Whether he’s genuinely talented or has ‘got lucky’ over the past six years, one thing is clear – Gordon Brown is doing a better job than his opposition counterpart could, given the opportunity.
That’s the opinion of nearly two-thirds of respondents to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question as the country enters the traditional party conference season. While one in five stayed neutral, only 15% believed the former home secretary Michael Howard would be more adept at juggling the nation’s finances.
Those who put their faith in the shadow chancellor’s capabilities did so either on ideological grounds or because they had lost faith in Labour.
Many said it made no difference, or were unable to name the shadow chancellor. One respondent said: ‘People like him cost the Tories the election. I detest him with a passion.’
Another, in favour of change, said: ‘Gordon Brown has been lucky, both with the state of the economy he inherited and the generally benign world economy during his tenure.’
One of those who believed in Brown’s ability said: ‘Whatever my misgivings about what New Labour has delivered, I have never doubted Gordon Brown’s understanding and ability to manage the economy.’
However, the last word must go to a somewhat cynical respondent: ‘They’re all as bad as each other.’
Mark McMullen joins the private client services team from Smith & Williamson
Merger between Clear & Lane Chartered Accountants and Magma Chartered Accountants was finalised on 3 February
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