In what might turn out to be a welcome bit of news for tech startup founders, at least, “politician” George Osborne has been appointed editor of the Evening Standard.
That is not bad going for a guy who’s CV is not exactly peppered with writing gigs. Some work experience at the Times and the Economist pretty much covers it, and you might have thought that being a Conservative MP (for Tatton) and a champion of the North of England might slightly compromise his editorial bias, given that the Standard is politically neutral and is read almost exclusively by Londoners – but not a bit of it, it seems.
Whatever you think about the appointment, and Owen Jones, writing in the Guardian has said
“Britain is ruled by a never-ending dinner party, marked by limitless self-regard and contempt for those who don’t have a seat at the table. It is a grim spectacle. It is also a threat to our democracy, and it must be called out;”
Whilst Piers Morgan has thoughtfully written an open letter to the ex-chancellor here with some words of advice,
George Osborne has always been a tech champion. His revival of EIS and SEIS schemes has reinvigorated angel investing into early stage tech startups across London and the rest of the UK – so hopefully he will want to trumpet the endeavour of “makers and doers” loudly from the pages of his new newspaper.
Osborne helped David Cameron open Tech City back in 2010 and helped the Tech City UK programme secure £2m of annual funding – to help improve London’s infrastructure and eco-system to suit entrepreneurs.
The Standard already has an impressive startup section so expect the latest disruptive ideas to fly off the pages for the duration of Osborne’s reign.
Entrepreneurs may well find themselves back in the media spotlight after new Chancellor Philip Hammond seemed determine to marginalise them in his new budget.
Osborne has hinted that he might be prepared to “listen to what my colleagues have to say in this debate”, regarding whether he should formally step down from being an MP in order to run the Standard without a conflict of interest, but don’t hold your breath.
Osborne also works as an advisor for Blackrock, who SKY say pay him £650,000 for 48 day’s work a year, Chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a speaker at the Washington Speakers Bureau, and a fellow at Think Tank the McCain Institute.
In football parlance, we might say: “He works where he likes, he works how he likes, ol’ George Osborne, he works where he wants!”