The naivete of our Europhile boy politicians is highly damaging to our country. Why on earth did wee George rush to endorse Christine Lagarde as the UK preferred candidate for head of the IMF? What benefit is this unseemly rush to the UK? It would have been far better for the UK and give other candidates time to emerge. It would have enhanced Britain's standing with the BRICS and other developing countries and show we recognise their increasing importance in the world. In short we should have kept our powder dry and kept our your bargaining position.
Look at the age and experience of Christine Lagarde and the disgraced DSK, 62.
DSK failed to get in to the French version of Oxbridge, the Grande Ecole d'adminstration and lost out to Segolene Royal for the Socialist presidential nomination in the 2007 French presidential election. He worked as an academic lecturer and professor for a number of years before he was elected a deputy. In 1997 he was appointed by Jospin as his minister for economics. In 2007 withh the support of Sarkozy he gained he IMF top job.
Madame Lagarde is 55, educated in France and the USa and workhed way to the top in US law firm Baker McKenzie whom she worked for for over 20 years.
Both Lagarde & DSK come from professional middle class families, Lagrade's parents were academics and DSK's parents were a lawyer and a journalist. Both were well educated but not at the Grandes Ecoles. Both did and progressed in proper serious jobs and were promoted on their own merits. Neither was born with a silver spoon in their mouths or influential family connections.
Now look at our pair of zeroes. Wee George turns 40 on 23/5/2011. He is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in Ireland as the Ascendancy. He is the heir to the Osborne baronetcy (of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford). Wow! After St Pauls public school and Magdalen College Oxford there followed a short spell at a US University he joined the Tory party research department and followed the well trodden path of research assistant, Spad and Tory MP for the Hamilton's old seat of Tatton. Independently wealthy he never did a proper job.
His boss, Dave, aged 44 and a half had a similar privileged background, Eton and Oxford and to be fair seems a lot brighter than Wee George, but that is not difficult. His father was senior partner at stockbrokers Panmure Gordon and he is descended, through an illegitimate line, from William IV. After Oxford he did the customary gap year and 3 months at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong - that takes real connections! He then joined the Tory research department allegedly following a recommendation from Buck House and the rest is as Wee George above.
At Oxford both were members of the notorious Bullingdon club open only to wealthy public schoolboys like themselves and the infinitely more talented BoJo.
And that dear beloved is the reason the UK gets such a poor deal in the World court. Other countries are represented by men and women of real worth who got where they are by talent and hard work in proper jobs not like our two aristo zeroes.
On the IMF top job it was instructive to read on Sunday the views of the former IMF chief economist, now MIT Professor, put his finger on one of the problems with M Lagarde or any EU candidate. Referring to the Eurozone he said 'The Europeans are very much in denial they had a problem, That's why it would be very bad for a European to lead the fund'.
Liam Halligan went further in a fact filled article yesterday, "The world will have failed if we put a European in charge of the IMF again". Liam makes the point that the BRICs have government debt averaging 42% of GDP compared with the Eurozone's 88$ and US 83% and that now two thirds of IMF loans outstanding are to European Countries. Contrast that with fact that emerging countries now hold 80% of all currency reserves compared to the G7 ex Japan's 8%.
Liam's most telling critique on DSK's stewardship is, 'All he has succeeded in doing is turning the fund into a soft-credit organisation for his Franco-German friends'. And this from an organisation set up to help poor and developing countries!
Why did this happen? To paraphrase MacMillan, politics dear boy, politics. DSK wanted to be the next president of France and to be seen as the saviour of the Eurozone would have made him a certainty but for his alleged insatiable lust. Sarky was down and out but has recovered. Remember Lagarde is his woman and therein lies the future danger for us in the UK.
Christine wants to be president of France after Sarky. If she becomes IMF chief she can best further her ambition by supporting the Eurozone to the bitter end. The eventual inevitable failure will be blamed on Johnny non-European including probably these nasty gnomes of Zurich who have already let it be known they don't want her.
The other truth is that the people with real experience of restoring debt laden economies to health are Brazil's Arminio Fraga, South Africa's Trevor Manuel and the Mexican candidate central bank chief Agustin Carstens and not Madame Lagarde. They would all have a real interest in restoring the IMF to its original correct mission and would have brought real pressure on the Eurozone to sort itself out. The kudos and prestige to the UK in backing any of these candidates would have been huge but this is of no concern to our boy politician PM and Chancellor. Dishing Broon is their priority!
PS Click here to see my take on the UKIP politics show performance
To see the actual performance click on BBC and skip thru about 28 mins.