Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
17 March 2017, 11:55
James O'Brien "can't quite believe" that the former Chancellor George Osborne is the new Evening Standard Editor - here's why.
George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Tatton, has been appointed the Editor of the Evening Standard - and James O'Brien can't quite believe it.
He said: "I just can't quite make sense of it to be honest with you, but I'm beginning to think, I find out in nine minutes whether I won that award I told you about yesterday, but I'm beginning to think that I've got to hand in, hand it straight back again.
"I don't understand anything anymore. How can this happen? How can George Osborne stay as an MP? Get given £650,000 by an investment fund that is, well he's been hired by a bloke who used the work, or he will be working alongside a bloke who used to work for him at the Treasury.
"£650,000 for one day a week is it? Or one day? I don't know if he's going to carry on with that. I don't know how much he'll be getting at the Standard, probably another couple of hundred grand a year? Then he's got all the speaking engagements.
"Now look, call me Mildred. I thought that at least, if you were going to move from politics into commerce, or media, or the non-political sphere, and you were going to sort of trade in your political service, I just presumed that the most glittering prizes were reserved for people whose political service had been exemplary, or exceptional.
"I think first of all he presided over the referendum, although to be fair to George Osborne, he was one of the few voices close to David Cameron who didn't think he should have called in the first place, but you've presided over a failed administration.
"You've been responsible for bringing in a swathe of cuts that still haven't stopped hurting this country, your management of the economy has been derided by your own party since you left the office.
"Manifesto pledges are briefly broken by your successor, and you get handed the glittering prizes? This is the bit I don't get. And this is the bit that makes me think that the 0.0001 per cent, or whatever they are, actually do exist.
"How do you get a gig like that? When you've never, you've never written an op-ed in your life, you never been to an editorial conference?"