17 May 2010

Byrne: letter was a joke

Former Treasury minister Liam Byrne says a note to his successor was meant as a joke.

Byrne had left behind “a one-sentence letter which simply said ‘Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left’, which was honest but slightly less helpful advice than I had been expecting,” David Laws, the new Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, told a press conference this morning.

Liam Byrne said: “The letter was a joke from one chief secretary to another. I do hope David Laws’ sense of humour wasn’t another casualty of the coalition deal.”

I hear that the outgoing Chancellor Alistair Darling was much more discreet in his note and also left a bottle (no revolver) in the Chancellor’s flat.

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9 reader comments

  1. oldrightie says:

    Some joke. The reality of this shows the arrogance of Byrne and his complete lack of understanding that the joke that was the Labour economic stewardship is not the least bit funny for those of us without his state funded pension and luxury life-style.

  2. Saltaire Sam says:

    If we are entering a humourless ‘new politics’ we bloggers need to be careful about our little quips about each other. Come on, a five year old child could tell that was a joke!

  3. Alex Swallow says:

    I’m sure it was a joke, but it was a poor one in a time of recession. Moreover, to get in a dig at the coalition shows his own humour bypass.

  4. adrian clarke says:

    A joke it may have been , but i suspect from what we are beginning to hear a very accurate one .It just goes to show the type of people we have had ruling us for the last 13 years .Thank god we have got rid of them

  5. Andy Pandy says:

    ‘Many a true word spoken in jest’ as the saying goes’

    It reminds me of a few corporate salesman i have worked with in the past ….. ‘lets just win the deal even if it is loss making….we wont be around in a few years….it will be someone elses problem to deal with.

  6. Ray Turner says:

    When we’re thinking about trillions of national debt, Liam Byrne’s note was clearly 100% accurate….!

    Labour just don’t seem to be responsible with public money. They’ve got previous on this, even before the Blair/Brown era.

    Personally I hope they’re never returned to Government again. Labour are clearly the party of excessive taxation and massive waste. They’re a bloomin’ menace to the long-term prosperity and stability of the UK…

  7. Dan says:

    Your joke about the revolver was funnier, although you didn’t specify what it was a bottle of; it probably was cyanide. Equally Darling could have suggested George Osborne kill himself in the traditional Scottish way: drink yourself to death.

  8. John Smith says:

    A kind of peurile joke, one of which I may be capable, but at least laugh at it. Better tho if it had been followed by a more serious analysis of the state of affairs.
    And of course the message was serious so perhaps no more needed to have been said. As I’ve said elsewhere, there’s never been a Labour government that has not ended in economic tears. Please don’t invite them back to Whitewall in a hurry.

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