A RULE about reshuffles is that, whether in government or in opposition, they tend to be initially welcomed by the media. If doubts emerge, it is only in the aftermath, 24-48 hours later.
So the Tories have done well so far to dominate the political headlines on the day a second tranche of cash is to be shoveled into the black hole that is our banking system. And there are some interesting and intelligent moves: Grayling has done well in both his recent positions – transport and DWP – and it will be intersting to see how effective his rottweiller approach will be at Home Affairs.
Theresa May will probably be glad to have her second stint as Shadow Leader of the House finally end. Alan Duncan will enjoy his weekly jousts with Harriet Harman during Business Questios on Thursday mornings. As Coffee House rightly says this afternoon, Dominic Grieve should probably not have been given Shadow Home Secretary last summer when David Davis resigned, and he may well be more suited to Shadow Justice Secretary.
Two negative points, though: I share the disappointment of the business community and a sizeable number of Tory MPs that Cameron has not shifted Theresa Villiers out of transport (though I accept that would have been difficult following a week when he gave her such unambiguous support in her campaign against economic growth Heathrow’s third runway).
And then there’s the DD question. Having accepted the argument for bringing back at least one of the so-called Big Beasts, what is Cameron’s reason for not bringing back David Davis, especially after his tacit admission today that DD’s replacement has not performed well?
Having won the argument for Clarke’s return, DD’s supporters are unlikely to allow the prospect of his eventual return to the front bench disappear from the headlines or from Tory blogs.