It must be odd to hear your job is up for grabs in six weeks time. Even with a 10,000 majority, Richard Harrington MP – our Pensions Minister – must have been a little flustered by the announcement from his boss of a snap election on June 6th. It didn’t show!
“Pensions before politics!” – Harrington declared as i was ushered into his huge office in Caxton House. It was a little tough for a Yeovil fan to watch tea arrive in an “always Watford” mug, fortunately I didn’t get that one, guess who did!
It was surreal as the Ministers phone jumped up and down on the couch, half of the Westminster village after @richard4watford. But pensions were before politics and away we went.
After a canter around property websites and the estate agent gawp, we were on the same page about engagement. It was when we got to league tables that the ideas really gelled and once we’d linked the league table to the pension dashboard it was go -go -go.
It was all I could do to stop the Minister phoning up Simon Kirby there and then – “while he was still up from Brighton’s promotion”!
I’m not one to profit from others delusions, so I remained cold to a Brighton/Watford FC love in and reminded the Minister that “value for money” was a joint FCA/tPR production (that might have more to it than the upcoming clash of the Seagull/Hornet shoot-out next season).
I am genuinely surprised that Richard Harrington really is a decent bloke. My grumpy mate had suggested that either Harrington was playing the fool or he was a fool, well I rate him as a good bloke who you could spend a lot of time with without getting bored.
But that’s by the by. Assuming we have an election (and the incompetence of Corbyn seems to guarantee that) then by June 9th we should see our first Pensions Minister serve two parliamentary terms in living memory. Five more years of the Watford wizard – no fooling!
The plight of employers having to select pensions blind had been well rehearsed on the blog (which Harrington appeared to have read). Alex Cunningham had confirmed that I had been working with him on a Pension Bill Amendment (making me a trot) and of course Cunningham’s lot know me as a card holding member of the Tory fascista.
It is hard to play your cards worse (though Ros Altmann may just have done so!)
Pensions before politics – most of us will be voting Liberal!