Thursday 24 March 2011

Oil’s well that ends well?

In 1947, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hugh Dalton, resigned after he let slip to a journalist details of a change to the tax system, before he had made his budget speech to the Commons.

These days, an army of taxpayer funded spin doctors regularly leak details of changes ahead of the budget itself. So it was no surprise when the current Chancellor, Boy George Osborne, announced a 1 pence per litre cut in fuel duty yesterday. We all knew it was coming, especially the petrol retailers. Or was it just a coincidence that the Shell stations at Apex Corner and Stirling Corner both put up their prices by 1p on Tuesday, only to reduce them again a day later once the official announcement had been made?


baarnett said...

It resulted in the appointment instead of Sir Stafford Cripps, or as the BBC's Jim Naughtie of the day said, 'Sir Stifford Crapps'.

I get the impression of honourable people in politics of those days - but presumably that is without the information from monitoring their behaviour they get today.

Don't Call Me Dave said...


You don’t have to go that far back in time to find honour amongst the political classes. In 1982, Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington resigned over the Falklands invasion, taking full responsibility for the failure of his department to foresee the attack. Compare his actions to Mike Freer who refused to resign over the £27.4 million Icelandic banks fiasco, even though alarm bells had been ringing for some time about the inherent credit risk. Or Matthew Offord who remained in situ despite the £11 million overspend on the Aerodrome Road bridge project which occurred under his watch.

By comparison, the recent £90,000 cost to taxpayers to re-advertise the CPZ rises is small change. Coleman is unlikely to even apologise, let alone resign.

Moaneybat said...

Yes 1982 Carrington on "conventions." If it's law and political history with fine examples for Councillor Freer to follow -- James Prior (1983) Mikhail Howard,(1992-3?) the latter's distortion of language at that time meant "No Minister would resign over anything other than gross misconduct.

Please! Times have changed since Crichel Down but our Parliament's 'nods and winks,' have changed for the worse.

What Leadership?