What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Archive for the tag “David Davis”

MUSICAL CHAIRS (YAWN)

Well, the reshuffle went well didn’t it? After all, the purpose of most team changes in modern politics is to get political nerds and journalists to concentrate on personalities, not policy. Mr Cameron has certainly managed that, after a fashion.

Sadly for the Coalition, there seems to be a paucity of talent and personality on the Treasury benches, and this is after only two years – hardly enough time for the attrition of government to wear the LibCons down…

Like the Budget, the 2012 reshuffle may very well be a gift that keeps on giving to the Coalitions’ opponents, internal as well as external.

Every decision made by every Prime Minister will have its supporters and detractors, yet it is astounding that on a day when the right wing strengthened its grip on power in Whitehall, David Cameron was attacked by the most popular Tory in Britain (& part time Mayor of London), Boris Johnson. Oh, and Iain Dale. The day before, David Davis put the boot into George Osborne over the economy. As it happens, many Lib Dems are also increasingly upset with “The Greenest Government Ever”, and its new fracking-friendly Ministers. It would seem that “The Ship of State” is not a happy one.

Little wonder that Tory supporters have gleefully jumped on the non-story that Wallace and Gromit do not always agree (gee, thanks SPADS).

Policy wise this is a huge disaster for the majority of us outside Westminster;

  • A Health Minister who believes the NHS is an “irrelevance”, yet puts his faith in Homeopathy.
  • Iain Duncan Smith secure at DWP with Esther McVeigh.
  • Expenses cheat David Laws rehabilitated and given Education.
  • “Woodentop” Gove still in place.
  • Kenneth Clarke shifted into number ten as a “wise head” – or Official Government Bagpuss impersonator.
  • Vince Cable further isolated at DTI, with only memories and a packet of Humbugs for comfort.

This game of musical chairs signals several things. Firstly, the “liberal” wing of the Tory party, to which our Prime Minister allegedly belongs, is pretty dead in the water. Secondly, even when Cameron panders to the right wing, they are not placated. They won’t be satisfied until there is a majority Tory Government, and until that time, Cameron will be under increasing pressure.The Liberal Democrats have in no way been placated by bringing David Laws back into the Cabinet, if anything quite the reverse.

After two years in power, many LDs are increasingly dissatisfied with this particular civil partnership, although there are a few Orange Bookers who may very well be considering a full-blown marriage. It means that between them, Ham Face and Little Nicky dare not, indeed cannot move either Duncan Smith or Cable, for fear of backbench rebellion.

Personnel changes in Government are supposed to revitalise policy and presentation. Unfortunately for HMG, in this Olympic and Jubilee year, dithering Cameron and Clegg have failed to do so. 

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A LETTER TO LONDON CONSERVATIVES…

Dear London Tories,

 I realise that now is not a good time for you, what with the Budget fiasco, Labour’s poll lead, and having to be nice to Little Nicky and his ilk. You have my sympathy, you really do. It must be galling to look at the London-wide polls and see Labour with a nineteen point lead, and now it looks like Livingstone may even beat Johnson for Mayor. You certainly didn’t need that prat Alexander reminding everyone that these austerity measures will carry on until at least 2016  yesterday, making George “Gandalf” Osborne look more like Saruman with every passing day…

 To an increasing number of you, it must feel like you chose the wrong chap in David Cameron, after all, it cannot sit easily with you when an hereditary Liberal like Helena Bonham Carter pops up and tells the world that David is “not right wing at all, really” after spending weekends with the Camerons at Chequers. I mean, where was Julian Fellowes, or Michael Caine, come to that? Or at least someone with a smarter looking husband…

…and that “tennis” comment did not go down well with voters, not at all. Nor did David’s failure to name a pasty outlet that is actually open in Leeds. For the record, I recently went up there and counted at least two Greggs, and one West of Cornwal shop not five minutes from Leeds station – does no-one do their research at number ten?

 It maybe that he really is “the heir to Blair”, in that he holds your party in contempt, just as Tony did with us. In this you have my sincere condolences, as it will not end well for you, just remember what happened to us…

 Leaving aside “Mad Frankie” Maude making a hash of Union bashing, something we all thought any one of your MPs could do in their sleep, what really must rankle is that faced with an enormously unpopular Labour government, in 2010, you could not defeat Gordon Brown without needing the Coalition. Dave really did not connect with that many swing voters, even when given the electoral gift of “Bigotgate”, economic crisis, the expenses scandal etc. And he seemingly hasn’t got any better – why, for someone who claims to have the countryside in his blood, he fails to remember which horse he rode, and when. He couldn’t even win an election against Gordon Brown.

 However, I think I may have found a solution to your Leadership problem, in fact, it is staring you in the face. You need someone who portrays unambiguous Conservative instincts, yet can appeal to floating voters and socially liberal types across the land.You need a ruthless man. Someone with a high media profile, yet who can take gaffes and bad publicity in his stride, a man that can amuse and delight both the party faithful and those all-important floating voters.Sadly, David Davis won’t do it, & I think you know who I mean, but just to be clear, you need Boris Johnson.

The only problem is that he currently resides in City Hall, not Westminster, but you have it in your hands to change this between now and May 3rd. Just remember, a defeat for Boris can easily be blamed on David Cameron – after all, look at the polls – its the Budget, stupid! And those pesky LibDems! Finding Johnson a safe seat should present you with no problem at all, particularly with the seat cull going ahead, and I doubt that any local association would refuse him, be mad to.

Once safely ensconced in the chamber, it is merely time to revisit the glory days of the 1922 Committee and hey presto! No more Coalition, just a straightforward Tory government, at least until election time. The great Communicator, teamed with someone in contrast, maybe someone northern and blunt, would be a difficult team to beat.

So, for the sake of your party, and all you hold dear, I appeal to your better natures, do the right thing, and make this dream a reality. You know what to do – stop canvassing, stop leafletting, make like you don’t care. It will be hard I know, but in the end, it will be worth it.

 

Yours,

 

Clem.

 

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