Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gordon Brown and his old cheques

I missed the story earlier this week that when Gordon Brown was a student his rent cheque once bounced. (Daily Telegraph: Gordon Brown's £3 rent cheque bounced at university halls of residence) Frankly this sort of thing has happened to many of us, particularly if (as in the case of Brown) you have more than one account and get muddled between them. I've had a few problems over the years when I've had direct debits and standing orders going out of the wrong account, taking them into the red or even bouncing.

Quite a few commentators are trying to seize on this as saying something about Brown's handling of the economy - e.g. the Telegraph byline "Gordon Brown has repeatedly declared that he is the man to lead Britain out of its financial crisis" or this blogpost Tory Outcast: Gordon Brown's financial incompetence spans 4 decades. But they're missing a key point in a hope to get a cheap dig. A lot of Chancellors and Prime Ministers have not treated their own finances with the most rigorous care. Amongst the more famous cases, Pitt the Younger left huge debts when he died whilst Norman Lamont was embarrassed by revelations about his credit card bill. Winston Churchill engaged in some highly creative personal accounting (as set out by Roy Jenkins) and Asquith was also careless. And this was all when they were in office. Compared to all this, a student once drawing a cheque on the wrong account is meaningless and no proof whatsoever of any incompetence on Brown's part.

(And there's plenty of real proof anyway.)

1 comment:

Tory Outcast said...

But cheap digs are much more fun...

OK fair point. It's not like we need any further proof anyway


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