Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
19 November 2010

Lord Young bows to the inevitable

Tory peer resigns as Cameron's enterprise adviser after "never had it so good" gaffe.

By George Eaton

Lord Young has bowed to the inevitable and resigned as David Cameron’s enterprise adviser. He was never likely to last long after his politically toxic claim that the majority of people “have never had it so good”.

His downfall is a reminder of the irony that politicians often suffer most not when they lie, but when they tell the truth. The Conservative peer was right to point out how those with tracker mortgages have benefited from the lowest interest-rates on record. His mistake was to display no awareness of those who did suffer during the recession and those who will suffer more during the cuts. His reference to the “so-called recession” and his claim that “people will wonder what all the fuss was about”, suggest that he inhabits a different planet from the rest of us.

But on a purely political level, his greatest error was his failure to anticipate how swiftly the Labour attack machine would pounce on his comments. One senses that Young, an unelected peer, is simply not cut out for the world of 24-hour media.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy