Coffee House

Reshuffle 2014: the fallout

16 July 2014

5:43 PM

16 July 2014

5:43 PM

New ministers are marching through the corridors of power today with the special ‘I mean business’ walk that denotes an MP who finally has a job they consider important. Meanwhile in Portcullis House, old ministers are trundling about with the sort of gait that denotes a newly sacked, bewildered MP hoping that at the very least they’ll get a decent office with a good view of the Thames as compensation.

As the dust settles from this reshuffle, all sorts of rumours are flying around about who is angry and humiliated after losing their job (e.g. Andrew Lansley and Owen Paterson) or after not being offered the plum promotion they’d wanted (Liam Fox). Backbench MP Stephen Phillips has just held a meeting with the new chief whip Michael Gove to find the source of a rumour sweeping the party that he told Number 10 before the reshuffle that if he was not offered the job of Solicitor General, he would resign as an MP and trigger an awkward by-election. Phillips tells me that ‘it’s total nonsense’ and that he never said such a thing. He was not offered the job of Solicitor General.

But it is fair to say that this reshuffle has increased the number of people who feel less loyal to the Prime Minister and George Osborne. This will not have an obvious effect on party behaviour this side of the election. But it could have a serious impact on a future Conservative-led government as there will be more MPs happy to start scrapping once they’ve seen their party back in to power. One MP with a good sense of how the backbenches work feels that the main beneficiary of this reshuffle has not been George Osborne, who shored up his power base again with promotions for protégés such as Nicky Morgan, but ministers who could, if they’re smart, take on the growing group of MPs who feel they owe nothing to the two men at the top.

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Show comments
  • realfish

    Cameron moves a number of people to one side…they’re upset with him and feel ‘less loyal’!

    Hardly a cutting edge insight is it?

  • swatnan

    With more women in the Cabinet should we expect more cat fights and sulking to break out?

    • HookesLaw

      Hello Mr Misogyny. How are things in Kipper Towers.

    • Liz

      Maybe fewer dog fights and stupid bitchy comments like that.

      • Colonel Mustard

        That’s rich. The majority of your comments on this site are like that.

      • swatnan

        meant with tongue in cheek.
        I notice that Tory women are still sticking with the line: ‘ promotion on merit’, as if AWS’s havn’t produced lots of women of high calibre who are as capable of holding their own along with their male colleagues.
        Dave is moving slowly towards more equality and would like to see AWS, as well as his A Listers

  • HookesLaw

    Oh really …. ‘this has increased the number of MPs who blah blah…’

    And if Cameron, or whoever the leader of any party is, does nothing then he upsets the people he did *not* promote.
    PMs do something – they upset people.
    PMs don’t do something they upset people.
    PMs get out of bed they upset some people.

    What counts is how a PM sails through the choppy waters. Today by all accounts Miliband wallows holed below the waterline, his first mate having steered it onto a well charted rock.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Problem is, Dave’s head is still headed for a spike, come May 2015.

  • Youbian

    Agree a hundred percent with Charles Moore on messages

  • Denis_Cooper

    It crosses my mind to wonder what Hammond himself thinks about this discovery
    that he is a fierce eurosceptic … “What, me? Are they talking about me?”.

    • Tim Baker

      Better than being a Ukip europhobic pub bore, like Mr Mirage.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …unless you’re one of those wet Cameroons bounced from your comfortable seat next May.

        • Tim Baker

          Okay, which Cameroon will lose their seat to Ukip next May?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I doubt anybody can predict that, or even that UKIP will win any seat anywhere. The only certainties are that multiple Camerloons are going to get bounced, and Dave’s head is going to be mounted on a spike.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    One thing occurred to me just now – the term ‘reshuffle’ quite frankly misses the point entirely. It is obvious to any 5 year old football enthusiast that yesterday’s actionism was nothing but a BRASI:7 style replacement exercise of the Fred, Hulk and Scolari types.

  • davidofkent

    David Cameron realises the need to have some pretty legs walking up to the doors of 10 Downing Street. Since there is no work to be done in government between now and May 2015, he is hoping for ‘no rocking the boat’. He had better hope that the Conservative Party wins well in 2015, because he will be OUT if they don’t, and those doing the shoving will include Mr & Mrs Gove (quite rightly IMHO).

    • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

      I don’t understand why so many Tory supporters think electing another right-winger as leader increases their appeal to non-Conservative voters.

      Hague was chosen over Clarke, IDS over Clarke, and then Howard – how many of those did well in the subsequent GEs?

      • Colonel Mustard

        “I don’t understand why so many Tory supporters think electing another right-winger as leader increases their appeal to non-Conservative voters.”

        Is the purpose of a political party to represent a certain collective viewpoint, (in the case of the Conservatives, a supposedly right wing party, that could be expected to be right wing), or to peddle whatever it feels will attract the most votes? Should it not seek to persuade voters that its viewpoint and policies are worth voting for rather than try to second guess what voters might think are worth voting for and then adopt them? Is it about power or representation? What should it be about?

        • HookesLaw

          ‘collective’ , not narrow and bigoted.
          The conservative party is a centre right party. The BNP is right wing. UKIP ? I think we know whose vote they are after.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I think we know Call Me Dave’s head is going to be mounted on a spike, 9.5 months from now.

            • Tony_E

              Do you have anything else to add? Is your sole ambition to see Cameron’s head mounted on a spike?

            • Tony_E

              Do you have anything else to add? Is your sole ambition to see Cameron’s head mounted on a spike?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …well, it’s definitely going to happen as we all should know by now.

                And for the good of all, that would be the required next thing, and it’s important that you Cameroons know this, and are reminded of it on a regular basis.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Does the Labour party try to appeal to non-Labour voters? If I replay Sentinel’s rather odd assertion from the other side you might better see how peculiar it seems:-

            “I don’t understand why so many Labour supporters think electing another left-winger as leader increases their appeal to non-Labour voters.”

            It has nothing to do with the BNP or UKIP. The principles supposedly espoused by the Conservative party are as follows:-

            “democratic societies provide individuals throughout the world with the best conditions for political liberty, personal freedom, equality of opportunity and economic development under the rule of law; and therefore being committed to advancing the social and political values on which democratic societies are founded, including the basic personal freedoms and human rights, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in particular, the right of free speech, organisation, assembly and non-violent dissent; the right to free elections and the freedom to organise effective parliamentary opposition to government; the right to a free and independent media; the right to religious belief; equality before the law; and individual opportunity and prosperity.”

            Does Cameron believe in and espouse those values? Does he promote them?

        • Tony_E

          Colonel Mustard, I think that’s the wrong view of the Conservative party. They have not, since the war, been a party of the right. They might have been usurped by some largely right wing economist leanings during the late 70’s and early 80’s, their central core is not of that leaning.

          Since the conception of the welfare state, the Conservatives have accepted the ’45 settlement. That is a socialist/collectivist settlement, which since the Thatcher years has been tempered with some free market economics and reduced business controls. But that has morphed into a corporatist/socialist vision, not a capitalist/libertarian one, and the welfare state is bigger than ever with no real signs of rolling back under any political party (including UKIP were it to have a majority).

          There is NO right wing, Libertarian party in the UK. And there hasn’t been in my lifetime. The difference is simply in the management of British socialism.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That’s precisely my point. Those are the principles of the International Democrat Union of which the Conservative party is a full member but they are no longer espoused in this country despite being supposedly the basis upon which that party should campaign and seek alliances.

      • xDemosthenesx

        Never in a million years are you going to convince the Guardian reading crowd to vote for ‘the nasty Tories’. It simply will not happen. Therefore you might as well have a party that offers some sort of difference to the Labour party and stands for right wing ideals. Besides, the attitudes of the majority in the country are to the right of the current ‘conservative’ party, so the whole situation is bizarre.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The bizarre situation probably arises because Cameron & Co are trying to appeal to a smug, left-leaning, exclusively metropolitan, gobby and disproportionately influential chatterati rather than the hoi-polloi in the rest of the country. Those types sneer at Tories and openly support Labour anyway but they would sneer even more if Cameron should become ‘populist’ and he is terrified of that. He is so terrified of their disapproval that he even sacked two of his best ministers to appease them.

  • John Dalton

    The fallout is that once again people have seen through Mr Slippery – you only have to look at the comment sections here and on the conservative newspaper sites to see where the voters are at on this.

    Once again our PR-obsessed spineless PM has played to the gallery of the left wing, right on, metro-luvvies and ignored what true conservatives might wish for. Instead of those best qualified to do the job, with the experience and the gumption to stand up for conservative values,

    • Lady Magdalene

      Agreed.
      The one thing Cameron does REALLY well is patronising women. He’s just done it again- and we’re supposed to be grateful!

      • Makroon

        Are you one of those ladies who, when a door is held open, or a seat offered, as an act of common courtesy, snarl “Don’t patronise me !” ?

        • Youbian

          Love it when men hold the door open but Cameron still patronises women

          • Field Marshal

            Women make up just 22% of MP’s
            Cameron represents the white middle-aged men who have no perception of gender bias. He cannot actually acknowledge that it happens in his Government power structure. By his actions with the 3 key women, none of whom have been given access to the true axis of power he has again demonstrated his deep suspicion of successful women.
            If women are active in politics they are not being mothers. It means women in Parliament are constantly having to fight the sense that they are not legitimate.”

            Leadership in this country remains a male preserve

            • Colonel Mustard

              The problem is not that they are white or middle-aged or even men. It runs much deeper than those stereotypes which are unfortunate in trawling in a mass which does not deserve them.

              • Field Marshal

                Cameron is what he is.
                No amount of window dressing will change internally ingrained values. His transparent actions were amplified yesterday when the printed media focused pictorially on the 3 women. But more than that the 3 women’s legs.
                As he knew they would. As political strategy it cannot be faulted in the short term, but when the history books are written he will be seen as another Tony Abbott.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …are you one of those grievance group socialists, who agitate the agitatable for political purposes?

          • HookesLaw

            How is the Grand Wizard. Can you advise of the best polish for jackboots?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …is that socialist gibberish supposed to be communicating something, lad?

          • Colonel Mustard

            I love the simple clarity and truth of that proposition so much that I’m going to repeat it:-

            “…grievance group socialists, who agitate the agitatable for political purposes”

            It sums up the state of this country so well.

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              Daddy, I’ve run out of my own money, will you please just print some more?
              Mummy, my headteacher thinks I am not clever enough, just pay him the private school fees he demands, please?

              That kind of egalitarian socialism?

              • Colonel Mustard

                No, that kind of agitation. You are all so good at it.

                The hilarious thing is that could be Harmon Junior or Straw Junior or any one of the many other privileged dynastic red princes speaking. So funny to see filthy rich grandees like Miliband preaching egalitarian socialism and chumps like you swallowing it all.

        • Liz

          Are you one of those Gentlemen who use courtesy as a weapon?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Hee-hee. Are you one of those less than gentle women for whom men can do nothing right?

            Courtesy as a weapon? You really are as mad as a box of frogs.

      • HookesLaw

        Grow up.

      • realfish

        So Cameron gives cabinet positions to talented women who have proved themselves over the past 4 years and he’s patronising
        Cameron doesn’t promote talented women who have proved themselves over the past 4 years and he’s anti women.
        The world’s gone mad

    • starfish

      I am not sure
      Of course there is a section of the regulars here for whom Cameron can do nothing right
      There are quite a few though who think it has gone pretty well. Dave’s focus is on Europe the economy and winning the election

      • MirthaTidville

        Many of us would dearly and honestly love Dave to be right..The trouble is that he is a shallow thinker and most, if not all, of his and our problems stem from that. Bit like Blair but without the luck. I do wish things were different but they arn`t sadly

        • the viceroy’s gin

          He’s horrific at politics, too. The numbers don’t work out for him electorally, and he’s too thick to understand this. He just blindly doubles down on his past stupidities.

        • HookesLaw

          Clearly he is not a shallow thinker. If you were capable of thinking for a moment you would realise that you are the shallow thinker.

          Blair was clearly anything but a shallow thinker. He thought his way past Gordon Brown to lead the Labour party and then thought his way to 3 election victories.
          Blair was a socialist (of sorts) so his thinking came from the wrong direction, nevertheless his desire for reform of public services was sound and only Brown stopped him. This govt under Cameron have succeeded where Blair failed – but its crass to say Blair was a shallow thinker.

          Miliband strikes me as being the victim of thinking too much.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Shallow thinker is one way to describe him. Stupid and arrogant might be another. I think Mr Cummings has the measure of him – he is an immature over-privileged prat who thinks the PM job is “babbling like an uber-pundit”.

    • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

      In order to get a working majority in May 2015, Cameron has to appeal to those who are not “true conservatives.” Remember the Tories have been flatlining in the low 30s in opinion polls for ages, despite the promise of the In/Out referendum that was supposed to shoot UKIP’s fox.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        How’s that all working out, then? He’s lost conservatives, in his quest for another bloc. How’s that working out?

        1/2 his party has quit since he took it over. Is this a good sign?

        • Tim Baker

          And Ukip will die a short death after Farago resigns when they end up with no seats in 2015.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            So you actually think UKIP is going to “die”.

            You’re even more delusional than Dave.

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