Catching up with Danny Alexander

Danny Alexander was probably best described as the marmite minister of Lib Dem coalition politics.

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he completed the “Quad”, the 4 ministers who decided the course of the coalition government. He, Nick Clegg, David Cameron and George Osborne fought out the major battles of those years.

It’s no secret that he and Osborne got on very well. After the Coalition, Danny ended up as Vice President of the Asian Infrastructure  Investment Bank, based in Beijing.

A BBC Scotland programme, Scots in China, caught up with Danny and his family recently. You see him at his work, talking about how he spends a lot of time focusing towards India. A sure sign of where the balance of power now lies in the world. We also see him trying to learn Chinese.

Neil Oliver caught up with his family, including their new dog, Rocky. Their older daughter has some really compelling insights to offer about life in city of 22 million people. Her liberal heritage is clear.

Obviously, in China, Danny is much closer to the natural habitat of the panda. Some of you might remember the 2011 Christmas song “Danny Alexander, feed him to the pandas.” I restrained myself from sharing this on any form of social media until I came across him laughing his head off at it at the Party’s Inverness Conference in 2012. And having mentioned it, it would be so rude of me not to let you see it.

The band might want to change their name, though.

But back to Neil Oliver’s programme. Watch here from about 27 minutes in to see how the family is getting on.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Danny Alexander is a much missed figure in politics, but good to see he is helping to push globalisation and contributing to the world economy.

    One of the most bullied figures during the time in the coalition, glad to see he is having the last laugh!

  • Richard Underhill 29th Jan '19 - 11:09am

    Danny Alexander authorised an improvement to the A21 as far as the new hospital at Pembury. Political credit was claimed by Tory MPs Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells, not to be confused with Ken Clarke) and the (now retired) Tory MP for Tonbridge. Greg Clark is committed to a further improvement, which has not happened, yet.
    Cranbrook had the worst broadband in the country, much improved by Danny Alexander, to the amazement of many residents.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Jan '19 - 11:23am

    Rupert Murdoch’s man at the Sunday Times is pictured. Rather regrettable. If he sees this he could be reminded that on election day he forecast that Hillary Clinton would win the same states in the US rustbelt that Obama won.
    On BBC tv he has an irritating habit of asking his guests for information on issues of which he already knows the answer, thereby merely demonstrating their ignorance. Increasingly they are refusing to appear, with the exception of former MP, former Conservative Michael Portillo, who nowadays makes travelogues on trains.

  • Danny’s passionate full blooded support for the Coalition earned him some detractors but his fondness for The Conservatives I found quite sweet…

  • He did get on very well with Osbourne who was astonished to find out that Danny was much more right wing than he was.

  • Yes I remember this is the man who enabled and helped the Tories with their spending cuts and austerity. I was always amazed how such a willing spokesperson he was for Tory cuts and the hardship it caused so many people.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Jan '19 - 1:57pm

    A poor and unnecessary decision was the knighthood he received. At forty, only Laurence Olivier deserved it, even that for recent war propaganda and even he should have got it later.

    Sir Simon Rattle , in his latter thirties at least did something very directly for culture in Birmingham,but my view is, in an era when to cycle fast gets you this great honour, it is debased by such decisions.

    Katie Piper and Simon Weston, two of the greatest and bravest people this country has ever had in public life, have no such honour.

    Alexander should be criticised, as a liberal in China, having inflicted right wing policies in economic areas, on his country, pushed by the egregious Osborne, he is the abetter of state communist regimes in their state capitalist or corporatist tyranny, nothing much of liberalism there.

    Excellent posts from David Raw and Jenny Barnes illustrate, those of us who like marmite or love it on toast, have little to like or love in this politician, who as far as this country, is concerned or this party, is also, toast!

  • John Marriott 29th Jan '19 - 2:37pm

    “The lad done well”. And, oh, that bright yellow lunch box!

  • Well Lorenzo I have to tug my forelock to your summation of Mr Alexander. I’m grateful he’s in China, it will have to do until inter plantry travel is perfected, at which point a cold small asteroid in the outer region of the solar system would be my preferred location for him.

  • “Danny Alexander is a much missed figure in politics …”. Missed by whom exactly, Stimpson? Caron more accurately describes him as “the marmite minister of Lib Dem coalition politics” – but, in view of his role as George Osborne’s willing lieutenant, and a key enabler of Tory austerity, that’s putting it very kindly.

  • Indeed Danny, Nick, David Cameron and George Osborne fought out the major battles of those years. At the end of it, the Liberal Democrats were almost totally destroyed and within two more years the Conservatives were on their date with disaster (or to those who prefer first names – Theresa).

    There are two groups within the Lib Dems – those who still prefer to carry on liking people associated with coalition, because to admit they were totally wrong and our party’s current disastrous situation is down to them is just too much to bear, and those who simply look at the facts.

    Truly after they sowed when you sow the wind, they left us to reap the whirlwind.

  • Oops. Last line should have read.

    Truly after they sowed the wind, they left us to reap the whirlwind.

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