Journalist, banker, academic, think tanker and now culture vulture — is there nothing to which George Osborne cannot turn his hand? The former chancellor has today been appointed the chair of the board of trustees of the British Museum — an institution that incidentally was spared from the 20 per cent cut he forced on the culture department back in 2015.
It was of course just last month that culture secretary Oliver Dowden pledged to replace 'metropolitan bubbles' with Red Wall voters. Osborne admittedly has long been a fan of the museum, writing for The Spectator in February about how he tried to impress China’s vice premier by touring the site and regaling him with the Sutton Hoo treasures. Today’s news swells the total number of jobs Osborne has held since leaving the Treasury in 2016 to 11, including his now relinquished gigs at the Evening Standard newspaper and BlackRock asset management.
He remains a partner at Robey Warshaw, a boutique advisory firm, and the chairman of the advisory board of Italian outfit Exor. Osborne is also an adviser to 9Yards Capital, chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a fellow at the McCain Institute, a US think tank, an honorary professor at Manchester University and a visiting fellow at Stanford University, California plus a director of his family’s wallpaper business Osborne and Little. Good thing he’s used to working with spreadsheets to keep track of all that lot.
The news today coincides nicely with the fifth anniversary of the Brexit result being announced. Given Osborne’s claims that up to 820,000 jobs would be lost if Britain voted to leave, Steerpike is glad to see the architect of the ‘punishment budget’ doing his bit for the nation’s post-Brexit employment figures.