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Video: Charles Moore – we’ve just seen the worst reshuffle in 25 years

15 July 2014

7:00 PM

15 July 2014

7:00 PM

This must be the worst reshuffle since Mrs Thatcher demoted Geoffrey Howe in 1989. Unlike that one, its errors are unforced. This year, David Cameron had established a surprisingly strong position as the leader whose unpopular but necessary policies were starting to work. He and his team seemed steadier and more able than their opponents. Now he has thrown that away with changes so large that he looks as if he disrespects what he has achieved.

He has singled out for punishment those ministers who were brave and active — most notably Michael Gove and Owen Paterson, demoting the first and sacking the second. Thus he emboldens all those pressure groups who hate the Tories and sends out a message that no one who wants a ministerial career should have a serious interest in his or her subject. He has also target-bombed his party’s natural supporters — rural voters, Eurosceptics, non-greens and people who are out of sympathy with his metropolitan preoccupations. He has dismissed the only two cabinet ministers (Paterson and the Welsh Secretary, David Jones) who voted against single-sex marriage.


By getting rid of Paterson, in particular, he has turned his strongest cabinet bulwark against Ukip into a powerful enemy. Even his promotion of women, itself a welcome trend, is hypocritical, because no women have got nearer the beating heart (if one can apply that metaphor to such cynics) of this government. The dreary frivolity of it all has really surprised me.

And Charles Moore was just getting warmed up. His full column appears in the new Spectator (below). For three months full access for just £12 click here


Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Sinceyouask

    The most depressing thing about the reshuffle is why he’s done it. He knows all too well that we, the electorate, are completely gullible. We are led by the nose by a media, especially TV, of woeful superficiality. Their requirements for sound bites and images always trump competence, policies and performance, especially in the run up to the election. This is a reshuffle designed to suggest, whatever the facts, that the Tories offer youth, dynamism and gender equality. Craven though that motive is, I struggle to criticise him for dealing with the realpolitik he faces.

    • Liz

      Well he’s right. Look how the Spectator commenters regurgitate what the Spectator columnists say.

  • Jingogunner

    The posturing, the prevarications, the tempering of truth, the refusal to face the central issue, the downright lies, the broken promises the back pedalling and now, the last desperate contortions, like the cringing cur stared down by the postman, these LABTOR failings are apparent to all who open their eyes just a tad. Those who refuse are those who still vote LABTOR, a shrinking majority or what’s left of the historical voter faction. The closer we get to the election next May, the more desperate will LABTOR shuffles and contortions become. We can expect an attempt to postpone the post election referendum and if a referendum is allowed, we can expect the EU to try and force another and another, using massive resources to blanket advertise for an ‘IN’ vote, (like they did in Ire and other European countries) until they get a majority. This pathetic charade of a reshuffle is part of that doctrine of lie and nudge which has been so firmly established by those seeking to retain power and crush opposition to their insane destruction of democracy and freedom. Ideas which most of you posting here appear to have no concern about.

  • Sir Mark Thatcher

    A load of fucking hormonal bints get promoted way beyond their talents quite obvious what was going on really. Cameron was clearing all the alleged child fuckers out of the cabinet, it would be a bit awkward during an election year if Gove and Clarke were inside on Rule 43 with all the other nonces.

    • Liz

      Saying “fucking” and “bints” and “child fuckers” and “allegedly” doesn’t make you Rod Liddle. It just makes you a sad poisonous little troll man.

  • Doh

    By removing Gove, Cameron has sacrificed another generation’s education to the cheap god of populism.

    Every time I believe my contempt for Cameron has troughed, he manages to find new ways to plumb the depths.

  • NBeale

    This is simply ridiculous nonsense. He is “scraping the barnacles off the boat” in preparation for the election.
    Gove had good ideas but was hopeless at bringing people with him.

  • timbazo

    Gove was a vote loser. That’s why he went. The question is why Cameron made him Chief Whip. Gove is now ideally placed to gauge opposition to Cameron amongst Tory MPs and to advise Osborne on when to make a challenge. Gove will probably also have time to saddle up that arrogant buffoon Boris and send him out as a stalking horse.

  • paul

    So who has been in charge of this Government for the past 54 months – Mickey Mouse !!

  • GraveDave

    Funny how you’re all clinging to Michael Gove, your pet Tory genius. Didn’t the same used to be said of the Quiet Man – IDS? So what happened to his Tory fan base then.
    Where are all the tears and outrage for Ian?
    ‘We can do this!’

    Poor Ian .

  • SonofBoudica

    By giving in to the spiteful and hate-filled Teaching Unions, Cameron has proved he has no bottle and no principles.

    • GraveDave

      He didn’t give in. And they haven’t won anything.

      • Doh

        Cameron didn’t give in, he crumbled.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    “The dreary frivolity of it all has really surprised me.”

    Why? Cameron is the personification of dreariness and frivolity.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Typical Tories. Power more important than conviction.

  • The_greyhound

    It’s on days like this I fall to wondering – is Cameron our shiniest politician, or does that honour still fall to Chukkie?

  • Sheumais

    When you consider Cameron and his cabinet’s rivals, being considered superior to them is hardly a commendation. Competence is not required to establish that superiority, merely a slowing in the pace of destruction.

  • kyalami

    Cameron has been a real let-down to conservatives. His one success has been what Gove has achieved in Education, and now Gove is off elsewhere.

    • cambridgeelephant

      In fairness – and I say this a dyed in the wool ‘Kipper – they have put the economy on the mends, certainly compared with the Labour cretins and tried reforming education and welfare, which no one has done for more than 50 years.

      But as CM says, moving Gove gives the impression they almost regret what they attempted, at least in that area.

      It’s all about having the courage of your convictions. And Cameron has little of the latter and not much more of the former.

      • solly gratia

        You are correctly fair. However, it’s time those in power realised they can’t keep bribing us with our own money, especially when it was their incompetence that lost it in the first place. Value for life, not value for money is what we need.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Correct. The immigration argument should not be based on economic factors but on social & cultural arguments. ‘Net migration’ is an example – a bean counting exercise in which if 50,000 third worlders replace 50,000 native brits, nothing is deemed to have happened.

          • cambridgeelephant

            Very true.

      • GraveDave

        Yes, they are triers. It’ s just a shame that many of their money saving ideas end up costing more than what they save and just end up hurting more people as well as extending the problem/s they’re supposed to be fixing in the first place.

    • GraveDave

      What about Gay marriage and all that ‘Lefty Multiculticrap’olympics.

  • JoeDM

    Well said. Cameron has shown us just how shallow he really is !!!

  • Baron

    An excellent appraisal of the reshuffle, Mr. Moore, the boy will live to regret it.

  • Frank

    I strongly suspect that all of these barmy changes are the work of Lynton Crosby. Quite why a British politician turns to an Aussie spin merchant baffles me, same for the American advising Miliband. Ah well, this has probably put the lid on Dave’s chances at the next election. NB I love the humiliation of Dave being turned down by the strange Liam Fox!

    • Makroon

      Oh I don’t know, Shane Warne was pretty effective.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Well said.
    Cameron’s promotion of token women to pretty-up the front bench is deeply patronising. That’s one of the few things he does really, really well.

    • solly gratia

      Once the Tory party, under Disraeli, was know for its patronage of the lower orders who needed a hand up to a better quality of life; now its Cameron’s patronising hand me down liberalism to the most favoured minority status groups.

    • Liz

      The only people saying that’s what he’s done are the people who write for the deeply patronising to women, Spectator.

  • AdH2011

    Unpopular but necessary policies won’t have chance to work is the problem when the electorate vote in Labour in 10 months time. Gove has on the whole done a decent job but he’s rattled pretty much every cage possible and ended up at logger heads with the entire educational system. It was always going to happen with the unions but at least some normal teachers need to be onside to get things pushed through.

    As for calling it Window Dressing, well that’s all modern politics is – all appearance, and little substance to anything. The Re-shuffle has been done to try to nullify Labour’s attacks on a male dominated cabinet.

    Alot of people seem quite happy to cut off their nose to spite their face and give Ed Balls another chance to take the reigns of the economy.

    • HookesLaw

      You are too rational for here.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, in 9.5 months time he can join you, looking up at Dave’s head on that spike.

  • Daidragon

    Cameron lurches to the right. Or rather crosby tells him he has to look like he’s lurched to the right to kid those UKIP defectors that he’s really one of them. When will people wake up to the fact that Cameron is a PR man. He’s an actor playing the role of PM. There’s very little authentic about him. He fought the last election pretending he was Tony Blair and he will fight this one pretending he’s Nigel Farage. In reality he has neither the charisma nor the ability of either of those.

    • HookesLaw

      I do not see much of a lurch in any direction. Your other statements are pretty childish and naive as well. But then this same old same old crass superficiality is all they we get on here. What a load of soft spoilt children you kippers are.

      • Daidragon

        Kipper? How dare you. Labour man through and through.

    • right_writes

      Yes, but he has more about him than the current Labour leader, and bearing in mind that sacking Paterson and Gove, the only two “conservatives” left in the cabinet, rather nullifies your contention.

      When I speak to wobbly Tories (those that have considered voting UKIP), it is always the name of Gove and sometimes Paterson that is mentioned as a reason why they have voted Tory again.

      Rather, I think that Cameron is still of the view that the parties that win elections, are the ones that vie for the “middle ground”, rather than the ones that have a distinct flavour… (e.g. Thatcher the reformer, Blair the destroyer)…

      Well he is obviously right, I mean look how successful he was against the “Brown Terror” in 2010!

    • Makroon

      Every PM, good or bad, is a bit of an actor – it’s a job requirement.
      SuperMac ? Wilson ‘n his pipe ? Maggie and her handbag ? Blair, the people’s princess ?
      And of course, Farage is a very competent ‘character actor’ in his own right.
      So what ?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Call Me Dave is pretending to be a conservative. It’s not about handbags and pipes. It’s about a lying charlatan, a self-entitled poshboy pretending to be a conservative.

  • global city

    Anybody standing on the Westminster Terrace would get a fantastic blimp!

  • davebush999

    Why do Gove & Paterson lose their jobs when the execrable IDS, Shapps and Pickles keep theirs? You couldn’t make it up.

  • JohnRedLantern

    Could not agree more…

  • Liberty

    Don’t agree. He has little government work to do until the GE. He has rearranged things to win the GE. Patterson is a mystery to me but I don’t know enough about him.

    Gove has done his work and someone else has been put there to keep things going. He won’t have much work so will have time for interviews, etc where he is an ace. Hague probably was happy to go and it was better to have someone more Eurosceptic considering that we will probably not get what we want from the EU so we will want someone who can say ‘no’ – and Hague is a great media performer so he will enjoy himself energetically from now to the GE. McVeigh is promoted to put her close to the action so that she can better present the government’s case on the media. I like McVeigh on the box, I think she will pull in a lot of working class waverers.

    All three – Hague, Gove and McVeigh, Truss and Morgan are great performers and most state school people. They are where they are needed for the job in hand.

    • Makroon

      Agreed. The only ‘bum note’ in my opinion, is the new job for that arch-crony Ed Vaizey. I’m surprised the class-warriors haven’t swooped on that one.

    • HookesLaw

      Moore adds to the endless list of infantile articles for the Spectator. But the infants in charge tell him what a genius he is so he keeps them coming.

  • IainRMuir

    23rd, 26th and 21st respectively in Reading, Maths and Science. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is one of our most serious problems.

    Who else has the guts to put it right?

  • misomiso

    Agree reshuffle could have gone better.

    But he calculates the Tory right will stay quiet as the election is so close, and their prize of a Euro referendum so near.

    Also if the Tory’s win a majority I think Owen Patterson and some others will make a comeback as they’ll be four extra Cabinet posts.

    But very disappointing that Owen Patterson left while Theresa Villiers stayed, and there was a chance to make a female defence secretary (Justine Greening), but its very good that Michael Fallon is now a cabinet minister.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Sad to see this dreary whinge from Chaz. His leadership candidate Owen Paterson is made of sterner stuff and will man-up to life on the backbenches.

    Seem to recall that Chaz once put the [very risible] case for David Trimble to be leader of the Tory Party.

    He does write a good column for the Speccie.

    • HookesLaw

      Which column is that – the obituaries?

  • Magnolia

    Sending Ms Truss to Environment is crass because she is poison to the stay at home mums who live there.
    The PM has brought yet more PPE/law grads in to government while losing those with degrees in proper academic subjects. Not good.
    He has shown ruthless action against his own side to try and bolster his election chances while caving in like a mouse to the teaching unions who are our real enemy.
    The Gove move might yet be a clever pre-election plan and there may be promises of another cabinet post after May 2015 but why would anyone believe that of this leader?
    Be very careful Mr Gove because you are presently looking like a patsy.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Sta at home mums in the countryside is translated as women with rich husbands who don’t have to work.

  • Thursdaythe12th

    “This year, David Cameron had established a surprisingly strong position as the leader whose unpopular but necessary policies were starting to work”

    That one had me in stitches.

  • Aline Dobbie

    Well said, I as a conservative small C voter am totally bemused by it and it further emphasizes my view that this prime minister who said all those years ago that he wanted to be PM because he thought he would be good at it is like my grandson who thinks like that about diving…..he has work in progress to achieve the skill as a diver…this man has had 4 years and still needs to work at it. Just another example of his aloof curious attitude coupled with expediency.

  • english_pensioner

    The situation was best summed up by the cartoon in today’s Telegraph
    “Window Dressing”

    • realfish

      Commentators from both inside and outside the party have agreed that the women promoted have real qualities, real ability. Credit Cameron he could have shoved them into ministerial posts (al a Labour) from the outset…but they have served something of an apprenticeship.
      It’s Labour who provided the window dressing and who patronised women by promoting on the basis of gender and not ability. Just look at the opposition benches for proof.

      • Makroon

        The people criticising the new female ministers are the same ones who protested, when May was appointed Home Secretary, that ‘she would never be up to the job’.
        Based on nothing but prejudice, of course.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …and the fact that she’s an authoritarian socialist, like most of you Camerloons, come to think of it.

          • HookesLaw

            Another example of your inconsequential nutjob spoutings. We all know that everyone is a socialist to you who does not wear a white bedsheet and wave a firery cross.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

              • HookesLaw

                You can stop pretending… how is the Grand Wizard?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and have a crack at this gibberish as well.

      • english_pensioner

        Unfortunately the majority of electors don’t take much notice of the various commentators (contrary to what both they and politicians think) and will see what has happened as being change for change’s sake.

  • cambridgeelephant

    So you’re not happy with your fellow Old Etonian, then Charles ?

    Still think Cameron will win the next election ?

  • swatnan

    Nonsense. like this reshuffle. I like this window dressing.

  • Bellevue

    Please will you stop doing this……. putting interesting stuff on coffeehouse, and then telling us we cant read it without subscribing.
    This is coffeehouse, so stop putting other stuff on here that we cant read.
    I live in France, and cannot afford to subscribe. I would buy the magazine every week, but its WAY out of my price range. I can however read coffehouse…… so STOP with the peek of other stuff.
    And while I am ranting, PLEASE do something about the comments. Its beyond a joke……. someone makes a comment and then there are about a million other comments all saying that telemachus is a troll etc. Mostly I dont bother to even read them…… whereas comments on Raedwald or Eureferendum are almost as interesting as the original blog.
    Sort yourselves out, Speccie. Or you will lose readers.

    • Gregory Mason

      Losing readers that don’t pay isn’t that big a loss from their perspective.

      They shouldn’t censor everyone. Just because you don’t agree with what is being said it does not mean that it should not be allowed to be said.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think the Speccie can bear to lose casual readers. It’s subscribes they want. How poor are you?

  • Peter Stroud

    Charles Moore is 100 percent correct. Sacking Owen Paterson was utterly idiotic: he and Gove were two Secretaries of State who really knew what they were doing.

    • goatmince

      What complete tosh! Paterson’s incompetence was proven repeatedly without fail. The chaps in with GM for no reason other than ‘business’, his performance during floods was pathetic taking months to respond, the badgers saga was a farce. Any woman would perform better doing his job. Any.

    • Kitty MLB

      I agree with most of the sackings and with some of the
      capable women such as Priti Patel and Penny Maudant.
      But I repeat, Micheal Gove and Owen Paterson ?
      A certain Prime Minister is in my bad books at present
      and utterly befuddling.But saying that Labour believe
      this is a purge of the EU loving bunch and a departure
      from the EU which most sensible people should agree with.

      • global city

        Labour’s trick of plopping out the phrase ‘we must stay in a reformed Europe’ should be pressed for an explanation. Specifics…but to get that we need some dedicated journalists to pursue it.


        • Kitty MLB

          What is a reformed Europe ? its a dying succubus that needs to be put out of its misery. Instead of slowly going over a cliff.
          Socialism never reforms. Agree with your other statement.

          • RobertC

            Greece will be towed out towards Cyprus and Spain towards Algiers.

            This will be easier than any political reform with Juncker now in place.

      • HookesLaw

        Gove has done his job. The question is – is the policy changing? Cameron has not moved the Chancellor – and whenever a PM moves his chancellor then that question becomes mega important – is the policy changing?

        I don’t think the policy is changing, there is no desire by Cameron or the tory party to change the policy, so Gove’s move is unemportant. Not least because he is still a minister. Likewise the wish fore Hague to retire means that it is possible mto make the shuffle more wide than otherwise.

        I doubt that any of the wider electorate outside a few thousand of the blogerati have ever heard of Owen Patterson, irrespective of how sound we think he is. The usual suspects are getting far too excited and Moore is just showing his age. Its not called a greasy pole for nothing and its inevitable that some people are going to end up sliding down it. Fact of life.

        • ButcombeMan

          The people of Somerset have heard of Patterson. By actually doing something about the Labour plot to flood it permanently, he was winning support in LibDem territory.

          • HookesLaw

            Labour want to flood Somerset? Good luck with that one.

            • ButcombeMan

              Did you ever hear the car crash of an interview on the Today program, with Baron Smith of Finsbury?.

              Did you ever read any of those reports on the Levels, done under Labour?

              The flooding in Somerset, the extent and duration of it, Was an absolutely deliberate policy result, of making room for wildlife-at the expense of people.

              Patterson grasped that.

              Booker has written about it several times. He lives down there.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Charles Moore doesn’t like women much if they are doing unwomanly things. He is in love with his own image as something out of Brideshead Revisited. And he writes for the DT, so that’s another reason for thinking he is wrong..

  • Blindsideflanker

    As Cameron has , much to my disgust, opened the Pandora’s box of identity politics , I might as well ask…. What’s in it for me, how does Cameron intend to buy my white, male, English, middle aged, vote?

    • Roger Hudson

      Ha, Ha , he wants you to emigrate or die quickly (save the NHS), he is totally in a Notting Hill bubble. Even the Cotswolds have been snubbed.
      He is useless, we should have had David Davis.
      As for your vote, he must be expecting it to go to UKIP anyway so why should he work for you.

      • Blindsideflanker

        So Cameron is not going to shows his love for us, and when he called us Sour faced, taliban, swivel,eyed, closet racist Englanders, he really did mean it.

        • global city

          Yes, so remember, don’t let him down!

        • telemachus

          Whatever else, Cameron always speaks the truth
          You cannot deny any one of those
          One was specifically underlined by the billboards

      • Blindsideflanker

        “so why should he work for you.”

        I have never been able to figure out that strategy, may be its a secret bit of knowledge shared around PPE graduates, how come he goes after votes the Conservatives are never going to attract, but casually discards votes the Conservative used to be able to call their own?

        • Tim Baker

          Cameron has to keep up with the changing demographic of the country.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            That demographic is 9.5 months away from mounting his head on a spike, so he’s can’t be doing much of a job keeping up.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Actually the grey vote is important nowadays. Trouble is Cameron despises it & would rather have the approval of the metropolitan luvvies.

        • David davis

          It’s called GramscoFabiaNazism.

      • Tim Baker

        David Davis wasn’t media savvy enough

        • Damaris Tighe

          Sound politicians rarely are.

      • lightinfantryman

        Like with most Conservatives at the time I voted for David Davis, and still find it incomprehensible that we ended up with Cameron who has been and utter disaster for the Conservative Party.

        However, in common with very many Conservatives, as my party left me I upgraded to UKIP where the future lies for Britain.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Change gender or convert to Islam, but don’t do both.

      • HenryWood

        Good advice!

    • John Dalton

      I hope this reshuffle is the final proof that Cameron is nothing more than a left-leaning spin-obsessed PR man – no more a Conservative than Nick Clegg or his idol Blair. If this doesnt put true conservatives off voting for this party nothing will.

      This is window dressing designed to appeal to the metropolitan luvvies in the media. The voters just want the best people for the job and these aren’t them.

      • Davidh

        “The voters just want the best people for the job” – unfortunately, depressingly, that’s not the case. Or else Gove would be top of the polls.

        This may all be PR, but if it works then you avoid having prime minister Ed.

        • Major Plonquer

          Ed, unfortunately, looks much better today than he did yesterday.

      • NBeale

        Cameron is very well advised in this. Gove had good ideas but to achieve real change you have to bring people with you.

        Also image matters when you are running a large organisation and especially when you have to win an election. The people promoted are all very competent but they will also bring fresh energy and convey the fact that there is plenty left to do.

        • David davis

          So if the ideas were good, but people “didn’t want to be brought with them”, then isn’t there something wrong with the people?

          You can’t have it both ways.

    • Kitty MLB

      I shall be honest and say I’m struggling to be loyal. What on earth is Cameron doing. Removing Michael Gove the most excellent and capable Education minister for decades. Can Nicky Morgan deal with the NUT in the same way.
      Owen Paterson also very capable.
      He tries to send Mr Fox abroad to keep him out of the way and keeps the loathsome Grant Shapps in his job. and as for Anna Soubry
      I am utterly dumbfounded. I do agree with a few such as Penny Mordaunt
      and a couple of others.. but honestly I am really speechless.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Welcome to my world…

        • Kitty MLB

          I’ve been there for a while, Colonel.

          • telemachus


            • Colonel Mustard

              Have you ever counted how many comments you stuff into a thread?

              You are manic.

              • telemachus

                Now you post with the black banner


                I more than welcome your posts

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Then you are deluding yourself as usual. If you had any historical knowledge at all then you would recognise it for what it is. But as usual you inhabit the realms of deceit, spin, subterfuge and misrepresentation.

                  It is a poster depicting glorious Britannia being throttled by the ugly stunted and stunting goblin of socialism (in my avatar that is representative of you) and asserts, truthfully, “Socialism, throttling our country”.

                  Socialism is still throttling our country, from the classroom to the TV studio, from the “charity” office to the quango, and I look forward to the day when we can be finally liberated from its deceit and from people just like you.

                  But what really matters are not my avatar but my comments which you certainly won’t be welcoming. For their words will oppose you and the tyranny you represent.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I was just going to make a point about the Colonel’s banner
                  but what more can I say, he has done that and superbly.
                  Oh, buzzing wasp, the silly season has come early. leave peoples picnics alone.

      • sfin

        For nearly thirty years, the word ‘loyalty’ was embedded in me.

        Loyalty to my country, my regiment, the conservative party…

        My eyes were opened by the Blair creature and his brand of professional, PR politics – and his evil of using military force to promote his version of foreign policy – not as the instrument of last resort.

        Blair is clearly Cameron’s hero (he led the standing ovation when the slime ball eventually left the commons). Shortly after achieving power, he thought it would be a great idea to get involved in the Libyan civil war – along with Sarkozy (another Blair wannabe). Nobody talks much about Libya now in the conservative party – as it is well on the way to ‘failed state’ status. The fool wanted to do the same thing in Syria.

        He has now indulged in the worst sort of “gesture politics where merit has gone out the window” (quoting an unnamed conservative MP). It’s what we used to accuse the Loony left of doing back in the 80’s – remember?

        Painful though it is, I would urge you to open your eyes Kitty. You are a conservative thinker – your party no longer is, and hasn’t been for quite some time.

        • HookesLaw

          You are the blind one. There is no evidence that Blair is Cameron’s hero. The fact is Blair won 3 elections. Despite that he failed by his own terms. This govt under Cameron has been reforming the NHS Welfare Pensions Education Defence Local and Central Government – all things Blair said he wanted to do but was thwarted by his own party in general and brown in particular.

          Your comments are plain crass. This is as conservative a party as it has ever been. But go ahead keep with your delusions and assist the crypto marxist Miliband into power.

          • sfin

            Reforming Defence?!!!!

            Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

            Keep ’em coming Hookey! – Hilarious!

          • Picquet

            Blair won three popularity contests. Cameron, in the style of the Modern Politician, wants the same, but by manoeuvering the Conservative agenda to fit what he sees as the popular wishlist is losing the genuine Conservative voter to UKIP. Me for one, and it seems I’m in good company.

          • MirthaTidville

            The only one with delusions Hooky is you

          • Blindsideflanker

            Oh come on, remember ‘Heir to Blair’, and it is pretty much common knowledge that Cameron and Osborne poured over all the literature that came out of New Labour.

          • Jingogunner

            If Cast Iron Christian Dyno Rod Cameron stays on as PM after next May, the UK will be remaining in the EU. The same would happen if Weirdo attains office. Disagreements over petty details is a witless behaviour indeed. Who cares if its Tory or Labour that keeps us in the EU? Why does it matter in the slightest which party leads the destruction of national sovereignty and democracy?

      • telemachus

        Removing Gove is a patriotic act
        Witness the news reports of parties in schools around the land at the news last night
        Educational Social Darwinism must now be dismantled by Morgan

        • telemachus

          PS Nicki Morgan is an egalitarian Minister of the people
          She grew up in Surrey and attended the fee-paying Surbiton High School. She went on to study law at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

          Ms Morgan worked as a solicitor, specialising in corporate law and advising a range of private and public companies from 1994 until her election as MP in 2010.

          • David davis

            No good as an MP then.

            Has she even had to go out and sell anything? On the road, to people she doesn’t know and hadn’t previously made a plan to “pitch” to?

            No, I thought not.

            Nobody should be allowed to “enter Parliament” until he is at least (a) 55, and (b) has really done something useful.

            • RoadrunnerNick

              That’s got rid of Churchill and Thatcher, then.

        • wycombewanderer

          It is utterly disgraceful that teachers are politicising young minds.

          Look at the results when it churns out idiots like you; incapabable of independent thought, word, or deed.

          • telemachus

            It is the independent thought of dissidents such as I that have saved the country from any further damage caused by Gove and his educational social Darwinism
            Teachers have a duty to mould fertile young minds to the aims of a fair society
            Now they can get on with this in peace

            • Colonel Mustard

              You are far from being a dissident. You are more like a commissar.

            • solly gratia

              Indoctrination; that’s for explaining that.

            • girondas2

              “It is the independent thought of dissidents such as I”

              Indepenent thought? Dissident? Good grief man, you merely parrot the party line as dictated to you by your superiors.

              Day after day after day…….

          • Colonel Mustard

            The objective is a single party state and a fully politicised society with ‘commissars’ like telemachus policing thought, word and deed.

        • Kitty MLB

          ‘ Educational Social Darwinism’ you mean children knowing the basics. Morgan will not be dismantling a single thing .

      • MirthaTidville

        I understand how you feel…Dave is shallow and incompetent,Therein lies everything about him and his latter day party I`m sorry to say. He does not deserve loyalists

      • AtMyDeskToday

        “I’m struggling to be loyal”

        I too struggled manfully but eventually succumbed to the attractions of voting for a party that actually in general represented my thoughts and aspirations, regardless of my reservations with respect to some of their policies. I advise doing the same, whatever party that may be. I posted this elsewhere but it’s worth repeating…

        In 1955 Scotland had 36 Conservative MPs at Westminster. The biggest party by votes and seats…
        Scotland 1955 GE
        C 1,273,942 (50.1%) 36 MPs elected
        L 47,273 (1.9%) 1 MPs elected
        Lab 1,188,058 (46.7%) 34 MPs elected
        SNP 12,112 (0.5%) 0 MP elected

        As of now the Conservatives have one seat. The outlook is that the Cons are repeating in England their failure in Scotland.

        • Damaris Tighe

          This is because the Conservatives only want to conserve whatever is the status quo of the moment. Thus the agenda is always socialist & the status quo moves further & further left. Eventually, as we see now, the Conservative Party becomes in effect Labour Lite.

      • Jen The Blue

        Then do what many of us ex-Tories have done……make the difficult but necessary decision that the Tories are now leftist, PC and wedded to the EUSSR and that UKIP is the future.

        • Makroon

          UKIP seem to have been learning proselytising tips from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You have to laugh.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …you Camerloons should perhaps consult with the Jehovah’s, and see if there’s chance they can resurrect Dave come May 2015, after the electorate mounts his head on a spike.

      • Jingogunner

        The issue is about the needs of adults to win the next election and nothing else.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …so the Cameroons are dumping the kidult Dave?

    • ButcombeMan

      Cameron had two choices in dealing with Gove, flunk it and move him, or do a “Maggie” and shout to the rafters that he stood by what Gove was doing. The changes were needed, “being behind the rest of the world is not an option”. Take on the Guardianistas and the blob, take the issue to the people. “the future of your kids and the country”.

      Cameron is no Maggie.

      He flunked leadership, he flunked doing the right thing for Britain. Just pathetic. I give up on him.

      • HookesLaw

        Are you seriously suggesting that Gove would stay as Education Secretary for life? That if the tories were to win in 2015 Gove would still be Education Secretary? There is no one else to fill that role?
        Just what are you blathering on about? Is education policy changing – is there a new education bill going to go through parliament in the next 10 months abolishing free schools?

        • ButcombeMan

          Maybe the ticks up, indicate a few people agree with me?

          Of course not for life. Did I say that?

          For the parliament, yes.

          Gove is THE most successful Minister and the only one that might tempt me to vote Tory again.

          I guess quite a number of people agree with me.

          Cameron is not a leader. He has no convictions that I can discern.

          • HookesLaw

            Its easy to energise the nutjobs.
            In what way will education policy change in the next 10 months?
            If someone else is going to have the job in 10 months will you be going spare then? Why is it so shocking that he moves now when we move into the campaigning phase of the parliament.
            Gove is still in government. Gove is still placed, if he wishes and can be convincing, to run for leader. Indeed his actions over the next 10 months will be important in that respect.
            Gove has been Education Secretary for over 4 years and passed all the legislation needed. If there were any desire to change policy he would have been moved years ago.

            Really you do very little to encourage the view that the right wing of politics can think straight.

            • ButcombeMan

              A lot of intelligent people can spot presentation taking precedence over principles.

              Cameron has capitulated to the baying of the mob.

      • sfin

        Loathe though I am to admit this (I am no fan of Cameron’s), I actually agree with James Forsyth’s conclusions in the “assassination of Michael Gove” article.

        i.e. He is showing some strategic, political nous by moving one of his most capable ministers into the centre of the machine, in order to use those capabilities in the, forthcoming, election fight.

        If the Tories win the election, next year, I think Gove will get one of the ‘big three’ cabinet jobs.

        • RobertC

          But Gove’s move was broadcast as a demotion.

          If only Cameron had had some experience in PR.

          • Makroon

            Only by the idiot journos.

    • Makroon

      You sold your vote to the Farage fantasy, long ago.
      You are not really planning to sell your vote twice, are you ?

      • Blindsideflanker

        You shouldn’t claim to know about others when you clearly don’t.

    • Daidragon

      He’s going to tell you Ed is a weirdo and Nigel is a fruitcake so it’s better to vote for a stand up guy like himself.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, apparently for the Crosby-powered Camerloon machine, it’s going to be all bacon sandwiches and swastikas.

    • David davis

      He doesn’t give a **** about you. That’s because he’s a GramscoFabiaNazi. It’s sad that he got elected on false pretences, intimating that he’d do something about these foul people.

    • Tubby_Isaacs

      There’s no place for middle aged English white men now.
      Apart from PM, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Health Secretary, Deputy PM, Business Secretary…

      I think I really lost patience when Southall Black Sister Michael Fallon was put in charge of Defence.

  • john

    How has the elitism index changed? Number of Old Etonians/all Cabinet members.

  • DavidL

    One question. Why this reshuffle. Okay, a supplementary: why now?

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      So he can blame his female appointees when he loses the 2015 GE?

    • Lady Magdalene

      Because Cameron was caught on camera at QT few months ago with an entirely male front bench.
      And in the case of Paterson, he needed to remove a competent Minister from the Cabinet because he was virtually a BOO ……. and that can’t be permitted.

      • Damaris Tighe

        It’s a sad world in which ‘an entirely male front bench’ actually matters.

  • goatmince

    If women are found not to be electable then they must be parachuted in.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      … via the Lords?

  • Jack1066

    Moore is pretty much on the nail. I’m getting bored of being an activist down in my corner of Ruralshire for a party the leadership of which seems more and more indifferent to my interests.

  • telemachus

    This post indicates the need for a Spectator reshuffle
    Time to move over for in touch posters

    • Marmalade Sandwich

      You would top any poll to remove the dross from the Spectator. Goodbye Telespacus

    • Kitty MLB

      And what about you, Agent Provocateur? you are as complex as the Byzantine Empire and spend you time lurking within the shadowy parts of the
      Spectator like a menacing presence.

      • Colonel Mustard

        He does a little bit more than just lurk at the Spectator.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Well get lost then you idiot.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Not forgetting David Willets who has done a fantastic job in supporting industry and science and started the long haul to re-industrialise the economy. Britain should be operating at the same magnitude as Germany. But fundamentally Mr Moore is entirely correct.

    • Makroon

      Moore, like Tebbit, is a man out of his time, thrashing about in his incomprehension.
      The ministers removed by Cameron, are pure dead-wood and bed-blockers, that prat Willetts, chief amongst them. He was put in place to keep an eye on Cable and instead became a groupie. He should be nowhere near a centre-right government.
      Governments can never “start the long haul to re-industrialise the economy”, that is pure Vince speak.
      Gove is of course, still part of the government.
      The objective is to persuade the electorate to vote for a second-term, not to pander to a bunch of preening, self-destructive Kippers.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, they’re certainly not pandering to UKIP, so that’s a success for the Camerloons by your standards. Unfortunately, the rest of it is an omnishambles of a failure, and those failures and that one “success”, in synergistic combination, are going to have Dave’s head mounted on a spike, 9.5 months from now.

        • HookesLaw

          The electorate are not pandering to UKIP? Thats true, they dropped 7 points in ICM
          Your words are meaningless because they are based on a life experience living on another planet.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I’m getting a kick out of you Camerloons and your polling onanism, lad. But no matter how hairy your palms get, Dave’s head is still headed for that spike, 9.5 months from now.

            • HookesLaw

              Oh I think I know how you get your kicks…

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …careful though, lad, you hairy palm Camerloons will be a dead giveaway. .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I’ve never understood how masturbation makes your palm hairy. Any tips on that VG?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you best ask one of your Camerloon buds, lad.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Naughty, naughty!

      • ButcombeMan

        But unless Cameron attracts the (Tory) kippers back, he is done for.

    • Fergus Pickering

      David Willets never got over being called ‘Two-brains’. He is a fool. I’ve always thought so and every time he opens his mouth I think so more.

      • Makroon

        I think that nick-name was dreamed up by some bright-spark as a lampoon of Willetts.

  • Alex Dunlop

    Charles, would you be quite so strident if Owen Paterson wasn’t your chum?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Oh is he? I didn’t know that. Thank you for the information.

  • dado_trunking

    A harsh headline from the man who has promoted Mugabe as a socially acceptable alternative.