George Osborne has recruited four City figures to join a “red team” of experts to puncture the Treasury consensus on the spending review, as he seeks inspiration for cuts that are causing mounting friction in Whitehall.
The chancellor has asked the bankers and financiers to act as the main figures from outside government on his “independent challenge group”, which has a remit to question the unquestionable in the Treasury’s austerity drive.
The four are Adrian Beecroft, one of the founders of Apax Partners, the private equity group; Douglas Flint, finance director of HSBC; Richard Sharp, the former head of the Goldman Sachs European private equity arm; and John Nash, a founder of the Sovereign Capital buy-out group and chairman of Care UK, the nursing home group.
Mr Beecroft, Mr Sharp and Mr Nash are Tory donors, and some of them have been on good terms with Mr Osborne for some time.
I’m not too sure about their ‘red’ credentials though. Correction: Nash was until recently chairman of Care UK; he stood down in March this year, very recently.
The FT forgot to mention the mounting disgust in territory outside of Whitehall. That pre-nuptial agreement between Clegg and Cameron may need to be dusted off soon – due to mounting friction elsewhere too.
The Cameron Clegg Coalition. The CCC isn’t working the way it could have worked.
Cameron, Clegg and Co plumb the depths, as Andrew Lansley rests on holiday, but soon to return – Lansley is being blamed in No 10 for failing to spot the political consequences of scrapping milk for the under-5s.
Seventeen Lib Dem MPs are fairly fragile – apparently – and that’s one third of your Parliamentary Party, Nick Clegg.
The mood of the public is …. moodily swinging against the Coalition. At the risk of repeating myself: no surprises there!
What a bunch! Are they all aliens from another planet, with no feeling for us, mere earthlings that we be? A new broom sweeps clean, but this broom will soon begin to shed bristles. The lost souls of the electorate will all need a strategically positioned upward-pointing besom broom to ward off witches and to protect from evil spirits.