Iain Macleod and the Final Gamble

Buried at Gargrave Parish Church is one Iain Macleod. This man rose to be Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1970, for one month. Although fairly unknown now, he invented a number of terms still in circulation, such as ‘stagflation' and ‘the nanny state’. In his earlier days, he had been something of a gambler, essentially living a playboy's life off his bridge earnings before the Second World War. He became a champion bridge player, writing Bridge is an Easy Game (Falcon Press, 1952).

One might think that an established gambler would not have been the best person to be in charge of the nation’s finances. Or, perhaps, it equipped him splendidly for the job; managing the British economy in the 1970s needed all the luck of an accomplished gamester. His real gamble, though, was not as a bridge player, nor being a 1970s Conservative politician. Having been elevated to the second most senior office in the land on 20th June, he was dead by 20th July.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mark 8:36

The Right Honourable Iain Macleod was a likeable, competent man. I just hope he got right with his God before his end came. Climbing to the top of the greasy pole is not enough. There are no Chancellors in heaven, only sinners saved by grace.