John Redwood, the Member of Parliament for Wokingham, is no stranger to controversy.
So an emerging nano-row about his position as Charles Stanley’s chief global strategist is unlikely to cause him, or his employer for that matter, any sleepless nights. Indeed, both could turn out very grateful for the additional publicity.
Moreover it is not as if the issue at hand is especially important.
On 3 November the Financial Times published an article written by Mr Redwood in which he advised investors to reduce their UK exposure in favour of Europe.
From an investment perspective this advice makes good sense (apart from possibly being 12 to 18 months too late). Economic growth in Europe has become much stronger over the past year and company profits are rising. In contrast, the UK economy now appears to be in late-cycle mode. It is still growing, but at nothing like the rate as Europe.
The problem is, however, that Mr Redwood, a former government minister and two-time contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party, is a leading proponent of Brexit. So advocating a tactical switch from the UK to Europe could be perceived as being hypocritical. And potentially disruptive given his position as a senior British politician.
Frances Coppola, a former banker and contributor to Forbes, certainly thought so and wrote an article for the title published on 12 November. This excoriated Mr Redwood.
In her view Mr Redwood’s advice was the equivalent of attempting to engineer an economic crash. Furthermore, she contended, Mr Redwood would benefit financially.
“...to protect his job as an investment manager, he warned his wealthy clients to get their money out before the disaster hits,” Ms Coppola wrote. “To me, this smacks of disaster capitalism. Engineer a crash while ensuring your own interests are protected, then clean up when it hits.
“This is despicable behaviour by a lawmaker,” she continued. “The Rt. Hon Redwood is putting his own interests above those he represents. He is unfit to hold office. He should resign.”
This sounds straight out of The Guardian school of journalism. And it did seem a little surprising that its columnists hadn’t noticed Mr Redwood’s FT piece. Perhaps they were too busy churning out “revelations” about the Paradise Papers.
But it did eventually notice Ms Coppola’s piece and gave it due coverage in an article published on 13 November. As did The Huffington Post.
A storm in a teacup? Most certainly yes, notwithstanding the interest of left leaning publications. Most people would consider Mr Redwood dead wood as a politician.
Nonetheless, his most recent article for the FT does raise the question, yet again, about whether or not sitting Members of Parliament should have concurrent jobs.
On a personal basis I have no problem with this. When I worked in the House of Commons politicians from all parties had outside jobs. Indeed it sometimes seemed that the parliamentary timetable was deliberately constructed to facilitate this end. Formal proceedings didn't comence until 14.30 so enabling MPs to get a full morning's work in at their outside jobs.
And John Redwood is certainly well qualified as a global investment strategic. Before becoming a politician he was an investment analyst and director, initially at Robert Fleming and then NM Rothschild.
Moreover, it is not as if he has just commenced a new career as a global strategist working for a London-based wealth management firm.
Back in 2007 he co-founded Evercore Pan Asset Management and functioned as its investment strategist, producing around two commentaries a week, something of which Ms Coppola, The Guardian et al seem to be unaware.
In 2013 Charles Stanley acquired Pan Asset and, it seems, Mr Redwood.