Monday, August 20, 2012


Autumn Reshuffle Should be Fascinating

I love reshuffles: they are newsworthy, gossipy and fun to anticipate The conventional wisdom is that they seldom change much but I'm not so sure: Macmillan's infamous 'Night of the long Knives' in 1962 removed his enemies but was interpreted as a sign of terminal weakness; the reshuffle following the resignations of Nigel Lawson damaged Thatcher; and Peter Mandelson's surprise appointment in 2008 extended the life of Gordon Brown's troubled administration.

Writing in the Telegraph, Paul Goodman suggests Vince Cable be promoted to the Home Office- a bold step that would be and unlikely as Cameron's right-wing would go bonkers- not that most of them aren't there already of course.

Ken Clarke is much criticised by that loony right wing again for his relatively progressive and sensible penal policies. According to the Mail, he says he will stay put as replacing him with a right-wing zealot will merely 'retoxify' the party. Hmm, wonder if Dave would dare to do that. Daily Mail rumours that right wing Chris Grayling is the person tipped to take over from IDS who will take over from the 72 year old Ken. The Daily Mail today judges the reshuffle plan in 'tatters' thanks to Ken's refusal to to budge One plan is to make him Leader of the House, a respected position for difficult colleagues (for example John Biffen and Robin Cook; some think pictures of Ken falling asleep on his bench in the Commons after a good lunch would be too embarassing

My own candidate for chopping is most definitely Jeremy Hunt; his presence is an embarrassment to the government and his face on the telly is the only one which makes my blood boil every time I see it. Will he get rid of George Osborne who is his besty political mate and with Dave himself, cornerstone of the deficit reduction programme. I can't see Dave moving Gideon for both those reasons, so expect him to stay.

Other possible moves include William Hague to Chancellor though this apparently safe pair of hands dropped an enormous brick by suggesting force might be used to seize Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy. Another person heading for the chop is allegedly Baroness Warsi: great back story but she can't make any impact on the shire ladies and grass roots membership who continue to fall away in droves.

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