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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.

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