On who got what

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Generally, Ming’s reshuffle this week is a solid piece of work. I have very few complaints, although I’m a little disappointed that Lembit wasn’t given transport. Given that this post has gone from a bloke called Brake to a bloke called Carmichael, clearly Lembit needs to get a more automobile-related name.

Jenny Willott’s absense is notable. My suspicion is that she has opted to concentrate on constituency work for her first term.

Unlike others, I don’t consider Huhne’s appointment to environment a snub, and I hope he doesn’t either. He has a chance to make something of the role which Norman Baker himself admits has gone rather stale under his stewardship in recent years. I look forward to seeing what Huhne makes of it, my guess being that he will concentrate far more on market mechanisms and economics and far less on landfill/incinerators/wind turbines which has been Baker’s staple.

Teather’s shift to education is a good one as Davey was disappointing with this brief, and it means that I no longer get wound up by her spouting nonsense about “death taxes.” Meanwhile Andrew Stunell will be a popular choice for ODPM amongst councillors as he is Mr ALDC. Of course, being Mr ALDC means he may quite possibly start issuing “death taxes” press releases of his own.

Susan Kramer’s promotion to International Development is a double-edged sword. It is an important brief and one which can guarantee you a relatively high profile in this post-MPH world, but she will also be open to the accusation of being a Junkett Queen. Indeed, I know of one MP who is on strict instructions by their local party not to take on the role for that very reason. It only increases my feeling that she should be elected as Deputy Leader – not only would this be a good move in itself, but it would ensure she has another high profile position with a primarily domestic agenda.

Overall though, I’d give Ming 8/10 for this. A good start.

9 thoughts on “On who got what

  1. we are going to have set up “Bloggers for Susan” at this rate. I have emailed her office and asked her to stand. I think the reshuffle solid apart from mad Harvey being put in charge of the tanks. If he doesn’t like the Euro what will he think of the Euro – Bundeswehr? I also notice got 45% of first preferences from the membership, about 55% from the parliamentry party and now 75% from the shadow cabinet? Hmm.

    finally if swinson is ood enough for shadow cabinet then so is featherstone!


  2. I read one journalist a noticeable that Ming has left out almost everyone who has been in Parliament the same time or longer than himself. After Blair supposedly deliberately purged most of his colleagues who pre-dated him.

    Simon Hughesas Shadow AG is the only exception.

    It would be only fair to point out that to appoint more veterans like himself Ming only has Beith, Bruce, and Hancock available!

  3. Adam,

    The diplomatic answer is that not everyone could get a front bench post and I think he got the balance right. Browne can concentrate on his role getting us to swallow the Reform agenda – good luck to him. Burstow and Brake have been frontbenchers almost since 1997 and have never lighted my fire. Frankly, it would have been a bit embarrassing to have more frontbenchers with a “B” in front of the surname than women. 🙂


    Are you saying Jo is old enough, or odd enough? It isn’t clear. 🙂


    I’ve seen a bit of a Paddy-era renaissance actually. Paddy himself seems to have a kind of Shadow Foreign Secretary At Large role and Kirkwood has a senior advisor role. Foster is still DCMS. Nick Harvey’s back. Beith has an important job in charge of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee. I think its more the 97 intake that have been purged.

  4. I’d give 8 of 10 as well.

    Not sure how well Teather will do at education, though I’ve like her work at Local Govt.

    Very much look forward to Stunell v Prescott !!!

    And David , anything mad about Harvey apart from him being against the Euro? I think he’s a good pick for defence.

  5. James, I completely agree with you about the ‘B’ problem (and the ‘C’ version is close behind). As it is, 16 out of 21 names listed in the shadow cabinet are from the first half of the alphabet. If it weren’t for ‘Swinson’ and ‘Teather’ (don’t you just hate the surnames thing – it is so public school!) it would be even worse. All credit to Steve Webb for hanging in there, but this certainly sheds new light on the challenge faced by the likes of Jenny Willott and the three Williams’. Perhaps the parliamentary party should start taking the register in reverse alphabetical order, so as to raise the profile of this under-represented group of MPs?

  6. Do we need a Alphabetism task force? With regard to Jo Swinson and Featherstone they are of course both Good enough to be in shadow cabinet but my typing isn’t. And of course Harvey isn’t mad. I just haven’t forgiven him for fronting some dodgy anti Euro questionaire sent to Councillors a while ago. I should be bigger.

  7. I’ve given my own verdict here but I think it’s a reasonably good reshuffle on the whole. I would have given Huhne one of the big four jobs but that would have irritated the Clegg camp and of course the art of party management is all about rewarding people for their loyalty.

    Hughes is an excellent choice at Constitutional Affairs and I look forward to some progress on the “English Question” as a result.

    Bringing Nick Harvey back is a good move in my view and I’m glad Lembit survived in spite of making a total dick of himself by supporting Mark Oaten, but does anyone know what John Thurso did wrong apart from wear a silly moustache?

  8. Re: Lembit

    I suggest his more transport orientated name should make a slight adjustment to his surname.

    Step forward Lembit Opel.

    This way we can support Vauxhall and be European about it at the same time.

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