Thursday, 8 January 2009

Musical (shadow) Cabinet chairs part 1

. Nick Clegg has announced his reshuffle with details being on Liberal Democrat Voice and comment on Iain Dales Diary. I think Steve Webb did a creditable job in his position at Climate Change although his move across to the Work and Pensions brief is on-balance a good thing because this is going to be a key area in which we will have to hammer Labour.

Dale says that this is a 'missed opportunity' for Lynne Featherstone though I do note from the Liberal Democrat site that her brief will include overseeing the online campaigning that the party does. Given her enthusiastic response on her blog and her clear aptitude towards directing online campaigning I am going to have to be boring and again agree with this move.

My main disappointment is that Charles Kennedy was not returned to the team. Writing on Liberal Democrat Voice 'Letterman' made a persuasive case for his return. Also, I think the possible return of Kenneth Clarke to the Tory team (something that I am going to lay myself on the line and predict will happen) will mean that once again we will go ignored in the media.

'Letterman' rightly says that;

"What Gordon Brown was missing when he first took power was a John Prescott figure; the political attack dog that can rally the party’s base and energise its activists. He has now found an unlikely person to take up that mantle in Mandelson and is reaping the benefits. In turn, Cameron has Eric Pickles who is able to fire up the right whilst Cameron is free to ignore him.

Nick doesn’t have anyone like that and Charles is perfect for the role. Giving him the Innovation, Universities and Skills brief would suit Charles skills as a communicator perfectly."

All-in-all a rather mixed-bag.


Lee Griffin said...

I really don't know why there is this fear of Charles Kennedy and using him to boost the front bench. I always respected him, and the non-scandal that got rid of him was unfortunate. Hopefully this'll be the last time he's overlooked.

Darrell G said...


To my mind the chief appeal of Charles is his rather pugialist qualities which if I am honest I think we do need to give our front bench that bit of 'punch' which it is going to need come the election....

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