Osborne as editor? There “isn’t a sick bag big enough”

The news that George Osborne is to become the editor of the Evening Standard hasn't gone down well with everyone.


George Osborne is to take over at the Evening Standard
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The announcement of George Osborne's appointment as editor of the London Evening Standard last week managed to shock "a lot of journalists and MPs into temporary silence", says John Gapper in the Financial Times.

Aside from his lack of experience, the conflicts of interests between the editorship and two of his other roles as MP for Tatton and £650,000-a-year adviser to BlackRock the investment management company, are "flagrant and obvious". "How can an editor oversee a newspaper's financial coverage while being paid by a large financial institution? How can a serving MP and former chancellor provide critical and independent coverage of politics?" Nor are these simple part-time jobs.

Still, the boundary between politics and journalism has "always been porous", says The Guardian, and if the direction of travel is usually the other way (think Michael Foot, Nigel Lawson and Boris Johnson), Osborne isn't the first politician to enter our world (think Bill Deedes and Matthew Parris). However, editing is a full-time job, so "something will have to give". The other toxic aspect of this appointment and Osborne is said to have "reached out" to the Standard's Russian proprietor, Evgeny Lebedev, for the job is that he "embodies" the "profound" split in his party over Brexit, adds Tim Shipman in The Times. Theresa May's allies are deeply suspicious of Osborne. As one minister said,"It looks like a platform for vengeance".

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Osborne himself has made it plain that he will not be afraid to give the government a hard time, and he will be "on a collision course with her instincts for more state intervention on economics and integration".

We have had a "grim" lesson in how the British establishment operates, says Owen Jones in The Guardian. When a man with scant experience in journalism "other than being rejected by The Times's graduate scheme" can just waltz into a job like this thanks to his connections, it's clear we're ruled by "a never-ending dinner party, marked by limitless self-regard" and greed. There just "isn't a sick bag big enough".

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.