The economic downturn appears to have recalibrated Fleet Street’s sensibilities. Now, like puppies and orphan landmine victims, people who’ve lost – or fear losing – their jobs must never be upset.

Veteran Tory plain speaker and champion of common sense Lord Young of Graffham has effectively ended his political career by pointing out to the Telegraph over lunch that people in work with mortgages to service are doing very nicely out of the current “so-called recession” thanks to rock bottom interest rates.

Whilst there may be a kernel of veracity about this reckless utterance, it’s the sort of thing he should have known better than to say out loud. Particularly with a digital voice recorder running. Particularly in such colourfully cavalier terms. “Never had it so good” was bound to sound like patrician complacency.

Bingo, thought the newsmen: a perfect match with the out-of-touch hard-hearted Tory story. Hang him out to dry. Which, after initially suggesting Young could stay (but not be allowed out to speak to anyone), David C eventually decided he should be. But where does his departure leave the embattled cause of common sense?

Young’s pre-gaffe Common Safety, Common Sense report had promised to sweep away all the wishy-washy liberal health and safety nonsense that stops anything ever getting done in this country anymore – and, most significantly from a Bankstone News point of view, to extend the Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury Scheme to other kinds of personal injury claim.

Insurance Times this week asked whether the Jackson Review’s proposed reforms might be at risk of not getting implemented without the doughty Lord Young around to champion them. Probably not, the paper concluded anticlimactically, as “The Ministry of Justice has stuck its colours to the mast by accepting the bulk of Jackson’s recommendations in a consultation paper published last week.”

“It might have been a different story if Lord Young had made his comments before publishing Common Safety, Common Sense,” the paper remarked in an sentence from which the word different might arguably have been removed.

“However the report is out now,” Insurance Times points out, concluding that Lord Young’s work is done. The ancient warrior can now sit back and enjoy a well-earned retirement as common sense pervades the realm.


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