10 OCTOBER 1987, Page 5


IT would obviously be wrong for Lord Young to be the next chairman of the Conservative Party so long as he is Secret- ary of State for Trade and Industry. At least, it should be obvious, but apparently is not so to Mrs Thatcher. The party chairman has to cultivate businessmen who will pay money to the Conservative Party. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has to decide impartially many questions affecting the interests of businessmen. Therefore the two jobs are incompatible. It is very odd anyhow that someone as important as Lord Young should want to be party chairman. The job is neither very interesting nor important until an election is imminent. The post is also a graveyard of careers. Only Mr Cecil Parkinson did himself a favour by taking it. Lord Young has never stood for Parlia- ment and so will not command respect among constituenceies. He is suited to his present job and unsuited to this proposed one. The Conservative chairman for the next two years should be an efficient, undemonstrative, relatively unimportant figure, not a front rank politician with major government work to do.