Politics.co.uk Blog

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A sticky wicket for Danny Alexander

Attacks on the new Liberal Democrat in the Treasury, Danny Alexander, are perfectly reasonable.

The chief secretary has no experience in the City and spent his pre-parliament career working as a press officer in the Highlands.

From the Cairngorms to the City: you don't get much further apart.

Despite this, the 38-year-old already has experience dealing with pesky civil servants.

Five years ago he appeared for the Parliament XI in their annual cricket match against the Civil Service XI.

This writer also appeared for Parliament, for reasons it's probably best not to dwell on. The phrase 'making up the numbers' seems painfully appropriate.

Still, it gave an opportunity to witness Alexander in a new situation. Then just 33, he had just been elected to parliament.

Scots are not supposed to be good at cricket, but - after an earnest conversation about whether stopping people smoking fitted in with liberal values - Alexander proved everybody wrong.

Coming in off a long run-up, the ginger hair bearing down remorselessly on the quivering bureaucrat batsmen, Alexander's bouncers and yorkers proved more than the pen-pushers could handle.

Lib Dems will be hoping Alexander can exceed expectations just as strongly in his latest brush with the civil service as he attempts to get to grips with the deficit.

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