"http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/all/7807108/britain-is-in-drought-and-my-shoes-squelch-on-the-way-to-work.thtml">wettest drought on record has made work for idle thumbs on Twitter this
afternoon. There is a smattering of reshuffle chatter about, prompted by the ‘omnishambles’ as much as the rain. The gossip is inspired by "http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136373/Cameron-urged-senior-Tories-bring-Cabinet-reshuffle-forward-turbulent-month-sees-poll-ratings-crash.html">this report in the Mail, which tells
of more rumours that Ken Clarke and Caroline Spelman are for the chop, together with Baroness Warsi. Meanwhile, as James "http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7784483/why-lansley-might-hang-on.thtml">reported a couple of weeks ago, Andrew Lansley has ingratiated his way back into the safety of the
Promotion has been complicated by the allegations engulfing Jeremy Hunt, who has, of course, been tipped for the very top. The names among the favoured Tory ministers remain fairly consistent
– Chris Grayling and Maria Miller – although it is notable that Theresa Villiers and Nick Herbert seen to have fallen off the list.
One name that is mentioned more often than most is Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister. Shapps gave an
"http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/28/grant-shapps-housing-minister-interview?CMP=twt_gu">interview to the Guardian today. He is among the government’s most reliable attacks
dogs in the media and he has a wide grasp of policy, but the interview is a personality piece – full of quips, cheek and joie de vivre. He even rapped at one stage. But Shapps’
canine personality is only part of his appeal. He was state educated, attended Manchester poly, started a printing company "http://www.shapps.com/2011/01/grant-shapps-biographical-details/">aged 21, and made a considerable success of it despite suffering from
Hodgkin’s lymphona, which he overcame.
Shapps is not normal. In fact, he seems rather exceptional. But, as the reborn Damian McBride put it earlier today, he
‘made his money the hard way’, which is a rare commodity among senior ministers, many of whom are seen as out of touch. 67 per cent of respondents to a recent "http://ht.ly/azhUD">ComRes poll said that David Cameron and George Osborne are out of touch with ordinary people.
All of which leads McBride to agree with Toby Young that Shapps is a future leadership contender,
"https://twitter.com/#!/DPMcBride/status/196209075401404416">comparing him to Tony Blair, no less, but ‘with a far better back story’. It will be interesting to see if he benefits
from the post-Olympics reshuffle.