The ups and downs of reshuffles

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.


Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Politics

8 responses to “The ups and downs of reshuffles

  1. Auntie Flo'

    Excellent analysis, Tom.

  2. fetler

    Alan Duncan will certainly be entertaining to watch as he attempts to do battle with Harriet Harman, although I doubt he’ll be much trouble.

    I’m actually more concerned that I’ve only just noticed it’s snowing a blizzard outside! Uncle Dave can’t top that. Most depressing day of the year? Pah! I’m loving it!

  3. Paul Williams

    Tom, I’m quite concerned, are you feeling well? For a number of days now you have posted reasoned and well argued posts that haven’t resorted to the ‘do-nothing’ type of comment.

    Is it you or an impostor? 🙂

    I mostly agree with your analysis here, but I’m not surprised by DD being omitted. Whatever DD’s attributes I think he seriously upset the Cameron circle with his resignation – a lot of bad feeling ensured so it was unlikely to be ‘rewarded’ in the foreseeable future.

  4. Maybe Uncle Dave has assumed Tom’s identity. Kinda like how those agents in the Matrix can take over the bodies of anyone ‘plugged in’… but not as cool.

    Although he wouldn’t be blogging from a train, he’d be blogging from his bike on the train tracks being followed by his personal train carrying his papers!

  5. Johnny Norfolk

    Its a pity there is no room for John Redwood. He is the only person that can explain whats going on in Labours destruction of our country.

  6. richard

    @ Paul Williams

    Kind of hard to call him “do-nothing” when it’s become obvious that the Conservative Party is effectively functioning as Labour’s policy shop.

    The do-nothing tag didn’t work. Poll numbers for Labour are down and heading toiletwards again. I expect we’ll see a new “line” in a few days once the spinners do some more focus groups…

  7. Andy

    Tom, good post. In agreement with much of what you have said.

    On the subject of David Davis, I’d keep him out of the Shadow Cabinet for now. Every party needs a rottweiler from the backbenches as well as the front, and Davis can be that man with no need for restraint. However, if the Conservatives win the next election I probably would expect him to be brought back into Government at that point.

  8. Matt

    The trouble with DD now is that no-one knows when or over what he might have another rush of blood to the head. He’s made himself a liability.

    The other ‘big beast’ the grass roots want back is John Redwood. Goodness knows why, so it’s great that Cameron ignored them!

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