Coffee House

Reshuffle 2014: How will Labour attack?

16 July 2014

8:50 AM

16 July 2014

8:50 AM

How will Ed Miliband deploy the reshuffle at Prime Minister’s Questions today? The Labour leader may not use it as his main theme, but he has plenty of elements from yesterday’s surprisingly big shake-up to work with.

He could probe on just how good a reshuffle this has been for equality. Most of the focus is on gender equality, but some appointments yesterday were about more than just the ladies in waiting for a Cabinet post. Stephen Crabb, for instance, was raised by a single parent in a council house, although there seems to be more interest in his minority status as a bearded Cabinet minister. But though the advance of the women might not have been as extensive as it was billed, it will be more difficult for Miliband to get traction on this when the papers are full of coverage (and rather alarming sartorial analysis) of the women who did win yesterday and given the choreography of this reshuffle, which saw the men chased out in a pack, and no women sacked.


Where Miliband may feel he has significantly more of a chance is on Europe. David Cameron has left Westminster a little alarmed about his renegotiation strategy by nominating someone with even less profile than Andrew Lansley as European Commissioner. He has cheered his backbenchers by moving Philip Hammond to the Foreign Office, but Miliband could use this out-and-proud euroscepticism at the top levels of government to argue that Britain is now careering towards an EU exit. This, Labour figures think, is useful for their party as they can adopt a pro-business stance by arguing Brexit would hurt British firms.

Today’s session does not present the Labour leader with an open goal as it was a surprising rather than shambolic shuffle. But Miliband does tend to have better weeks when he needs to plug away a bit: he often misses those open goals.

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Show comments
  • First L

    Oh – he didn’t do any of this. He sat around looking shambolic as per usual. Said some completely ineffectual things as per usual, and then got destroyed by his own deputy. Cos you know, he hasn’t worked out a unified tax plan for Labour yet with only 10 months to the elections.

  • Gizzard Puke

    Think I’m gonna emigrate! Even the Electoral Commission is left-wing!? How can this happen?

  • Colin

    Following this afternoon’s PMQ debacle, Idiotband has to sack harman, for starters.

  • Gwangi

    Well the fashion des nos jours seems to be to promote the youngest females you can find, so I expect the front bench of both parties soon to resemble a tea party at St Trinians.

    Whichever party gets that squeaky-voiced little girl who sang ‘there’s no-one quite like grandad’ to give a speech on Keynesian economics will clearly win the election. Then she can make Floella Benjamin defence secretary, Bars and Melody joint Welsh secretary, Jimmy Crankie Scottish Secretary, and Lenny Henry head of the diversity gestapo…

    All white men who complain will be hanged by their pension plans until poor.

  • dado_trunking

    Tristram Hunt made some good points yesterday on newsnight, he didn’t even need to mention right wing centralist dictatorial control failing to deliver outcome.
    I think it was clear that he felt genuine pity for the losing side of the argument.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “He has cheered his backbenchers by moving Philip Hammond to the Foreign Office, but Miliband could use this out-and-proud euroscepticism at the top
    levels of government to argue that Britain is now careering towards an EU exit.”

    Keep pretending that Hammond is a “eurosceptic” and you might come to believe it yourself even if nobody else does. Oddly enough it seems that he has never been “out-and-proud” about that asked by constituents over the years, and it’s a queer kind of “eurosceptic” who’s prepared to vote against the sovereignty of Parliament.

  • david trant

    Well if Miliband had any sense by making Dan Jarvis shadow Minister of Defence, (a step hopefully towards him becoming leader and then PM) difficult for anyone to wave the flag at an ex Para/SAS type who has bravely served his country, but then I did say if Miliband had any sense.

  • HookesLaw

    What will they say about the sacking of the head of the civil service, which seems to have gone unremarked upon. Hopefully we might see some reform there to compliment all the other reforms this govt have introduced.

  • Inverted Meniscus

    By telling lies as they always do.

  • Colonel Mustard

    How will Labour attack? Who cares. A bunch of warmed-up crypto-marxist has-beens from the Brown era led by a Polish-Belgian communist.

    All they ever do is attack. The Tories. Anyone who disagrees with them. Our way of life. Our institutions. Our traditions. Our values. Our culture. Our economy. Our liberty. Our constitution.

    • Mynydd

      The Leader of the Opposition is paid by us the taxpayer, to hold the government of the day to account. This applies equally to Mr Miliband as it did to Mrs Thatcher when she held that position

      • Colonel Mustard

        You seem to be unaware that Gordon Brown spent most of his time as Prime Minister attacking the Tories and contriving plans and policies to attack them. You seem to be unaware of the vast, unelected Labour shadow government that continuously attacks the things I have mentioned. Here is something to enlighten you:-

        You seem to be unaware that the sole purpose of the Fabianism that lies behind Labour is to subvert the centuries old traditions, safeguards and liberties of our nation by behaving as a wolf in sheep’s clothing – their symbol. You seem to be unaware that Labour waged cultural and ethnic warfare against the English by a reckless policy of mass, uncontrolled immigration intended to attack the Tories.

        So no trite lectures on the role of HM “Loyal” Opposition.

        • HookesLaw

          Which is why I am voting conservatiove to keep them out and to secure a referendum on the EU.

          • Colonel Mustard

            They need more than “keeping out”. Their vast shadow government is “out” and has spent the last four years impeding and hindering everything the legitimate government has tried to do. An unelected minority that wields disproportionate power and influence over the public narrative requires purging and a return to strict impartiality. If I had confidence that a Conservative government under Cameron would do that then I should vote for one, but the evidence since 2010 is not encouraging.

            • sarahsmith232

              Just clicked on the link, but there seems to be one of their most insidious e.g’s missed off – deranged member of the lunatic Left that’s running the Electoral Commission. She declared that there was absolutely no evidence of corrupt practices at play in Tower Hamlets, even going as far as praising them as fine examples of how to enthuse and drive BME voter participation, adding that this, in her opinion, was the most important thing.
              She also is involved with Operation Black Vote. Just tried to find her on the internet, can’t remember where I read it, now can’t find it.
              They wouldn’t accept that ‘An Independence from Europe’ party would lead to people accidentally voting for them instead of Ukip. So what happened? Ukip lost 250,000 votes, cost them one MEP. Unknown parties usually only get 8/9,000 votes, they got 250,000.
              How on earth can this pack of extremist, looney members of the Left have a legal right to get away with this? Unbelievable.

              • sarahsmith232

                Oh yes, BTW, the husband of a Labour advisor runs Ofcom, so no wonder the BBC gets away with being the £3.6 billion pound, taxpayer funded, propaganda wing of the Labour party.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Ed Richards. He was (and probably still is on the qt) a Labour advisor. Went from Controller of Corporate Strategy at the BBC to Senior Policy Advisor to Blair and later advised Gordon Brown.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Jenny Watson? Equal Opportunities Commission, Charter 88 and the Fawcett Society. A million miles from being non-partisan.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Thus speaks a Labour Troll.

    • David

      You’re right. It’s lucky their attacks are so ineffectual and inconsequential, they’d be more frightening if they weren’t so laughably opportunistic and superficial…

  • MirthaTidville

    What will happen?..Ed will as usual get bogged down, drift off, lose the plot and let Dave have an easy ride. Why would this week be any different

  • telemachus

    But he will rightly continue the assassination of Ms May so ably started by Keith Vaz on Monday
    She never did answer his judgement question

    • Inverted Meniscus

      I don’t think any honest person takes anything Keith Vaz says very seriously laddie.

      • telemachus

        Keith got to the nub of the issue
        She had acted in haste to sweep the issue to one side and put a Woman of ‘integrity’ in an invidious position
        Further she had no idea how to proceed to the point that she vacillated when the lady committee member gave her a different way forward
        May is long past her sell by dates and she should have joined Lansley in disgrace

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Just go and stop spoiling rational debate with leftist propaganda.

  • swatnan

    Ed will respond with his usual with and aplomb and cutting questions.
    IDS … why did he not sack IDS and give pretty Scouser Esther the job?
    Who is Lord Hill?
    Whatever happened to stagflation?
    What is the state of English soccer, and tennis and cricket ,etc … and the Olympic Legacy?
    Won’t Gove and Hague and Lansley get in his hair?
    What is the point of Teresa May?

    • telemachus

      Just what is the point of Teresa May?

      • Inverted Meniscus

        A question you should address very firmly towards yourself. Your role seems to be to pollute and disrupt theses threads with idiotic leftist/communist propaganda in order to quash rational debate. You are a parasite and the enemy of democracy acting on behalf of Labour the party of lies, lying and liars led by an incompetent communist and a coterie of scum addicted to spending other people’s money. Begone.

        • telemachus

          So Teresa May should be lauded
          Even when She spat in the faces of the abused and denigrated the most impressive female Judge in the land

          • Inverted Meniscus

            No you should just FO.

        • HookesLaw

          Tele is an idiot but this place is not the sole preserve of nutjobs.

    • Leftyliesrefuted

      Ed’s “usual wit and aplomb and cutting questions” – heavy irony alert!