Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The Welsh Goat

I interviewed Gordon Brown's newest "goat" this morning - Lord Davies of Abersoch, Trade Minister member of Gordon Brown's "government of all the talents".

Mervyn Davies was chairman of Standard Chartered plc before becoming being "surprised but delighted" to get the call from the PM earlier this year.

He took over from Lord (Digby) Jones, whose ministerial career convinced him that the half the civil service should be sacked.

Their lordships have discussed the frustrations of the job. Lord Jones also upset a few Labour politicians by refusing to join the party or take the Labour whip in the House of Lords.

Those are two mistakes Lord Davies won't be making. As a Labour voter, he had no problem joining the party and is taking the Labour whip.

He was predictably upbeat about prospects for the Welsh economy: "Wales remains a hugely attractive country and place for inward investment.

"What I've also been impressed by is how many new businesses have been created in the last five, ten years, very entrepreneurial companies that now have an opportunity to export given the state of the pound."

Lord Davies sees his new job as a chance to put something back. It's certainly a risk, going from one unpopular profession - banking - to another - politics. Next stop estate agency or journalism?

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