BBC Newcastle rang this morning to ask if I'd go on air to discuss former Chancellor George Osborne's appointment as editor of the London Evening Standard. Here are my thoughts...

It is not only a clear conflict of interest but a jobs-for-the-boys insult to hard-working journalists everywhere.

Tony Blair put the tin hat on it over the weekend when he told Andrew Marr that Mr Osborne was "a capable guy" and the appointment "would make politics more interesting".

Oh, come off it - how myopic can you get? Mr Osborne is undoubtedly a capable guy but the appointment of a newspaper editor should surely be about quality journalism, not interesting politics. It should be about credentials in journalism, the ability to lead, and balanced judgement.

Mr Osborne's editorship will always been clouded by suspicion that he (along with London Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev) will use it as part of a political powerbase.

Being an editor - at least to do the job properly - means having to live the role. You have to be part of the community you serve, listen to readers so you can make sound judgements, and see the paper (and its website) through to publication. It's more than a full-time job - and surely the same applies to being an MP.

So good luck to Mr Osborne fitting in both jobs on top of earning £13,000 a day as an adviser to BlackRock, the world's biggest asset management firm. I'm sure he'll be good at cutting costs at least.

In the meantime, as an editor with 20 years' experience, and with a CSE Grade 1 maths to my name, I'd like to apply to be Chancellor.

After all, Philip Hammond's making a right pig's ear of it.