BusinessCorporate FinanceOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

I hesitate to take on the Budget here because of the risk that it’s all been written before, but here goes

Gordon Brown – do we want him as Prime Minister? Now you’re probably
thinking: ‘He’s now going to trot out the man’s failings and convince us that we
stand on the brink of disaster if Brown occupies No 10 with a different job
title.’

But that’s not the angle I’m coming from. Assuming Labour stays in power at
the next election (please, it’s possible), would we really want Brown to give up
the chancellor’s job to someone else?

Under Gordon Brown we’ve had 62 quarters of consecutive growth.
Unemployment’s down and the economy is growing, apparently, at a faster rate
than any other G7 country.

The point being – do we really want someone else from Labour in charge? Some
of you may argue that Brown’s not so good, he has his faults and could have done
things differently.

Even if I accept that, would you really want Alistair Darling steering the
ship? Can you cast your mind back and find the moment when you thought: ‘You
know, that’s the man I want in charge of the economy.’ How about Ed Balls, has
he impressed? Certainly he’s made more noise of late, but can you say you’ve
been converted?

The thing that leaves me concerned about Gordon taking the top job, is who on
earth could fill his shoes at the Treasury?

Now there are some civil servants who will be glad to see him go and would
like a new boss such as Darling, or Balls, who would enable them to have a nice
friendly chat over a cup of tea in the morning. It’ll all feel a little bit
cosier. But do you want these people to feel cosy?

I’m not sure I know the answers to these questions, but as you might have
guessed, I am more than willing to put them out there for discussion.

Gavin Hinks is the editor of Accountancy Age

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