Sunday, May 30, 2010

Danny Alexander: the natural choice to replace David Laws

I know that nobody would ever have anticipated the need to replace David Laws, but there was a huge amount of surprise last night on Twitter even from Liberal Democrats, that Danny Alexander rather than Chris Huhne or Jeremy Browne was chosen to replace him.

To me, Danny was the obvious choice. He is about as close an ally of Nick's as it is possible to be. He was Nick's Chief of Staff, and as such has first hand experience of the management of change within the party. Nick put him in charge of the manifesto, so he has an understanding of what all the various departments of government do. David Laws is such a hard act to follow, but I'm sure Danny has the required skills. He also impressed the Tories, Osbourne, Hague, Letwin and David Cameron throughout the coaltion negotiations and it was he and Letwin who brought the full Coalition Agreement together in just 9 days.

I can now say I was part of the team that approved the Chief Secretary to the Treasury as a Parliamentary candidate.

I was amused by some people, Labour leaderrship contender Ed Balls among them suggesting that the fact that Danny's former employment with Britain in Europe made him a "very curious choice".

Ok,let's inject some realism into this. I can "exclusively reveal" that just cos we have a pro-European in a Cabinet position, that we won't have joined the Euro by Friday, or in fact any Friday in the next 5 years.

Danny, as I've already pointed out, was the co-author of the coalition agreement wich unequivocallly says:

We agree that Britain will not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.


So, you eurosceptic scaremongers (and that seems to include the Labour Party), you can't really get clearer than that.

Danny's appointment may be a surprise to some, but I think he'll be well suited to the job of Chief Secretary.

2 comments:

tris said...

Any comments that Ed balls makes about anything at the moment must be considered suspect and tending to bias for electoral purposes.

That said, Danny has no economic background, his previous work having been in communications. It was a huge insult to Scotland to remove their perfectly suited SoS to plug a gap in England's cabinet.

Kelvin Holdsworth said...

Noting how connected this appointment is with the way issues of human sexuality affect our politicians, its worth noting Danny's record on gay rights. He has a poor voting record and has publicly called for religious organisations to be given the right to discriminate against LGBT people.

One closetted MP resigns and one with a disappointing record on gay rights takes over.

And David Laws is hardly the first Lib Dem to find himself caught out in this way.

There is a huge amount to talk about in the party if there is going to be any headway made on gay issues. All is far from well.

It could be all too tempting to focus only on the personalities here, but its important not to miss the fact that there are issues that need dealing with, as much in the party as in society.

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