Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Alan Johnson, The Labour Party and sums...!

I could not believe the interview that Dermot Murnaghan conducted with Alan Johnson who is the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer on SKY news. Now I am no expert on international or even national finance but then I am not 'posing' as a future Cancellor of the Exchequer. If I was and had to go on national television to be grilled by a professional anchorman I would ensure that I was well versed on a few elementary facts.

When Mr Johnson was exposed, not for the first time, on his lack of basic financial knowledge (he didn't know the National Insurance Tax Rate) do some of us not think that his appointment was a joke? Did someone like, shall we say Ed Miliband, not ask him a few simple sums? After all not all ex postmen would automatically qualify to be Chancellor of the Exchequer!

I am beginning to think that the appointment of good old Alan was more an attempt to stop Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper from assuming a role which could threaten Red Ed. They are both reputed to have financial expertise but considering that they were both on the team which almost brought the country to its knees I do have my doubts.

Looking back through history however this does appear to be consistent with most attempts of the Labour Party to manage finance. They are not very good with sums. Go back to Jim Callaghan who had to devalue the pound, or Denis Healey who had to beg to the IMF for an emergency loan to stave off disaster. Then fast forward to Gordon Brown and history repeats itself.

However, never mind the past! Never mind the facts! Never mind that Labour
Chancellors have time after time almost ruined the country. If it isn't in their manifesto it is almost certainly in their intentions. So many people will trot out in Oldham on Thursday without a backward glance and vote for them again. They vote for a party with no policies, no talent and no moral scruples. I will never understand it!

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