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26-Mar-2019 11:12

I spent a week canvassing for the Labour candidate, Alex Eadie.

Labour was confident of winning, but on an 83 per cent turnout Younger held the seat by 20,047 to 18,346 – a majority of 1,701.

George Younger senior was central in the breaking up of the Lloyd George coalition government and replacing it with the Conservative governments of Bonar Law and Baldwin: he was Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 1923 to 1929, being created a viscount in 1923.

Wags could not resist comparisons: the first Viscount Younger had been responsible for the departure of Lloyd George – as Margaret Thatcher's campaign manager in 1990 the fourth Viscount was blamed by many for being insufficiently zealous in the events that led to her demise as Prime Minister.

Instead he worked through the company in a range of roles from labourer to sales manager for Glasgow.

In 1987 his majority was reduced to 182, with Younger getting 20,942 to Labour's 20,760 (with the Liberals, 7,859, and SNP, 3,548).The second Viscount Younger, James, worked in the family brewery at Alloa, fought at Gallipoli, was severely wounded on the Somme and won the DSO.He had two sons, one of whom was George Younger's father, Edward, distinguished in the public life of Scotland, while the second, Kenneth, went off in a completely different direction.Joining the family firm of George Younger and Company, part of Bass, he rose to be a senior sales manager – following the tradition of his great-great-great-uncle William Mc Ewan, who combined a career as a politician with that of successful brewer (best remembered for Mc- Ewan's Export).

As the Edinburgh University Public Orator put it at the degree ceremony for Younger's doctorate honoris causa in 1992, There was not for this son an immediate short cut to the boardroom.These tiny majorities sharpened his political antenna as to what mattered for Scottish opinion and, later, contributed to his influence in Cabinet.



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