I am hugely enjoying editing a paper with a much longer history than the Washington Post or, indeed, most British papers. The Evening Standard is over 190 years old. Proof it has always been read in high places came this month when a cutting dated 7 November 1889 was found under the floorboards of the monarch’s private apartments during renovation work at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria, like our growing number of readers, knew where to get the best news.
Two of those who’ve made more than their share of news are former US Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz. They invited me to a lunch last week with current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Stanford University in California, where I periodically teach as a visiting professor. I am sorry to disappoint Trump haters, but Tillerson was rather impressive. So too is Condi Rice, who gently asked her successor how he copes with the President’s tweets. ‘By not following him on social media,’ was his deadpan reply. Most understated of all was Mr Shultz. When we were asked to introduce ourselves ‘briefly’ at the start of lunch, the second world war veteran, adviser to Eisenhower, 62nd US Secretary of the Treasury (under Nixon), 60th US Secretary of State (under Reagan), who had just celebrated his 97th birthday, replied: ‘George Shultz, ex-Marine.’
This is an extract from George Osborne’s Davos diary, which appears in this week’s Spectator