Has David Cameron’s reshuffle been a move to the right, a rearrangement of chairs on a sinking ship or will it make no difference at all? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Fraser Nelson provides his take on what the reshuffle says about the future direction of Cameron’s premiership:
‘I think we’ve seen David Cameron stamp his authority on the government. This is a very unusual government, because it’s very close at the top and very loose at the bottom. You did have a situation where the coalition had started to become more warring groups than joint partners. David Cameron has sent in strategically placed shock troops to try to rein people in. For example Vince Cable now has two pro-reform Tories to look after him.
‘You can definitely see the Prime Minister trying not to change course, but to speed up on his original direction. I really hope it’s true what James says [in his column] that he now realises he may he a one term Prime Minister. At the moment, the balance of probability is pointing to an Ed Miliband victory in 2015.’
The reshuffle has also reinvigorated the debate over airport expansion, in particular a third runway at Heathrow. James discusses how Boris Johnson has used the reshuffle to play an ‘absolute political blinder’ against the government:
‘Boris is building a constituency for himself in both the cabinet and the Conservative parliamentary party. If you look at how quickly he came out with a statement deploring the sacking of Justine Greening, that relationship is getting very close and I suspect they have talked about the future. The other thing we know, people who were overlooked or disappointed in the reshuffle, they are also talking to Boris.
‘You can see the stars beginning to align for Boris. It might still not happen but he has now become the serious alternative to Cameron.’
Clarissa Tan also joins to discuss our cover feature on why women are becoming the richer sex in Britain. Why is this happening faster than anyone expected? Listen with the embedded player below to hear how culture and education have made the difference. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.