Michael Rosen’s Expert Opinions

The unrivalled commissioning editors at Comment is Free have graced their readers with an open letter from children’s novelist and poet Michael Rosen to Sajid Javid. Rosen’s main point is that because Javid used to be a banker he is unqualified for the role of Culture Secretary. Guido will spare you most of his drivel, but here is the gist:

“It’s very difficult to see from your Wikipedia entry… how you are qualified to do this new job as culture minister… You’re an ex-banker who made millions during the fatal bubble of the early 21st century… So, I’m very curious about how you’re going to explain why my sort of culture will have to take a hit from the Treasury even as you are someone who benefited from the false boom, the very same boom that caused the crash, and to continue the chain, which is what has given your party the excuse to slash public services and cut waged and unwaged people’s standard of living, and further enrich the mega-rich.”

Rosen reckons Javid, who like T.S. Elliot is a former banker, is not qualified to have an opinion on culture. However Rosen, a poet, is apparently qualified to have an opinion on the world of finance. He wrote this pinko first year politics student analysis on his personal blog in 2012:

“Reading around on the net, I think there is some evidence to suggest that we’re moving into a new phase in this drawn-out world economic crisis. No matter how many meetings the politicians from the countries with the largest economies have, they find that both the particular crises of their own countries’ banks and their own countries’ sovereign debt cannot be solved. I take it that capitalism (or capitalists) don’t have a strategy to deal with this because the fundamental motive power of capitalism is competition. “

Perhaps if Rosen thinks bankers should steer clear of talking about culture, he himself should steer clear of talking about banking…

H/T @michaelpdeacon



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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