Michael Fallon is on course to achieve something that eluded both Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson, the sale of the Royal Mail. Fallon is this government’s safe pair of hands, the minister who can be relied upon to get things done.
But this second ministerial career (Fallon served as an education minister in Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s government) almost didn’t happen. After the 2010 election, he wanted to be chairman of the Treasury Select Committee. He had spent considerable time cultivating the selectorate only to have the job snatched from under him by Andrew Tyrie. After this defeat, Fallon was brought into Number 10 as Cameron’s parliamentary adviser. Having impressed in that role, he went on to become Minister of State at BIS. It is a sign of how effective a minister he is, that when Cameron needed a new minister of state at DECC he simply asked Fallon to combine the two jobs. It’ll be a major surprise, and mistake, if Fallon isn’t in the Cabinet before the next election.
In the next reshuffle, Cameron would do well to bring in some of the other ex-ministers on the Tory benches. We’re too quick in this country to dismiss politicians at too old when, as Fallon shows, they actually have their best years ahead of them.Tags: Michael Fallon, ministers, reshuffles