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Reshuffle observations

June 5th, 2009 (04:55 pm)
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Not a long post, but there have been a couple of changes in precedence. Gordon Brown's cabinet lists have always placed Alistair Darling second until now, but the newly published list places him fourth. Harriet Harman gets the second place her position as deputy leader of the party customarily entitles her to, but coming in third is the sinister minister himself, Peter Mandelson, now not simply Business Secretary but also Lord President of the Council and First Secretary of State! So effectively Harriet and Peter are now Gordon's joint deputy prime ministers in all but name...

Good to see rail obsessive Andrew Adonis becoming transport secretary.

ETA: As for the old guard, Glenys Kinnock is made minister for Europe, presumably with a peerage (joining that select band of husbands and wives in the Lords); and Caroline Flint, who dropped hints all day yesterday that she would resign at 10pm last night, only to declare that she was not leaving the government and was supporting Gordon Brown, has been sacked.

With Ian Gibson leaving the Commons immediately, there will also be a by-election on the expenses issue in Norwich North, which could prove a useful safety valve, or could keep the whole story going for a few more months.


Posted by: brewsternorth (brewsternorth)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
politics (brit)

Good to see rail obsessive Andrew Adonis becoming transport secretary.

Hee. Maybe he can have a word with Joe "I ♥ Amtrak" Biden...

Good grief, all the old dogs coming out to play. I didn't think Mandelson would be back in such high office.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)

If all had gone according to plan, allegedly, Mandelson would have become foreign secretary as part of this reshuffle, but David Miliband would not move, and Gordon Brown is not strong enough to move him, nor Alistair Darling who was expected to be replaced by Ed Balls. Contrary to rumour, though, Margaret Beckett has left the government; this leaves the cabinet more male-dominated than at any time since Tony Blair became prime minister in 1997, and possibly before.

Posted by: serriadh (serriadh)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)

Where does it leave the Scottish mafia? are they still mostly in place?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)

I think they are all still in place...

...and since I was last online Caroline Flint has published her resignation letter, highly critical of Brown's style of government. I suspect that she had wind of James Purnell's decision to resign last night and didn't want to be assumed to be plotting with him.

Posted by: serriadh (serriadh)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)

Did the read the full text of Purnell's resignation letter (front of the Times this morning). It made me feel a little bit sick :) He was incredibly anxious to reassure Gordon (aka everyone) that there hadn't been a plot and he'd gone because he wants to distance himself from this so he can get back climbing up the greasy pole at some point thought Gordon couldn't win.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)

Caroline Flint seems to have been tricked into exposing her self-interest; she seems to have thought last night she was going to win a cabinet position, but instead was only offered another ministership of state with the right to attend cabinet meetings. So today she returned to plan A and left. Or so one could interpret matters.

Purnell might have wanted to encourage David Miliband to jump ship too, it's been suggested; but Miliband, like Alan Johnson, is sticking close to Brown for the time being.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)

Rail obsessive or not, he always (to me at least) brings to mind this ditty from John Cooper Clarke:


Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)

Not a song I know...

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: June 5th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Ben Folds

It's more of a punk poem.

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: June 6th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)

Began to search to see who "we'd got" in DCMS .... and got too bored ....

Worried hunt through the county results (heart-stopping moment when I thought one of our Champions had failed to get in ... but no, they're there).

Overall results: conservative -2, labour -1, indepenendent, libdem and residents association are all +1.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 6th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)

Someone whom I was at school with has been elected a Conservative councillor in Warwickshire; and here in Woodstock the Conservative councillor dramatically increased his majority over the Liberal Democrat whom he unseated in 2005.