Dennis Turner, HSBC’s chief economist and Derek Jameson sound-alike, was suitably bombastic as the after-dinner entertainment for this weeks’ English ICA’s General Practitioners conference.
And he did more to boost the egos of the GPs than any PR campaign the Institute could come up with. Referring to the globalisation of UK plc, Turner reckoned that Clarke and Brown had got the economy sussed.
Talking to the gathered throng he declared: ‘They know it’s not politicians like them nor namby pamby economists like me that matter. What counts for the economy are people like you – hairy chested men of action!’ Cue a one-minute break for much back slapping and high fives.
A life-long Fulham supporter (yes, he’s the one), the economist claimed history really did repeat itself – the last time inflation had been this low for this long, there was a Labour government with a huge majority… and Fulham were in the 1st Division. ‘People tell me it isn’t really the old 1st Division anymore. I know it isn’t, but then again it isn’t a real Labour government either!’
Like all economists, he simply didn’t know whether Britain should join the euro, though he did note the euro had staged a slight recovery recently… against the Esso world cup medal collection. ‘Otherwise it’s still a bit of a dog.’
And as a final thought on the buoyant state of the economy, Turner urged the collected bean-counters to pass on a tip to any clients who were not going to make lots and lots of money this year: ‘Pack it in!’
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