Lord Nigel Lawson
We have entered a new age of unreason which threatens to be as economically harmful as it is disquieting. It is from this, above all, that we need to save the planet.
Lord Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, was Chancellor of the Exchequer between June 1983 and October 1989. Lord Lawson is currently Chairman of Oxford Investment Partners, majority owned by a number of leading Oxford Colleges, and also of Central Europe Trust, an advisory and private equity firm focused on Central and Eastern Europe. He is the immediate past President of the British Institute of Energy Economics. Most recently his major interest has been the economics and politics of global warming, about which he has written a best-selling book, An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming, which has made him a prominent and high profile climate change skeptic.
Educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, Lawson had a distinguished career as a journalist before entering parliament. After ten years as a financial journalist he was appointed editor of the Spectator in 1966, a post he held for four years.
In 1981 he entered the Cabinet as Energy Secretary and in 1983 he began a six-year stint as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He set about simplifying the tax system and reducing the level of direct taxation, actions that made him popular with both the party and the Prime Minister.
Lawson was a key proponent of the Thatcher Government's privatization policy. During his tenure at the Department of Energy he set the course for the later privatizations of the gas and electricity industries and on his return to the Treasury he worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry in privatizing British Airways and British Telecom.
After the government's re-election in 1983, Lawson was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. The trajectory taken by the UK economy from this point on is typically described as 'The Lawson Boom' by analogy with the phrase 'The Barber Boom' which describes an earlier period of rapid expansion under the tenure as chancellor of Anthony Barber in the conservative government of Edward Heath.
After leaving government, Lawson took a life peerage as Lord Lawson of Blaby, accepted a directorship of Barclays Bank and wrote his memoirs, The View from Number 11.