Less knowledge is better politics

Note: This is an old post I forgot to publish, but I think its main point still holds and so am posting it now.

I was delighted to see Alan Johnson appointed as Shadow Chancellor because (a) it was a good choice, and (b) it proved me right.

Considering the oddity that was Vince Cable’s popularity, partly because he apparently knew what he was talking about when it came to economics, I blogged that

It’s not the role of a Chancellor to know the most about economics. It’s the role of a Chancellor to listen to and understand the advice they get and to make decisions based on both that advice and the other circumstances and context within which the decision needs to be made.

And Alan Johnson agrees:

You don’t need to be a professor of economics to be a Treasury minister.

And it’s not just Alan Johnson: both Oliver Kamm and Chris Dillow agree.

When I first posted this idea, many people in the comments disagreed. I’ve set out the argument and lined up some supporters with me, so do you worse in the comments below!


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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