Friday, 14 October 2022

Only two more before Christmas


One of the wonders of the internet is that it is easy to find out whether some of the most familiar quotes were ever actually said by the person to whom they are most often attributed, by simply tapping into publicly-available research done by others. It has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, though; many (perhaps most) of the pithy quotations about whose origin I have been so certain for years turn out never to have been uttered by the alleged author. It shouldn’t really affect the validity or usefulness of the words or phrase themselves, but it’s still something of a disappointment to find that something has been misattributed for decades.

And on the subject of usefulness, it turns out that there is, apparently, no trace of Lenin ever having referred to ‘useful idiots’. It doesn’t mean that useful idiots don’t exist, however, and that brings me to the newly-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. The outgoing post-holder certainly discovered that he was little more than a useful idiot to the shortly-to-be-former PM. He had thought that he was being appointed because of his outstanding ability, intellect, and understanding of economics. It’s the sort of exaggerated and arrogant self-worth which is drummed into students at Eton, and which never thereafter leaves them. Events have shown, however, that he was little more than a human shield for an economic experiment which his boss was determined to conduct, and has now been sacked for following her orders too enthusiastically.

Whether his successor will be as useful is now an open question, but there can be little doubt about the extent of his idiocy. Having a chancellor committed to a different economic approach may turn out to be of some use in the short term – and not just to the PM. Kwarteng himself will also benefit from the idiocy of the new incumbent, as he finds himself bumped down the leader board from the second shortest-serving chancellor to the third within a week or two. Only an idiot’s idiot would hitch his wagon to a doomed PM whom most of her own MPs now believe is destined to be turfed out herself within days. Step forward Jeremy Hunt (and isn’t it reassuring to get back to the days when at least one member of the cabinet admitted that he was a Hunt). Perhaps he believes that his soon-to-fail attempt to rescue that which cannot be rescued will place him in pole position to replace her; perhaps he even believes that his own ability is so all-encompassing that he can actually achieve the impossible (even if Charterhouse isn’t quite as well known as Eton for instilling that particular type of arrogance). We won’t have long to find out – only two more chancellors before Christmas.


dafis said...

This regime is circling the plughole. They can change senior ministers and dare I say the P.M but it's the same party of garbled thinking, a party that sees itself as entitled to a positive outcome regardless of how little real effort gets put into its pursuit. Ina different place, in a different time a number of these incompetents would be hanging from lampposts by now. They should count themselves lucky that we live in more sober times.

Anonymous said...


CapM said...

Hunt's demeaner suggests to me that he thinks he's got one foot under the PM table and that he'll have both there before Christmas.
Usually the Tories don't take to those with leadership ambitions stabbing the incumbent in the back but such is their fear and despair I think that this time they'd overlook a full frontal assault, in the street, in daylight, live on TV.