Thursday, 8 January 2009

Musical chairs and the (shadow) Cabinet part 2; Will the Tories follow suit??

. So, Nick Clegg has announced his 'General Election team' and now the next question is logically will David Cameron follow suit?? Iain Dale gives us his thoughts on his blog; he thinks the speculation is damaging the Tories and he may well be right because if nothing else it conveys the impression of unease.

Of course, the big question is the will he/won't he speculation over the return of Kenneth Clarke. Here I have to agree with Iain's line that the exclusion from office on grounds of his stance over Europe is risible. One thing that will occur if they do continue to exclude Clarke on those is that more and more people will see the Conservatives as being unmodernised and still as being ideologically hidebound. Conversely, if Clarke does make a return it could well be seen (with some justification) as the elusive 'Clause IV' moment for Cameron. His mass appeal is also rightly noted and he has the unusual combination of being both an effective advocate of policy and a bit of a pugilist.

No doubt it is this that makes him so unattractive to the likes of Conservative Home; they obviously still feel threatened by having a big 'Pro' European so close to power. Falco helpfully illustrates this mentality;

"The problem is that he can be trusted absolutely. I have more respect for him than many EUrophiles because at least he is honest about it. That doesn't mean I would like to see him in any position to sell us down the river."

Iain goes onto say that he would offer Alan Duncan the transport brief (assuming Clarke gets business). He despairs at the attacks on Duncan on Conservative Home which incidentally, if the way George Osborne was treated wasn't evidence enough, is sound evidence that the Conservative Party is still something of a viperous nest when it comes to attempts at personal assassination. I don't think I would be as fulsome in my praise of Duncan as Iain is, he hasn't really shone out from under Osborne to me but there you go; he might flourish with a different brief.

The problem with bringing David Davis back is essentially finding somewhere to put him; if I was in David Cameron's boots what I might be tempted to do would be to create a special brief on civil liberties and give it to Davis. Obviously, this wouldn't carry over into government but it would be excusable for an opposition to do it and would harness Davis's (largely undeserved in my eyes) good reputation in this area. I don't expect Cameron to actually do this though since he won't want Davis's shadow cast over his own leadership.

As for party chairman I think Eric Pickles would be a virtual shoe-in but then again what do I know. Grayling got in a complete tis-was over Labour's benefits reform program; at first offering them support only to having to embarrassingly volte-face when it became clear that Cameron preferred inflicting a defeat on Labour too actually voting on the substantive policy. Over to you Mr Cameron....


david cameron's forehead said...

"if I was in David Cameron's boots what I might be tempted to do would be to create a special brief on civil liberties and give it to Davis"

He would never dare do such a thing as it would expose him as vapid, a follower, & someone who doesn't dare face up to neocon & otherwise authoritarian elements of his own part.

You will recall that my opinion of Davis is higher than yours...I was thinking today how interesting it is that he is one of the only top Tories who is working-class. Does this explain why he is more of a man than the rest of them? :)

Darrell G said...


Lol well maybe; you see what I mean though...I was trying to think like David Cameron which may or may not have caused the glowering headache I now have but hey-ho....on the one hand you have an exploitable resource, on the other you have a potential thorn in your own side....

Yes it is; iv'e tried hard to distance myself from a high personal opinion of Davis here and I hope i succeeded :) to the working class thing who knows...i need some paracetomol :)

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