Alistair Darling on deficits, democracy and dying his eyebrows


This week’s print edition of the Oxford Student will feature an interview with Britain’s former Chancellor Alistair Darling – the architect of the 2009 G20 rescue plan, Labour’s sanest economic spokesperson and the owner of the most distinctive pair of eyebrows in politics.

We spoke to Mr Darling last Wednesday, right in the middle of the meltdown in the Eurozone and the Greek parliament, and got his views on a whole range of subjects over the course of a 20 minute interview. He told us what’s holding back the rescue of the Euro (“the difficulty with democracy”), what he thinks of Ed Miliband’s leadership (“there’s plenty of time before the next election”), what’s wrong with George Osborne’s economic plan (“creating problems with youth unemployment”) and why he’s not considering a return to front bench politics…yet.

Rather than laying blame at the door of capitalism or self-interested financial speculators, Darling argued that the real problem with the Eurozone is democracy itself, highlighting the danger of Greece’s disproportionate influence on the world economy.

He also cautioned against over-analysing Ed Miliband’s leadership, seemingly content to let things bubble along until the next general election, and apparently more concerned with the youth unemployment he considers to be the result of George Osborne’s deficit slashing.

And on the same day he put his first question to the Prime Minister for thirteen years – outshining his party leader and gaining heaps of media attention – Darling told us why he’s content with his less prominent role, influencing policy from the wilderness of Edinburgh South West.

The full interview – along with Mr Darling’s response to our question about his eyebrows! – will be published online and in print on Thursday.


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