There’s something of the well-paced, perfectly symmetrical political satire or the brilliantly structured sitcom to Danny Alexander’s political career.
The man is the living embodiment of the Peter Principal, a management concept based on a theory formulated by Laurence J Peter. He believed that a candidate’s selection for a role was based on their current performance as opposed to the abilities they would require for the promoted role. Confirming that managers rise to their own level of incompetence. If you had to sit down with the best satirical minds, you couldn’t make it up.
This may be an oversimplified version of a very detailed and confusing chain of events. For those old enough it helps if you sing the theme tune to Soap in your head.
Sir Danny, who is always attributed as looking like Beaker from The Muppets, (I always got annoyed by this, I think it’s an insult, I liked Beaker, the shy, long-suffering assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew). So, Danny accidentally found himself one of the four men in the collation, negotiating terms for the Lib Dems. Basically, he brought biscuits for the tea. So that constant startled look is just that. Fear of being found out and wonderment at reaching so high and concern over Kit Kats or a more austere but rueful digestive.
Let’s rewind, enter David Laws, the future king of the Lib Dems. He’s their superstar and serious brainiac. Laws was a successful investment banker, rising to Vice President of JP Morgan then a Managing Director at Barclays De Zoete Wedd. He turned his back on all of that because he wanted to get into politics and took on a 15K a year job as an economic adviser in 1994.
He then became the Lib Dem Director of Policy and Research. By 2001 he won the Yeovil seat vacated by Paddy Ashdown. He then became a member of the Treasury Committee, was appointed the party’s deputy Defence spokesman and by 2002 he became Lib Dem “shadow” Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He’s written two successful books, went on to be appointed the Liberal Democrats’ Work and Pensions spokesman, a position in which he was highly critical of the Child Support Agency and the tax credits system. Just before getting into power the then Shadow Chancellor George Osborne offered Laws a job in the Tory Shadow Cabinet.
Where’s Danny? He’s found the key to the cupboard with coffee and sugar and has plugged in the small fridge with milk, his career’s flying.
Following the general election of 2010, Laws was one of the main negotiators for the Lib Dem team of four who negotiated a deal to govern in a coalition with the Conservatives. He became one of five Liberal Democrats to obtain Cabinet positions when the coalition was formed, finally reaching the heady heights most would say quite rightly, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. At the start of May 2010, he was appointed Privy Counsellor.
Danny’s in charge of stationary now, he’s now the man with notebooks and pens.
By the end of May 2010, David Laws quickly and dramatically became the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury. After only 17 days in the job, Laws had the shortest Cabinet career in modern political history. Downing Street announced Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander would take over as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, with Michael Moore stepping in at the Scottish Office.
David Laws had breached the rules because he wanted to keep his private life private. He was gay and was renting the house from his other half. Newspapers at the time like The Telegraph and The Daily Mail accused him of taking £40,000 from the taxpayer to pay rent to his boyfriend, that was how it was reported. In reality, at an inquiry, Laws explained that his claims could’ve been almost £30,000 higher over 2004–2010 if he had made claims in respect of his Somerset home. No rent was in fact payable on that house because he owned it. So if he had allocated his constituency home as his second home he would have still been in the cabinet. It’s such a strange world politics, one which sees a very bright, talented, capable man now float around in a political hinterland.
Enter Sir Danny, leaving Prince Charles wondering why he was knighting a gormless Beaker lookalike who was offering Charles a notebook, pen and a Kit Kat chunky. Arise Sir Danny, for services of making the tea.
Their fellow Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael clearly holds enough sway in his little black folder of dodgy Polaroids from being chief whip, to stay in his job. Wouldn’t it be great if he served a purpose for Scotland? Why not allow us to jam his thumbs in the crack on the Forth Road Bridge? Let him hang there, forever. His bulbous, red alcky nose could also act as a navigational warning light for boats and planes.
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood is set to become a dad again at 68. It’s tough, up all night, to get its bottle, all that drooling and of course changing nappies….and that’s just Ronnie… It’ll be so cute, the baby’s in its walking frame, Ronnie in his Zimmer frame.
Donald Trump announced this week that he wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States…Trump’s actually managing to make George Dubya Bush sound like a peace loving genius, like Gandhi and Einstein.
Urban regenerators Assemble who became the first ‘non-artists’ to win the Turner Prize using art and design to tackle urban dereliction won the first prize of £25,000…and Cumbernauld.
Michelle Mone is set to make history as the first person in the House of Lords to double up as a QVC presenter…not too strange really, QVC could stand for quite vacuous conservative. Quick Velcro Cantaloupes. Quarrelsome Vicious Colleague and Quite Verbally Challenged.
Simon Cowell had to sack a security guard who was in the toilet during a burglary…Simon is said to feel violated as the burglar was caught on CCTV rifling through his man-bra drawer.
Kim and Kanye took to Twitter to name their baby boy, Saint West. For those who don’t know he’s the Patron Saint of Tadgers and Vacuous Non Entities, Publicity Hungry Celebrities and Narcissist Ego Crazed Talentless Celebrity…and fuds.
Donald Trump was condemned across world after calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the US. On the upside, that TV proposal I had for Celebrity Windfarm Crucifixions is getting closer.
The debate over the crack in the Forth Road Bridge continued with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie becoming vociferous. Questions needed to be asked…My friend Mark Hirst asked this week what is a Willie Rennie? I think it sounds like Viagra for heartburn sufferers.
Even the name Tyson Fury sounds like one of those crazed, closely bred devil dogs belonging to a scheme gangster and if you’re insulted by that Tyson, that’s the point.
I watched a programme about The Forth Road Bridge a few years ago and the truss rod ends were breaking and pinging. At one point I thought the bridge was breaking into Tubular Bells…
Hauliers have warned they may seek compensation for extra costs totalling £600,000 a day because of the Forth Road Bridge delays and diversions. The Road Haulage Association said the main diversion route was adding an extra £30 in fuel costs, Yorkie bars and scud books.
Nebraska Republican Michelle Fiore used her Christmas Card to arm all of her family in a crude effort to support the Second Amendment. At least her extended family now know what to buy the family for Christmas…Bulletproof vests…
The world’s first “test tube” puppies have been born after years of attempts, say scientists in the US. So cute, in one image The Beagles were pictured playing pool and poker in a bar while smoking cigars.