Ed Miliband’s reshuffle turned out to be a rather small affair.
The news out of it is that control over the policy review passes from Liam Byrne to Jon Cruddas, although Byrne continues to shadow Iain Duncan Smith.
Given that Byrne is a Blairite who has been pushing for a tougher line on welfare, and that Cruddas rebelled to vote against the second reading of the welfare reform bill, some will see this as a shift to
the left. But Cruddas is a more interesting thinker than that. The Blue Labour philosophy that he is an advocate of is, in many ways, a rather socially conservative view of the world. He’s
also a Eurosceptic; he was the link man between the No to the single currency campaign and the unions. Indeed, it’ll be fascinating to see how his commitment to an In / Out referendum feeds into the policy review.
One other thing worth noting is that Andrew Adonis is now advising on industrial strategy. Given Adonis’ enthusiasm for big transport projects, expect to see hi-speed rail and the like
playing an important role in this.