good bit of thinking out of the box there Paul.
I take it you believe like myself there is a good chance of a hung Parliament at the next election?
Personally, I feel Labour may get a majority over the Conservatives but not enough to stop the Conservatives and LibDems forming the next government.

Paul Burgin said...

Perspective plus personal bias on behalf of Iain's readers methinks!

Paul Linford said...


I'm on record as saying I think there will be a hung Parliament although of course there is plenty of time for that to change.

If there is one - and at the moment I think it's the likeliest outcome - I think on balance the Lib Dems will probably end up going with the largest party.

If the Tories have the most seats, this will be a no-brainer. There is no way that the Lib Dems could credibly team up with a defeated government to keep it in power. In those circumstances, I think a full-blown coalition government which saw Cameron as PM, Cable as Chancellor, Hague as Foreign Secretary and Clegg as Home Secretary would be a good outcome.
Osborne is not ready to be trusted with the nation's finances yet.

The situation is less clear-cut if Labour is the largest party, but I think the pressure on Clegg to do a deal and so avoid putting the voters through another general election would be a pretty strong one.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I always blamed Harold Wilson for the '67 devaluation (the reason I'm a Liberal Democrat now). "Sunny Jim" Callaghan was clueless, but he was only doing his master's bidding.

I think Lamont takes a lot of beating on the competence issue. Lawson left him in a hole, but Lamont continued to dig.

Anybody with responsibility for the ERM exit who admits the singing in the bath that night
is clearly not "at the races".

P.S. Occasionlly lamont has appeared as a director of companies I held shares in: always taken it as a "sell" signal, it has mostly proved to be a good call.

Vicarious Phil said...

Vince Cable is clearly the man of the moment...but surely there's no way Cameron could put a LibDem in charge of the Treasury. It's just too powerful. After all the Blair/Brown trouble won't Cameron want an ally at the Treasury. Even one as unconvincing as George Osbourne would do.