Duckers & Diving: Turner’s on his Marx

A HUMOUROUS economist is not an oxymoron – they actually do exist, as our intrepid columnist found out this week.

“He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you,” so quotes the great Groucho Marx…and before anyone asks, no I’m not talking about myself!

With this quote in mind, never again shall I regard economists as boring.

It follows the address given to the Investment Property Forum Annual Lunch in Birmingham by guest speaker Dennis Turner, former chief economist of HSBC.

Normally when someone is described as a “true titan in the world of economics” that is the trigger to start me yawning.

However, not this time. Enter Dennis, followed by a stream of gags.

For instance…former Chancellor Alastair Darling – “So boring his secret service code name was Alastair Darling”.

And…“At the last General Election the Conservatives said ‘Vote Labour and taxes will go up, inflation will go up and unemployment will go up’ – I voted Labour and that’s exactly what happened”.

Turner also received a glowing introduction IPF Midlands branch chairman Tim Hurdiss.

He told the audience of 400 hard-bitten property stalwarts at the ICC, together with’s editor Andy Coyne and me, that outside of the world of economics his guest speaker’s loves included Fulham Football Club. Apparently he watched his first game at Craven Cottage over 50 years ago and has been a director of the club since 2009.

“Dennis edits Fulham’s programme, contributes to the Fultime magazine and is the club’s historian,” quotes Hurdiss.Duckers and Diving

“He also has a great love of music, and has written critiques of many musicians including Van Morrison, Joe Cocker and Ray Charles. If that was not enough it is claimed that Dennis is word perfect on the Marx Brothers.”

I wonder then how Turner’s membership of Fulham FC squares with Groucho’s famous quote: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

Come on Dennis, stick it on me ‘ead.