Reshuffle blues?


There was some good news in the reshuffle. Mr Hague’s decision to leave Parliament next May means we now have a Foreign Secretary who has stated he wants out of the EU if we do not get a much better deal. That is a better stance for our negotiation, and encouraging that he agrees with many of us that the UK’s current position in the EU   is unacceptable.

The decision to replace Mr Grieve as Attorney General suggests  according to some of the accompanying briefing that the government is planning to change its approach to the European Convention on Human Rights. Many Ministers and others are frustrated that the Convention and Court gets in the way of the UK seeking to extradite certain criminals and run the borders  policy it wishes to run.

Mr Gove’s arrival as a speaking Chief Whip with wider duties than a  traditional Chief Whip makes sense in the run up the General Election. Nikki Morgan as the new Education Secretary needs to push ahead with reforms that Mr Gove has instigated.

I invite your thoughts on the whole package.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    My thoughts are that it shows very clearly that Cameron is just going to continue with his idiotic pro EU, green crap, big government, tax increasing, money down the drain government. 180 degrees out on nearly every issue.

    Hammond is no Eurosceptic despite what the BBC keep saying. Owen Patterson one of the few sensible people he had has gone. It you look at the voting records of the people promoted then they are all nearly all, toe the line, pro war, Libdim, high tax borrow and waste, pro HS2, pro EU, big government green crappers to a woman or man.

    What is says is Cameron like to discriminate against men rather than employ the best regardless of merit and that he is very clearly going to try to con the voters for a second time. Amazingly Miliband is so useless he might just get away with it but I doubt it.

    He is wrong, wrong, wrong on every major issue. Why on earth did this Heathite/Major/Blair think election throwing incompetent ever join the Tory party?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic–I always wince when Cameron comes up with one of his sententious summaries for the Media; in particular he can stuff his thoughts about wanting the Cabinet to mirror “Modern Britain”. Irrespective of whether modern Britain has been, as I believe, an unmitigated disaster, he should get it into his head that he is supposed to be head of a conservative party. The word conservative is not too terribly hard to understand. And “Post Modernism” isn’t going to do it either: what we want is a lot more “Pre Modernism”.

      I am coming round to the view that a dose of Miliband would be a price worth paying to get rid of Cameron and, that apart, it beats me why the idea of giving 20 or so seats to UKIP isn’t a gr8 idea. That is if it could be done of course, which is another story; but if it could it sounds good to me for the Conservatives to stand aside where they are obviously not going to win and vice versa. After the resultant assured win for the Right there could then be a Coalition that made sense.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Indeed a UKIP deal of some sort is clearly needed but who could trust a Libdem proven serial ratter like Cameron. Miliband will do a deal with UKIP if he thinks he needs to.

        The problem is that Miliband is so very bad that Cameron still thinks he can win outright. This despite failing to even get a level playing field on the boundaries from the Libdems. I would far prefer Miliband to watching Cameron rat yet again and turn back into Ken Clark/ John Major/Ted Heath type again (in fact I prefer Ken Clark, he is clearly wrong but at least he is honest).

        Even if Miliband’s moronic new rent act will costs me a few hundred thousand or so. A price worth paying alas just to be rid of the contemptible EUphile Cameron.

      • Hope
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        How many people has Cameron dragged into the 40 percent tax bracket?

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      How do you know these women aren’t the best and full of merit, they’ve just been getting governmental experience in the background so that they can come to the fore to help to win the next election. Cathy Newman and other female news presenters need to be very careful how they present these women coming to the fore and they need to really look deep into themselves to be pleased we have a change.

      Honest to goodness anyone would think women are useless and there just for decoration! I hope to goodness they do shine out, show their skills and prove you guys wrong. Being male doesn’t make you the best, I can think of lots of male MPs that were over promoted, useless buffoons in all parties.

      Sad about Michael Gove leaving education and any parent celebrating that this morning should really think about their motives, as he sincerely wanted a better education for their children, he made a few early mistakes, not appreciating the arts/music his main one, but he’d corrected most of them and why shouldn’t he hold the people that our taxes pay to account that was his job.

      When people on the news on strike last week say they havent had a pay rise in 8 years just give us the figures, how much are they paid, what is their employers pension contribution, how many holidays do they have, what other benefits like full sick pay do they get. Give us the employers side for goodness sakes.

      Reply I want men and women judged on their merits with equal access and opportunity. Some of us men have no bias against women at all. I always thought Margaret Thatcher was the best leader of my party that I have worked for.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Quite right to correct me John, my apologies, I do try not to use wide brush comments. Women have to be promoted in order to test their merit on that we are in full agreement and if they aren’t up to the job they should go.

    • Feodor
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “Why on earth did this Heathite/Major/Blair think election throwing incompetent ever join the Tory party?”

      Because Heath and Major also belonged to it…? A rather inane–and garbled–question, Lifelogic, underpinned by a refusal to see the Conservative Party for what it is, not what you’d like it to be.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Feodor–Oh we see it for what it is all right, and your are very correct: we do not like it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Oh I see it for what the Tory party is made up of, about 45% are pro EU, green crap, high tax Cameronites, another 45% just follow the leader and tow the line, as they just want the income, pensions and expenses regardless. Only about 10% are sound.

        • Feodor
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Yet you persist in voting for a party you consider so antithetical to your interests…?

          Glutton for punishment or loyal like a dog? 😉

    • StevenL
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      You are Nigel Farage, I claim my £5!

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Funny thing is, it’s not what you have written that catches the eye but, what you have chosen to leave out. Oh, and its length – very short.

    There will be no repatrication of any ‘meaningful’ powers. The march to ‘ever closer UNION’ continues, and the can gets kicked along the road a little bit more. No true Eurosceptic would ever put themselves in such a position. But a Europlastic might ?

    • Timaction
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I think this is all window dressing and spin of pretend intentions when actions and inaction is how the Conservative Party should be judged.
      Lets remember the pretend veto of a Treaty that didn’t actually exist. Moreover the fact he could have negotiated for change when the remaining EU members illegally bailed out their friends. He allowed them the use of the EU institutions with no pay back.
      He didn’t ask for any reform of the Lisbon Treaty when he could have in 2010.
      He helped bailout Ireland on our own and through the IMF for the other failed EU nations.
      He supports our continuing membership of the EU, regardless of any failure in renegotiation.
      He’s cut our armed forces budgets whilst agreeing joint military plans with the French. Creeping EU armed forces by stealth and spin, whilst giving away £12 billion in foreign aid.
      He and others talk of a “voice at the top table”. Just remember Junker.
      He favours free movement of EU citizens when we are crying out for control over quality and quantity of people to stop building on the greenbelt and collapsing health, education services, and severe overcrowding. Junker won’t allow renegotiation on this.
      No reform of the Human Rights legislation or the EUHRC.
      He talks about corporation tax and the unfairness of the multi-nationals avoiding tax. We loose an estimated £120 billion annually as Maastricht (Major signed us up) with the free movement of capital rules.
      The EU is and always has been a political construct for the creation of a country called Europa. The legacy parties should come clean and campaign on their true intentions and let the people decide. LibLabCon are all the same. There is only one patriotic party who want only trade and friendship with our European friends. We don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it………….oh please remind me about the European Arrest Warrant and how that sits with Magna Carter and Habeas Corpus and other hard won protections in our criminal justice system?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Hammond voted against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU and clearly is a believer in green crap expensive energy too from his voting record. The others promoted are even worse.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford, CBE, PC sound a complete disaster too. Posh school (Highgate), History at Trinity Cambridge (as least not PPE at Oxford I suppose) never a real job just a PR spin person like Cameron. Advisor to the Ken Clarke and John Major disasters.

    Please can we have some numerate doers and fewer spinners and PR liars.

    • APL
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “Please can we have some numerate doers and fewer spinners PR liars?”


  5. Martyn G
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    In sacking Mr Gove, perhaps the most effective in post of all the coalition ministers, the PM seems to have abandoned the improvement of children’s’ education in favour of appeasing the teaching unions and civil servants so opposed to Mr Gove’s plans. Nothing more, it seems, than a short term political measure at cost to our children in the hope of winning votes at the next GE. Mr C will, I suspect, live to regret this.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Martyn G

      Agree with you, even my wife who tends not to get involved in political discussion is asking the very same question.

      At least he showed some passion and drive for the job.

      By sacking Gove it looks like Cameron agrees with those who fought against him for much needed change.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I have no problem with the best being rewarded but I have a huge issue with male. Pale and stale.

    The population would do well to remember that before diversity became a buzz word Britain led the world. WASP males have plenty to offer.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      It is very clearly and provably the case that women and men choose different work life balances, different careers and different subjects at school and university. Given this one can only achieve 50/50 balance in certain professions by blatantly discriminating very heavily against men (and in others against women) thus often not employing the best person on merit for the job but one whether they have a womb on not.

      Cameron clearly thinks this is just fine. It is good for lawyers, the pointless equality industry and parasites but make everything far less fair and far less efficient.

    • Hope
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Another PR stunt to disguise Cameron’s Europhobia. Owen Patterson was an excellent minister and desevered promotion. However he is a true Eurosceptic and was destined to lose his job because he was likely to act on his words unlike the leader of the party. 2/10 for trying to convince otherwise JR.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        You mean europhilia, I think.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Do you mean ‘europhilia’?

    • Killer Heels
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      NS – Clearly a shake up to get more women in the cabinet. Doubtless many of them have got there by their own merit.

      ALL should get there only by their own merit.

      As I said yesterday. All sorts of jobs are dropping entry requirements in order to increase diversity and so that WASPs can be discriminated against. etc ed

      A slippery slope. Because it’s always easier to let standards slip in order achieve equality.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Let’s look at the countries which are run by people who aren’t ‘male, pale and stale’

      How are their women treated ?

      Male, pale and stale

      Directed at any other group this language would be completely unacceptable. Are we not allowed to be offended ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Further to my comment about ‘male, pale and stale’ – this applies to all white men.

        I lived in a deprived area of London and recall being in a job centre in the ’90s recession. I took a job that others sucked their teeth at and refused to do because it was demeaning and it didn’t pay enough. I’d also paid attention during my maths and physics classes at school in spite of the disruptions – the job was in a factory and I went for it because I could then try and get on an apprenticeship once I’d proven my worth.

        This is why I’ve had what some would call a ‘privileged’ career.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    To succeed in politics, it seems you need to be a Grannie.
    Talent and common sense come a very poor second.
    PS Do you really think that there will be any change vis a vis the European Project? Do you really think that the Educayshun Blob will continue to be attacked? Do you really think that the Monbiot ideas on deliberate flooding will be unacceptable?

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    David Cameron says he is concerned that his policies do not appeal to women and he seems to think that appointing more women to important positions may boost his appeal. In my opinion the latest appointments won’t make a blind bit of difference. What most women want is the same as the general public want, which is to appoint the right person for the job. Most people I know don’t care whether it is a woman or a man. Women have no more difficulty understanding what is behind the Government thinking than anyone else. As if we are a different species! I do wish the Prime Minister would stop these ‘window dressing’ ideas. I doubt they will do him any good at all.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I care I want more well qualified women promoted if they are capable and whose to say they aren’t capable on the day they’re hired, if they’re never given a chance how can they prove people wrong. Most top marketers, sales, PR, HR professionals are women it seems the only area they are truly allowed to rise above their male counterparts. I don’t see it as window dressing, if these women can’t cut it at the top level they should be replaced. Cameron strikes me as a male chauvinist, following his patronising comments in the HoC, it will be interesting to see him interacting and working with these women and it will be interesting if they can help to improve his and the Tory parties image which frankly needs some help at the moment.

      • Killer Heels
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        I watched the program on Crossrail last night. Yes. On time. On budget. Brilliant engineering through tiny gaps in London’s underground infrastructure – shoring up hundreds of historic buildings from beneath with minimal damage done.


        Talk about ‘male, pale and stale.’ Every one of the engineers was a white male and mostly quite plain.

        This is not good enough.

        Glad to see Downing Street made into a catwalk. That’s more like it.

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          Well doesn’t your comment prove the point, if all the engineers were men of a certain age then that tells you how long chauvinism has been going on for. Why weren’t more women encouraged into engineering then, my cousins wife is a very well qualified engineer and got head-hunted to America, she took the job maybe because of our British incredibly old fashioned view of female engineers.

          Lets publish these women’s qualifications, as a female I probably have more experience of transport and transport operations than the current male transport minister so what!

          One last point, if you were stuck needing an urgent operation in a town with an elected mayor or mp who would you get to do your operation the mayor or mp? Not many of the MPs of any party have the right experience for the job because its unique, it is a representative of that department not a hands on operational position.

          It is very disparaging of you to call it a catwalk on day one, lets wait and see what these ladies can achieve in a short space of time before you slice your stiletto into them.

          • APL
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            a-tracey: ” if all the engineers were men of a certain age then that tells you how long chauvinism has been going on for.”

            No, it tells you that on aggregate women have a preference for this type of career, men another type of career.

            Note. I said ‘on aggregate’, meaning there will be exceptions, some women may wish to be engineers – work hard enough to be as good or better than their male contemporaries. But most will not.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    What do I think about the whole package? I think that basically it’s a typical PR exercise preparatory to the next general election, and has very little to do with better government of the country. And I think that it’s not just a typical Cameron PR exercise, that being his background, but it’s a typical traditional Tory party PR exercise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      A typical Cameron PR exercise. Basically an attempt to con his supporters for a second time. A pre-election PR spin attack on the ECHR a fake veneer of EUsceptic long grass renegotiation but all will change post election should his cynical con Mk II actually work.

      • Hope
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Well said both of you. How about the little issue of the EU arrest warrant being opted back into? Has Cameron and chums forgot that was only last week!

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget what Wilson said “a week is a long time in politics”. We are meant to forget these things.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          Yes they keep very quite about their actual actions – it is a long grass strategy win the election first then return to the Ken Clark agenda and then kick your supporters in the teeth.

        • M Davis
          Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Not to mention DRIP on the same day as the re-shuffle. Hoping to take peoples’ eye off the matter and bury it?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, appalling contempt for MPs and the public.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed so. It is all PR to get elected again. And Mr Redwood may wish to flatter himself but it is a response to UKIP as far as any move to the Eurosceptic position is concerned. Cameron knows that no matter what he does Mr Redwood and those like him who claim to be independent thinkers and critics are totally loyal to the party, and can be safely ignored, he can continue merely to use them as a useful means of keeping in touch with what the euro-sceptics think. They know that too and it is their sole aim to get the party re-elected – party before principle. He knows that Mr Redwood will urge us all to vote Tory whatever the party does in government, even taking away our civil liberties and tearing up our ancient laws.

      It is the same with the promotion of the women, more PR – even Esther was told to flaunt herself in front of the cameras when she simply was to continue in the same job. It remains to be seen how it all plays for Cameron. If it all works and he gets a majority at the election, expect an all-out push to stay in the EU. Whatever ‘concessions’ he gets to achieve the ‘new relationship’ Mr Redwood keeps on about will be exaggerated and lied about; it’s all about staying in.

      I hope I am proved wrong but there will need to be some forthright unambiguous speaking from these newly appointed sceptics between now and the election. If there were to be a ‘stay’ vote, should that happen and it probably will, they will all be given back. Did we not have a vote in parliament a week or two back about returning powers we had just had repatriated.

      Cameron and his party cannot be trusted to get us out of the EU.

      Reply Nonsense. I voted for Out in 1975 and will vote for Out again in 2017 unless the new relationship is outside the federalist treaties and makes sense.

    • Killer Heels
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The Daily Mail asks why Grant Shapps has been kept in place.

      Clearly it is because he is telegenic.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Honestly Dennis, what if it is PR, do you think a government can win and remain popular if no PR is applied. Don’t you think Michael Gove’s problem wasn’t his application, dedication, intelligence and his desire to improve children’s education but rather his public relations and handling of the workforce. So what if these roles are dual roles, there should be a function to have ministers share roles revealing different strengths but working together. Something needs to change because politics in this country is failing and people aren’t voting because there is no change and no difference.

    • acorn
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Attention!!! all you ministers that still believe in the ECHR. “You are the weakest link – goodbye!” Unfortunately, Dominic got on the wrong side of the following.

      “While the current UK government has discussed the possibility of repealing the HRA and even leaving the ECHR, the EU has pledged to accede to the ECHR in Article 6(2) TEU. The difficulty for the UK in “escaping” the reach of the ECHR is immediately apparent if it remains within the EU.

      When applying EU law or deciding on matters within its scope, UK courts have to follow the CJEU in relation to its longstanding incorporation of fundamental rights as general principles of EU law which include fundamental rights as guaranteed by the ECHR following Article 6(3) TEU.”

      “Once the CJEU is bound by the ECHR, its judgments in relation to ECHR fundamental rights will be binding upon Member States’ national courts and would affect a UK intending to leave the ECHR”. (HT

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a government that explained stuff like this to the little people.

  10. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Mr Gove has not been popular. His move was a must. I am not sure whether Phil Hammond is pro or anti EU. It was a brave clean sweep and we will see how effective it is in months to come.It may have been in for a penny in for a pound.
    Yesterday when I switched over to parliament on the TV it was commented that the only reason the data and communication debate was happening was because of the ECJ. It got a second reading . Would this debate not have come to the commons without an EU directive?

    Reply I will explain these bizarre events tomorrow

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Gove was ‘not popular’, with whom, and was that a reason to sack him?

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Unpopular with the teaching profession .They have to deliver and there are far more of them than parliamentarians.

        • APL
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Margaret Brandreth-J: “Unpopular with the teaching profession .”

          God forbid Gove should upset the cosy mutual backscratching between the teachers unions and the civil service.

          They might have to ask their members to actually teach!

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        With the electorate.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      margaret brandreth-j:
      “Mr Gove has not been popular. His move was a must.”

      All the more curious then as to why our host tells us that: “Mr Gove’s arrival as a speaking Chief Whip with wider duties than a traditional Chief Whip makes sense in the run up the General Election.” So unpoular that he will be given more broadcasting time!

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I am not attempting to explain Cameron’s motive. I am merely stating the fact that teachers in general and the unions said he was the most unpopular education secretary ever.

        Chief whip is not in the education department ,so what is seen and unseen could be the answer . Cosmetic changes are not my speciality and I do not pretend to understand the weavings of parliamentary life. Conjecture adds to misinterpretation of the facts. I personally am not making a judgement.
        I hope that clarifies my position.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 19, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

          He is there not to be popular. He is there to be effective at his job and to enact Government Policy.

          End of.

          You may not like what your employer does with ‘their’ business, but whilst in their pay, you are legally obliged to carry out all reasonable request in relation to the terms and conditions of your employment.

          If you do not like it, you are therefore at liberty to either withdraw your labour, either temporarily or, permanently.

          • Margaret Brandreth-J
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            No I don’t think it is” end of.” The teachers also have an ethical responsibility to do what is right for the children in their keep. OFSTED sets out criteria to ensure children do not suffer in any way. If a teacher suspects that new methods are affecting the children emotionally , intellectually or any other they are duty bound to speak out.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Gove was not popular precisely because he was doing an excellent job reforming education. The educational Blob is immensely powerful. The teaching unions which are at its core have as their priorities resistance to any kind of measurement of performance or quality and to any kind of choice or competition. All the things in fact which have proved essential in providing good services elsewhere in the economy. This was never going to be an easy battle, but its one anyone who cares about the future of the 90% or so children who get state educated should be very concerned we – that’s to say taxpayers parents and children – win.

      Let’s hope Mrs Morgan proves as effective.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    This seems a huge change of personal with only 9 months to go before a general election.

    What real hope is there that any of the new people will make any impact or difference at all in such a short time.

    Surely it must take at least 3-6 months to get to grips with the running of any new department and its staff, then we have two months off as a pre run to the election.

    Seems to me all rather pointless, if so many people were judged to be unfit for office, why were changes not made sooner.

    This just sounds and looks like a panic measure to me.

    Perhaps the penny has at last dropped in Mr Camerons mind, but rather too late I would suspect.

    • Hope
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      And the energy bills will continue to rise as the power stations have started to fall. Diesel generators on standby this winter! A new aircraft carrier that is driven by diesel and gas instead of nuclear, one problem being that we do not have enough auxiliary ships to service two. Driven by the EU to build an EU defence force when Major was in government. Good article by Booker on this in the DT. Madness at the heart of Cameron’s government.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Indeed Hammond presided over much of this wasteful insanity, misdirection and incompetence at the MOD (it will cost in both lives and money).

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Nikki Morgan votes

    strongly for use of UK military forces in (usually counter productive) combat operations overseas
    very strongly for increasing the rate of VAT
    very strongly for higher taxes on alcoholic drinks
    very strongly for higher taxes on plane tickets
    She also votes for more EU integration
    Votes against peoples freedoms
    Voted against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU
    and voted for more green crap &climate change nonsense.

    So she is a toe the line, Cameronite to the core. Pro more EU, Pro more Green Crap and pro even higher tax borrow and waste. A lawyer too alas, I suppose it is a little better than PPE but only just.

    Reply She is a Minister! They all have to toe the same line.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      And the Cameron line is 180 degrees wrong on nearly every issue.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Why would anyone sensible want to be a minister in a government let by the last election throwing Cameron. Where you are expected to vote the wrong way on nearly all the main issues, pro war, pro green crap, pro tax increases, pro HS2, pro endless waste, pro a dreadful NHS and pro ever more EU?

      • JoeSoap
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        They would tell you that you think too much.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      reply -reply

      Aware that you need collective responsibility when in management, but when it comes to actual voting, this follow the leader over the cliff policy of voting is just plain daft.

      By all means accept the majority decision, but for goodness sake vote for what you really feel is right, otherwise what is the point of being an MP, Minister or anything else.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      If the name of Nikki Morgan had been omitted from Lifelogic’s post, I would have thought that the individual was a Lib Dem or Labour MP. I think that explains your dilemma.You end up attracting the floating voter but alienate the core support. The only reshuffle required is that of the leadership.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Hague provided the Tory party with a “eurosceptic” façade to hide the truth that it has long been and still is a eurofederalist party.

    But now that façade is worn out and riddled with too many holes through which increasing numbers of voters can see the reality that lies behind it; so it is being replaced with a new façade, a chap called Philip Hammond who is relatively little known but who by the accounts of the Tory supporting press is even more of a fierce “eurosceptic” than Hague was previously thought to be.

    You see, back in May 2013 Hammond followed Gove by saying that if the EU didn’t change then he would be prepared to leave it:

    But adding of course that first of all Cameron should be given the chance to change it and bring back powers, which would make it acceptable.

    “I believe that we have to negotiate a better solution that works better for Britain if we are going to stay in and play a part in the European Union in the future, but let me be absolutely clear: I think it is defeatist to sort of say we want to leave the European Union.

    “We should say no, this is a club that we are members of, and before we talk about leaving it, first of all we’re going to try and change the rules and change the way it works and change the objectives that it has in order to make it something that works for Britain.”

    And if people believe that would be possible then they will believe anything.

  14. Bazman
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Gove as Chief Whip comes as no surprise. An expert at pushing deluded ideology as fact will help him in this role no end. However he may find Tory MP’s unwilling to face having their fags confiscated and detention because he says so a more difficult target.

    • Martyn G
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Bazman, I have no idea as to which “deluded ideology” you are referring to and am quite happy to leave it at that. However, I cannot see anything wrong (other than perhaps how policy was presented and implemented) with Mr G’s single-minded determination to drive down the disgraceful percentage (25%) of functionally illiterate school leavers under the educational systems he inherited.
      Which other nation in the developed world has had or would even tolerate such a high number of youths being so ill-fitted for employment at the end of their education in an increasingly technical world?

      • Bazman
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Gove tries to compare his private school education to that of high school children in Merseyside. He complains the type of education he got at the fee paying, selection by exam Robert Gordon College is not what England’s state schools offer. Of course if he means that they do not offer an elite few an advantage over poorer or less able students, he’s right. The concept of Equality of Opportunity for all regardless of background is the foundation of state education and a total anathema to the private schools industry that Gove loves so much. He claims that he is recruiting more highly qualified teachers by which he means he is freeing up academies and free schools to employ non-qualified staff as teachers. The truth is he interferes constantly for political gain and harks back to an old system that failed the many and advanced the few. As far as the exam system is concerned Gove tells us he has restored “rigour” when in actual fact he means he’s rigged them, He’s devalued subjects like technology, drama, art and music. He has really show his ignorance over the new OFSTED inspection regime. In order to be graded better than “requires improvement” schools must now be above the national average. You don’t need to be a maths teacher but surely you understand that at any time half of schools will be below average because that’s the nature of an average! Nothing will change that never, it’s a mathematical fact. Imagine if driving tests were judged in the same way. A student would take their test then wait until the end of the year to find out if they passed by being in the top half of candidates. Lunacy. Gove says he wants all schools to be good or outstanding but then sets up a system to ensure that can never happen. Why? He is deluded and if you agree with these policies , so are you.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          When you say non qualified teachers Baz are you suggesting they just grab them off the street as they walk past?
          What I think you mean is that they have not got a Batchelor of Education degree or PGCE.
          It doesnt mean they havn’t got degrees or even post graduate qualifications in the subjects they teach.
          Many private schools employ such people who can be brilliant teachers with great knowledge.
          The majority of the teachers and their assistants at my childrens school did not have these education qualifications but they were brilliant teachers.
          Some are semi retired after decades of experience in industry or professions.
          There has been an exodus of many mature lecturers in practical subjects leaving higher education colleges who suddenly found they had to get a degree in education in order to continue what they had been doing for years quite successfully.
          eg car mechanics, plumbers, accountants, engineers, IT experts, musicians, foreign language experts and ex professional sports people, etc

          • Bazman
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Kids bouncers diluting the profession. Weare talking schools not colleges.Tories like the semi skilled diluting any trade as hey wish to pay labourers rates for skilled work and always have done. Except when it applies to their own jobs that is. I my trade I have met the attitude of why should you be paid more as you can do the work anyway. LOL! Or their is no skill in it. Asked if there was aloe no work, replied yes. Begging the question of what is was actually doing there then!? Don’t tell me about private schools using unskilled people to teach. It won’t wash.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Answer the points raised stop waffling and ranting

          • Bazman
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

            The point is don’t put moneyed middle class values on the average working person such as selective fee paying education and then try to do it on the cheap using non qualified staff. Gove has constantly telling us how incompetent and lazy teachers are. Its the oldest one in the world. You work is rubbish do more and then employing less skilled people. Interesting if you and him have the same on the cheap idea when employing trades such as gas fitters. East European ones? Good luck with that one…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            There you go again Baz with the misnomer non qualified staff.
            Swallowing the teaching union propaganda
            If you mean they haven’t had to sit through several years of boring lectures on the theories of education from dull left wing lecturers then yes.
            Strange how results and standards are good in schools where many of the staff are as you put “non-qualified”

            Gove never ever said all teachers are lazy and incompetent
            Another of your made up delusions.

            Your point on gas fitters is also ridiculous and has no connection to teaching staff or classroom assistants.
            There is a nationwide “gas safe” scheme and anyone who does any gas system work whilst unqualified risks a criminal prosecution.
            Your slur against non uk gas fitters is very unfair as many are skillful engineers who have to be gas safe qualified to get work in the UK

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Bazman – Not as deluded as our poor kids who leave school believing that they have achieved world beating GCSEs only to find the CBI telling them that they are so useless that immigrants must be imported to make up for their skills deficit.

      Not as deluded as you – who seems to think that all is well with British education despite us slipping inexorably down the global league tables.

      And just what is it with you lefties and your predilection for labeling people as insane if they don’t think the same way as you do ?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        “And just what is it with you lefties and your predilection for labeling people as insane if they don’t think the same way as you do ?”
        The reason the left do this is to shut down debate by abusing those who have the temerity to dare to challenge them.
        They have a belief they are always right and so there can only be one reason for anyone to fail to accept their views, it must be because they are mentally ill.
        It has always been the policy of evil socialist regimes to label people they dislike as mentally ill or deluded or deniers, as it means they can be sent off to be made better in some “re-education” camp without trial.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        See above and you can be deluded too.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          No I’m not deluded I just sometimes have a different opinion to yours.
          Your sad reply just confirms all I said.
          Goves attempts to give parents a little more choice in where their children are told to go and to try to raise academic standards was brave and was mainly for the benefit of those who cannot afford to opt out.
          But its back to business as usual now for the blob

          • Bazman
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Facts are not opinions. In your world everything is an opinion. Deluded.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

            Facts back up opinions.
            Faced with facts reasonable people alter their opinions and ideas.
            Otherwise its just blind belief.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            You seem to have plenty of that when faced with facts such a file sharing.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      The only thing that Gove was guilty of was having conviction and that, the Left cannot abide.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        If you have convictions when questioned such as he was you do not go off on a hissy fit with anyone daring to do this. Arrogant, self serving, and deluded.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Which can be translated as he would not do what the teaching unions wanted.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            You do not just push through changes as you feel they are for the best without solid facts and when all evidence and professional opinion is against this you do not just carry on. Deluded right wing nonsense is fine for you as long as it fits your agenda.
            you have still to tell us why British workers should not compete with the rest of the EU Edward2. Lower costs living five to a room to help business and customers, create wealth, stiop wage inflation with little employment rights wanted or expected, all incentivised by benefit cuts helping them find work and dignity.
            There is some right wing nonsense for you!

          • Edward2
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            Still you waffle on with your deluded nonsense.
            Your beloved Labour party allowed in several million new arrivals to compete with existing workers.
            So I suggest you copy your question to them
            Reduced wages are a natural function of the policies of the Labour party and the EU.
            Dont blame me
            Re Mr Gove
            He is gone now, so calm down
            Its back to falling standards and reduced choice for the poorest.
            The blob have won.

  15. formula57
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The point was continually made that it was a reshuffle of the Government – but not one mention was made of the Liberal Democrats. Are they still there, serving their turn?

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    What on earth did Nikki achieve as Minister for Women Minister for Women under the Government Equalities Office. Why on earth would a proper Tory government have such a pointless department anyway? Just to create pointless work for lawyers and bureaucrats one assumes.

    Women without children are already paid more than men, more go to university, become doctors, pharmacists & lawyers and they get better grades at GCSEs too. Where is the problem other than the fact many choose a different work life balance to men and very few choose to study physics/engineering for some ingrained reason.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      They just choose this do they and are paid more? Everyone just ‘chooses’ their life. I will become a drug addict/high court judge, single mother doctor, MP, welder? Maybe they do in your fantasy world. Maybe they even choose their own race too?! Can I be a van driving Chukchi? Of course you can!

      • Edward2
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        You display an odd combination of socialist desire for equality with now in this post a depressing belief in pre determination from the middle ages Baz.

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        I find that remark about single mothers offensive. I had no choice.My husband abandoned me with 2 young children for another with better financial prospects. This was not of my choosing.

        • Bazman
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Thats my point. Circumstances. The idea that woman are seen as equal to men in society is laughable. The they are disadvantaged at every opportunity. Having a big nasty husband is an equaliser for many with this carefully thrown into the conversion many liberties are not taken in this very conservative society.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            You wont make many friends if you repeat your statement
            “The fact that women are seen as equal to men is laughable” Baz
            I hear a sharp intake of breath from the audience.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            You think society treats them the same and as equal to men? Sharp intake of breath from those looking to be offended.
            Notice how lifelogic cannot back up any of his points. Just mindless mumbling at a gentlemans club after a few to many G&T’s watching the golf.

          • Margaret Brandreth-J
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            I know ; but I am pointing out that in a multi race world with language difficulties sarcasm is interpreted as the true opinion.

          • APL
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Brandreth-J: “My husband abandoned me with 2 young children for another with better financial prospects.”

            Commiserations. However I doubt that LifeLogic’s remarks were intended to address women in your circumstance.

            Rather those women ( often young girls ) who have *never* been married, yet have produced one or more children often by different fathers.

          • APL
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Bazman: “You think society treats them the same and as equal to men?”

            No, it is women who are privileged.

            The very fact that Cameron has selected people for his cabinet *on the sole basis that the individual is a woman* is as clear a demonstration as you could wish to see.

            In the divorce courts, the de-facto assumption is that custody of children will go to the woman regardless of her income. Then the man is compelled to support her and the children! An example of Female privilege.

  17. Horatio McSherry
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    John, I was sad to see Gove go from Education. He was upsetting a lot of people, which I think means he was doing something right. Having never heard of Nikki Morgan (that’s not a criticism) I wonder if she will continue where Gove left off.

    Hague was initially a surprise, then after talknig to a few friends, his new position seems an excellent way for him to exit Parliament.

  18. Richard1
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove is one of the most articulate Conservative ministers, so if he is to play a key role in the media for the general election that’s good news. What would not be good news is if his departure from the dept of education means surrender to the Blob and abandonment of Gove’s excellent education reforms and general drive for decent education throughout the state sector.

    I also fear that Owen Paterson’s dismissal is the result of leftist-green campaigning against him. The Conservatives need to move away from green crap for the next election. Its economically damaging, its supposed scientific basis is increasingly questioned and its very unlikely any green hysterics actually vote Conservative as a result of it.

    Whether all the newly promoted women are competent and electorally appealing we will see in the coming months. Its clear that they owe their promotions to the fact that they are women, but they may turn out to be very good. Certainly, if you are not already a member of the Cameron-Osborne inner club, its not good for ministerial prospects to be a white middle aged man.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Owen Paterson picked a fight with Brian May one of the country’s favourite and most popular musicians, genuinely thoughtful, etc, who has a massive following. I don’t agree with everything Brian May says, but if I was a minister in Owen’s position I would have him in and speak to him etc. Picking a fight with Brian, and the way it was handled, was very poor ministerial performance.

      • zorro
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Doubtless Brian May will be strumming on the guitar…..’another one bites the dust’…


      • Vanessa
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Brian May plays the guitar very well, I don’t think Mr Paterson plays the guitar at all.

        Why is May being asked about countryside/environment issues when he knows absolutely NOTHING about them – rather like Mr Paterson on the guitar.

        Why do the BBC as celebrities to poke their ignorant noses into everything without any knowledge or research. Get rid of the BBC.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 19, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Image over substance seems to carry more weight these days. Just ask Dave.

          The BBC primarily deal with images. So photogenic, articulate and well known people, even if they know bugger all, whether it be from climate change, EU or the countryside, willget an airing.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            Brian May went to a state school.
            He academically did exceptionally well, better than the public school crowd.
            He has a science degree, unlike the majority of the political class.
            He has been exceptionally successful in his chosen career, bringing significant tax revenue into this country.
            He owns a fair amount of land.
            As I said before I don’t agree with everything he says, but I will always listen with interest, and rate the views of people like him more highly than the identikit public school never had a job outside politics ministers we have.
            etc ed

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Michael Gove truly is one of the most articulate in the Conservative party and his longevity as Education secretary prvided him with the auhority and gravitas to speak unpleasant truths. By demoting him the PM has effectively tied one hand behind his back for these future TV appearances. If he needed to be removed from Education for appeasement why not still have him as Chief Whip at Cabinet level do we really need two DWP Minoters at cabinet however photogenic IDS is?

    • Bryan
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      And today the Government announced the building of a huge wind farm off the Sussex coast.

      What a huge waste of taxpayer money. Statistics in the case of wind farms do not lie!

      Are we so in thrall to the LibDem greenies that Mr Cameron cannot scrap these loony tunes decisions?

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    On January 11th 2011 MPs were asked whether they wanted the words:

    “The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.”

    inserted into the European Union Bill; and only 39 MPs voted for that, Division No 161 at Column 253 here:

    Of those mere 39 MPs who voted to reaffirm the sovereignty of our national Parliament there were 27 Tory MPs, while 256 actually voted against it:

    and one of those was Philip Hammond, three places below Hague on the list of “Noes”.

    The Bruges Group rates MPs on how they have voted on key EU issues, and at – 62% Hammond is actually worse than Hague at + 4% and diammetrically opposed to JR at + 68%, so it beggars belief that the media are now claiming that Cameron has appointed a more “eurosceptic” Foreign Secretary.

    Reply Mr Hague and Mr Hammond always vote with the whip as Ministers . The reason Mr Hague apparently does not is as Foreign Secretary he was often absent from voting with permission, yet they count that as if it were a principled abstention!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I see, you are telling us that in fact they are both committed supporters of Cameron and the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Fair comment, if you assume that an MP should be prepared to vote against the sovereignty of his own Parliament, our national Parliament, just because his party whips tell him to. Presumably if the whips told MPs to stick their heads into buckets of water, or jump from the top of the building, then they would do that as well? And here we also come back to the question of the other day, whether we should have a proper separation between the executive and the legislature so that ministers cease to even have votes to cast in the Commons.

  20. Kenneth Morton
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    On paper this is a series of bold moves. The Prime Minister has to hope that he is a lucky manager and that his new look team blends together and wins the trophy next May. But a team of 27, including four LibDems who will using different tactics, presents far more managerial problems than just eleven players playing for just ninety minutes a game.

    I worked with Nicky Morgan some twenty years ago when she started as a Trainee Solicitor. It took her a bit of time to find her feet then and she had a few problems. Obviously now she has learned many lessons on her way to the Cabinet. On television yesterday, Christine Blower of the NUT was grinning like a Cheshire Cat anticipating that the new Secretary of State would be a walkover compared to Mr Gove. I am sure that there will be further teachers’ strikes in 2014/15.

    Mrs Morgan has to implement many changes this summer/autumn rather than initiate further reforms. So if she is a good manager she should be successful and the teaching unions will remain to appear out of touch and inward looking.

    I hope that the new team does hold a more sceptic line . Mr Cameron had been honest and not wavered on Europe. He has been clear what his policy is and he knows that negotiations on Europe are a priority after the election here. In the meantime the Europe of Juncker will likely become a more volatile and unstable institution of Federalists against the rest. The Tower of Babel seems more organised than the Parliament in Brussels.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      “Mr Cameron had been honest and not wavered on Europe.”

      What an extraordinary statement.

      • zorro
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        “Mr Cameron had been honest and not wavered on Europe.”….Hahahahahahahaha…. sublime irony lives on!


        • zorro
          Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          ‘He has been clear what his policy is’…..answers on a postcard please


    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Honest on Europe – Cast Iron Cameron – are you having laugh?

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Hammond’s voting record is dreadful, though perhaps not quite so dire as most of the Cameron dopes.

    He voted very strongly for the patently idiotic Iraq war, has voted against an EU referendum and voted for several daft, green crap/climate change act types of measures and many tax increases.

    Hardly someone to be trusted on the EU, green lunacy or pointless warmongering.

    Reply Mr Hammond as a government Minister votes with the official whip on all occasions!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Did Hammond support Cameron or David Davis in the last Tory leadership battle?

      Who did he vote for when the Tory party chose to bury itself (for three and a half terms so far) by re-electing the dreadful disaster John Major. To be followed (eventually) by the more polished but identical politically in his actions Dave Cameron.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      To reply what about his record when in opposition? The climate change act, Iraq?

    • mick
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Yes Mr Redwood you are right the ministers do have to toe the party whip, but there is less than 10months till the G.E and hopefully it is published in the run up to the G.E all the MP`s who have voted on every occasion to keep us in the EU by vote or speeches , at the end of the day you are put there by us to do OUR willing and not what your party leader wants “con/lab/lib”,at the end of the day it will be us to boot you out if we think you are trying to pull the wool over our eyes

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      If a minister is willing to vote against the sovereignty of Parliament, as Hammond did on January 11th 2011, then is he fit to be even an MP let alone a minister?

    • Aunty Estab
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Perhaps this is why we get such lousy government, ministers rigidly following the party line, too easy for Cameron’s little cabal to push through their daft ideas. It seems we are always going to be ruled by these professional politicians who know nothing of the outside world. Owen Patterson appeared to be a man with some common sense, so Cameron chucks him out! Are the new ministers so talented that the likes of our host, David Davis and Liam Fox, aren’t good enough to get in?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Liam Fox is briefing he declined a position to better campaign against the EU from the back benches. As to the other two on your list male, Pale, and stale one assumes. Imagine if such a description were devised for any other minority demographic.

    • cornishstu
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      And that John is one of the problems with government, mp’s whether being on the benches or in a ministerial position should be allowed to vote with their conscience as opposed to the party line, in accordance with their constituents wishes, that is us the people who pay your salaries and expenses.

  22. Matt
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The loss of Mr Gove as Education Secretary is quite a blow. He gave many great hope for the state education system which I can’t remember ever feeling before. Nikki Morgan has some very big shoes to fill and would do well to approach each issue by asking “What would Gove do”.

  23. JoolsB
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    To get rid of Gove from education, one of the few members of this coalition alongside IDS who was actually doing a good job was a cowardly act by Cameron. The unions must be delighted.

    The irony is still lost on anti-English Cameron that whilst he has appointed a new Secretary of State for Wales to sit in Government alongside the Secretaries of State for Scotland and NI, there is still no Secretary of State for England and please don’t insult us John by telling us that’s Cameron or Pickles which would be laughable when neither of them can even bring themselves to say the word England.

    We shouldn’t be surprised. The Tories have admitted this week that their manifesto promise to address the WLQ has been shelved because ‘they don’t want to upset the Scots’ before the referendum. No matter that the majority of their constituents, who reside in England and without whom the Tories would not exist, are upset at still being shafted and treated as second class citizens 16 years after Labour’s asymmetrical devolution act which DELIBERATELY left England out and which has now become blatantly obvious the Tories have absolutely no intention of doing anything about.

    It seems UKIP is now England’s only hope of receiving constitutional and financial equality with the rest of the UK. The Tories’ have treated England with the same contempt as Labour and the Lib Dums. Big mistake.

    • Chris
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      The sacking of David Jones as Secretary of State for Wales is a bitter blow to all who live in the substantial part of Wales that is north of ‘The Valleys’.
      Us Gogs (as the Cardiff lot refer to North Walians) will be forgotten again. Cardiff just looks after Cardiff and its Labour heartland, and I am appalled that both the new Welsh Secretary, and his deputy are both South Walians who, and I really hope I’m wrong here, probably won’t know where North Wales is.
      Most ‘Welsh’ spending (I know, courtesy in large part to the English taxpayer), will take place, as it always has, in Cardiff and its immediate environs.

  24. sm
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I regret the loss of Owen Paterson, who seemed to be one of the cooler heads in Govt regarding climate change drivel. I also regret that the size of the Cabinet has not been drastically reduced.

    But putting Ken Clarke out to pasture was many years overdue!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Patterson was a lone voice of reason so, to Cameron, he had to go.

      We now have Greig Clarke who seems to be just as bad as Ken Clarke. If Ken is still fit enough post election Cameron will surely have him back, should he actually win.

      There is nothing really between David Cameron’s and Ken Clarke’s private views on the EU.

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP is reported (on radio 4 just now) to think we now have a Euro-sceptic Cabinet. What compete and utter drivel, not one of them is really sceptic, has he inspected their voting records? If they were Cameron would have overlooked them.

    Perhaps relative to himself and the BBC EU propaganda unit – he means!

  26. Mike Stanley
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I do not think this reshuffle is much to do with improving government or delivering more Conservative policies in the next 9 or 10 months. Rather it is the opening salvo in the election campaign. It appears Cameron is trying to paint the Conservatives as less abrasive and more female friendly. A change of mood rather than a change of policy. Will it work? We will find out next May.

  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    As far as the majority of the general public is concerned, those who have even noticed will think it is a bunch of people they have never heard of being replaced by another bunch they have never heard of. The whole pantomime was yet another example of the demeaning of government. An exercise in spin and party electoral considerations with promotions for Osborne’s acolytes thrown in for good measure. Perhaps you can clarify one conundrum: if, as has been spun, Gove is so universally unpopular why on earth will he be given an expanded broadcasting role? – more spin!
    Perhaps you would care to tell us about the significance of the appointment of Lord Hill as EU Commissioner? Please don’t pretend that he is yet another arch Eurosceptic from the Conservative ranks – the fact that he was once special adviser to Ken Clarke debunks that possibility.

  28. Elrond Cupboard
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Deckchairs. Titanic.

    • BobE
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Without doubt. More music guys!!

  29. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Mr Hague strikes me as a chancer who has made a decision to jettison all of his principles and values in order to grease his way to the top of the political pole. He simply sticks his finger in the air and decides whichever way the political wind is blowing and follows course accordingly.

    Good riddance to him.

    • zorro
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Let’s see what the future holds for Mr Hague…..


  30. oldtimer
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    This reshuffle was driven by general election calculations and, apparently, by the intention of Mr Hague to step down as an MP. I also read that Mr Willetts is leaving Parliament too. It seems to me that it is also intended to bolster Cameron`s own position by promoting fellow travellers and demoting those with an outspoken and independent streak, such as Mr Patterson.

    The test of its effectiveness will be whether any of the new appointees screw up in their new roles and whether it actually helps Conservative party fortunes at the GE. It has little to do with government business or new initiatives. It will be more of the same, sometimes misguided, Cameron policies. I do not buy the “more Eurosceptic” line advanced in relation to Mr Hammond`s appointment as Foreign Secretary. This is window dressing especially if, as some have suggested, he swaps positions with Mr Osborne in the event of a new Conservative government after the GE.

  31. Paul
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Despite the reshuffle making the headlines and being analysed to death by the media, it changes nothing and is in no way significant. We are told that the promotion of Liz Truss, Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and the other women is the best thing since sliced bread, that Philip Hammond is so anti-EU he might as well join UKIP, and the new cabinet represents modern Britain. None of this is true.

    To achieve high office in politics, neither gender or talent matters – Thatcher became leader/PM and Cameron/Osborne somehow got to where they have despite possessing very little talent and having no real experience of anything. It’s all down to luck.

  32. Peter Stroud
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Cameron has sacked one of his most sensible and effective Secretaries of State: Owen Paterson. In so doing he has appeased the ‘warmists’ in both the Conservative and LibDem parties. Frankly I think this move is idiotic. But then, the whole business seems to be guided by PR.

  33. Iain Gill
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks for asking us John.
    For me I worry a lot about the way things are going.
    There is a severe lack of people brought up in working class families. There is even a severe lack of people who went to state schools, regardless than many of these come from affluent middle class and some even downright wealthy families. I think the “diversity” thing has lost its way and is actively anti white working class people, their accents, their culture, and so on. This is a massive problem whether the political elite realise it yet or not.
    Not even an attempt or a desire to have a meritocracy, or recognition that people with other backgrounds, or in other social circles, have merit and ability.
    There is far too much of an Eton clique going on, not just at ministerial level, but at all direct government appointments. It’s getting so ridiculous there will be a backlash, one way or another.
    Far too many ministers are really ministers for England, as all their departments responsibilities have been devolved for other parts of the UK, and others genuinely do have a UK wide remit, there should be a more focussed difference and split here.
    There are obvious failures in government, some such as Andrew Lansley should have gone long ago his performance in health was terrible (although his replacement is not much better, and somebody soon needs to face up to the big realities that a monolithic provider where the customers have no buying power is never going to be a success), but IDS has presided over a complete shambles and I know from our exchanges on here that he either has no grip on his department or he is lying he should go asap, Oliver Letwin I find disgraceful – his not so off the record views on state school pupils should keep him out of government for ever etc, Francis Maude for me is also a disgrace spouting allsorts of nonsense and him and his placemen have made government bureaucracy and efficiency worse not better. Those responsible for our immigration shambles should be laughed out of government, Ms May included. We really could do a whole lot better.
    I like Gove, I didn’t agree with everything he was doing. For me his defence of segregation along religious lines was bad. His way of addressing the failing schools on the big social housing estates is not fast enough, and in his role I would have took immediate “tanks on the lawn” emergency measures. I would give parents a whole lot more power and real choice. But he was prepared to break away from the default mushy wishy washy political speak and tell it like it is, as far as I am concerned being prepared to tell the teacher unions some home truths is good. I worry that his replacement will just return education to the stale walking through treacle unresponsive nonsense.
    I don’t think the Conservatives have a winning set of policies, or winning presentation and much of this is to do with their demographics at senior levels, as I have mentioned already. And there is far too much common ground between the Conservatives and Labour, the lazy political elite way of stitching the country up without listening to the people cannot go on forever. I don’t know if you saw the Nigel Farage interview on a fishing boat yesterday, which he put out on social media, but that was a masterclass in talking to real concerns of the vast majority of people which have been ignored by the political elite for far too long, fishing is a massive hobby, and resentment in coastal areas about EU fishing quota nonsense etc remains high, really the Conservatives are nowhere near as good at this kind of stuff.
    Interesting to hear Liam Fox to say one of the main reasons he didn’t want a government place was to be able to speak out about immigration, I hope he does so loudly and clearly, and more join in with him.

  34. Colin Hart
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Patterson’s sacking is a disgrace. Gove’s demotion a capitulation to the teachers’ unions. Rest of it politically correct tokenism that is likely to lose Conservatives as many votes as are gained by the exercise. Some comic relief provided by Hill’s appointment to the European Commission. Presumably designed to demonstrate Cameron’s (new found) contempt for that body. That at least is how they will see it

    Should have asked you, John.

  35. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Interesting that Cameron’s arch cronies – dripping wet Francis ‘fill a jerry can’ Maude and Oliver Letwin have both kept their positions..This despite both being at the heart of the Conservative coup that has led to the party becoming totally out of touch and unelectable. Nice one Dave.

  36. John Swannick
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Judging by the heavy valedictory traffic on Facebook this morning from some teacher friends and their friends, there is no doubt how that community sees the ‘redeployment ‘ of Michael Gove. Yes, he excited strong feelings amongst teachers – I find the amount of public bile I see from teachers about their ultimate employer, frankly, astonishing – but I have not seen or heard much from others. Maybe he opened up too many fronts – I found the apparent sacking of his own appointees, personal selection of reading lists, and recognition of authoritarian school regimes as appropriate benchmarks all a little too control freaky for someone I know is (or at least used to be) instinctively libertarian – but on the whole, I sense, at worst, widespread acknowledgement that we had talked the story on education for far too long and needed to walk it. If that has upset the education establishment ‘blob’ and their circles, so what? They were hardly likely to vote for us anyway and a brow mopping cosmetic change now isn’t going to fix that. Have we really become so focused on stitching together shabbly little coalitions of interest that we are no long prepared to accept that just doing things right is more effective strategy? Buying off state supplier groups at the expense of the consumer suggests not.

  37. William Long
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I think it was a great pity, but no surprise, that the rumours of Osbourne succeeding Hague as Foreign Secretary were not borne out; we really do need a Chancellor whose over-riding priority is the financial job and reforming the personal tax system, rather than politicising. The removal of Gove for all the reasons stated by others risks downgrading the one great achievement of this Government; it seems a great mistake to have replaced him with someone unknown outside Westminster, however capable she may be.
    We quite liked Mr Paterson down here in the South West, so over-all I am not greatly impressed!

  38. Alte Fritz
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I am white and at least as middle aged as most of yesterday’s victims. Yet not only must I work on ad infinitum but my clients seem to value experience which stretches back into the mists of time. Why is the business of running the country so different?

  39. Max Dunbar
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Cameron caved in to the teaching unions and the vicious and relentless campaign that was conducted against Gove by the ‘establishment’ Left. This was a surrender on a par with Major’s capitulation to ….. Tommy Sheridan and his pole-tax rioters.
    A measure of Gove’s success was the level of hatred and vitriol which he bravely endured and stoically rebuffed. He is clever, articulate and appeared well able to take on all that the enemy-within could throw at him. They hate him, above all, for his genuine desire to give parents hope and our children a future.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink


    • Bazman
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Hatred and vitriol is a measure of success even if it makes no sense. Any madman is to be admired then, but only if right wing or right wing in your way. The poool tax quite rightly collapsed and as we have seen by the lack of replies on my chipped rubbish bins not being supported by conservatives. He gave no hope for the majority in policies only he believed would work.

  40. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    It is a pragmatic political reshuffle to maximise the Tories chances of winning the next election. Though Gove is popular amongst the party faithful he is death at the ballot box with only about 30% of the electorate as a whole (rather than parents) approving of his free schools policy and a massive majority of teachers against him – interestingly at the last election teachers voted in about equal numbers for Tories & Labour. One assumes that some of the women promoted to the cabinet will prove inadequate to the task – just as they were when Blair tried the same strategy – not because they are women but because they are too young and inexperienced, but as it is less than a year to the election this will not become apparent soon.

    • Handbags
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on!

      I’d given up hope of anyone talking sense on this blog but you’ve just restored my faith.

      It doesn’t matter how much contributors to this blog rant and rave, insult and name call, their opinions have no chance of persuading the majority to embrace their point of view.

      Democracy is all about PR (in fact, that’s the problem with it) – the prettiest one always wins.

  41. Atlas
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It is difficult to see how these newly promoted women can demonstrate that they are not mere window-dressing, given the short time to the General election.

    I think the loss of Gove is a real blow to attempts to reverse the dumbing down of education.

    May and Cameron have not covered themselves in glory with the Butler-Sloss appointment/resignation, so perhaps they should have gone instead.

  42. ian wragg
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Another gift to UKIP. No one who will address the issues of expensive energy, mass immigration, poor schooling and a host of other problems which require attention. About 40 weeks to a G.E. and still no idea what we are going to re-negotiate in the EU. One massive PR stunt to make us “more inclusive”. no-one will be fooled as the train crash of defeat looms large.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink


    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      More like the cast of a Carry On film at this rate. Just a pity that we don’t have a James Robertson-Justice in charge.

  43. Peter Davies
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    To repeat what many have said it looks more and more like Cameron is trying to make the Tories appear more liberal and less abrasive by appealing to parts of the public and media that probably wouldn’t vote for them anyway – trying to break out of their core vote comfort zone like Blair did in a way.

    So what if it means getting rid of highly capable ministers – Owen Patterson is clearly a target for many by daring to suggest what most of us already think – climate change due to man made CO2 alone is highly doubtful then you have Mr Gove who has picked his battles with the NUT etc.

    If they want to see a poor education system then look at the shambles (mainly) Labour has done in Wales – only now after 16 odd years they are starting to admit the errors of their ways.

    I hope the female influx is on merit apart from having to dance to the tune of the dreadful milliband so called “womens problem”

    The one area that really does need sorting is energy policy – its a shame the PM has no say to fills that void, I’ve got a feeling I’ll be purchasing a backup generator not too far in the distant future when electricity starts having to be rationed.

    Interesting times ahead indeed.

  44. APL
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Mr Hague’s decision to leave Parliament next May means we now have a Foreign Secretary who has stated he wants out of the EU if we do not get a much better deal. ”

    Are you trying to make out that Hague was some sort of European Union advocate?

    Because that wasn’t the impression I got when he was in opposition nor leader of the Tory Party.

    Reply As FS in this government he never said he could see circumstances in which we should leave,.

    • zorro
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – In reality,he said very little about our role in Europe during his 4 years in tenure….


  45. Ray Veysey
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Whatever happened to principle? asked to contribute to the destruction of the State a minister votes for it because ” They all have to toe the same line” I can understand that for some petty government adjustment, or ruling but for something this important people should either vote against OR RESIGN.
    and none of your mealy mouthed “we can do more from the inside” claptrap because that has achieved the square root of F/A so far. UKIP has more influence on policy than you do, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself, and you are only trying to convince yourself, we already know.

    Reply In all governments Ministers have to vote for the agreed line, as they help form that line. Eurosceptic Conservative MPs have far more influence on events than UKIP, as have votes and voices in the Commons. UKIP not only have no MPs, but on current polls will not have any after 2015 either.

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      And the Tories will be in opposition. We keep hearing the word influence re the EU but the train trundles on, immigration continues at half a million each year and the EU makes 75% of our laws.
      Tell me who is influencing who??

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: I think you are wrong about ‘influence.’
      The Token Party is beginning to resemble the Isle of Lemnos after this reshuffle and Cameron’s desperate attempts to navigate the Clashing Rocks of UKIP on one side and the Far-Left on the other looks doomed to failure as the Dove that he released to test the stormy passage has come to grief.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      On Europe, UKIP are getting far more votes than “eurosceptic” mp’s where it counts, in the ballot box not the lobbies.

    • matthu
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      The readiness of Ministers and so many other MPs to “toe the line” on so many matters of principle like Iraq, the EU and climate change – often compounded by their reluctance to resign over matters of principle – explains why so many of the electorate either lose interest in politics altogether – or vow never to support any of the mainstream parties ever again.

    • AuntyEstab
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      UKIP will influence events next May to the detriment of the Conservatives and hopefully rid us of Cameron , if that let’s Labour in too bad, they are all the same now.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      You have continually told us that your party was Eurosceptic and so was your leader and the erstwhile FS – at long last you seem to have changed your tune a little. Anyone who wants the UK to leave the EU should vote UKIP as your party is determined to do no more than confirm our imprisonment in that foreign organisation and you are aiding and abetting them.

  46. liz
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Not impressed I am afraid. Anything that is greeted with joy by The Guardian and their followers (Moving Mr.. Gove) cannot be good

  47. Bert Young
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    The best reshuffle would have been at the very top ! . Cameron is a very unpopular and untrustworthy individual ; I appreciate that it is very late in the day for this to happen , but , it would have been the right move . Obviously Liam Fox was not coming back to play second fiddle and Wm. Hague has paid the price for sacrificing his previously forthright stance ; his loyalty is to be admired ..Bringing in women of “promise” and to balance the gender in the Cabinet is really hilarious ; experience and competence is what counts . I don’t think the re-shuffle will influence the electorate very much , I for one , want to be able to trust and respect leadership and the new “lot” have not changed my views .

  48. Shieldsman
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Dennis Cooper reminds us of what Gove and Hammond said in May 2013 regarding a referendum.

    Gove: “I am not happy with our position in the European Union but my preference is for a change in Britain’s relationship with the European Union,”
    “Life outside would be perfectly tolerable, we could contemplate it, there would be certain advantages.”
    “My own view is let the prime minister lay out our negotiating strategy, make sure he has a majority, which I am convinced he will secure at the next election, and let’s have the referendum then.”

    Hammond: “If the choice is between a European Union written exactly as it is today and not being a part of that then I have to say that I’m on the side of the argument that Michael Gove has put forward,”

    Both men said they wanted a renegotiation of our Club membership terms, before a referendum.

    So when does Mr Cameron start the renegotiation for repatriation of sovereignty and decision making Parliament? Does he have a timetable? Does he have a list of must have conditions which he will share with the electorate? He has already been told free movement of EU Citizens within the member states is non negotiable. Did he or did he not say he would reduce immigrant numbers?

    In 2013 a group of Conservatives, including William Hague, Andrea Leadsom, Chris Heaton Harris and George Eustice put their names to a 29 page document ‘Fresh Start Project’.
    Chapter Summaries: – 8 Trade, 10 Regional Development Policy, 12 Common Agricultural Policy,14 Common Fisheries Policy, 16 Budget and Institutions, 18 Social and Employment Law, 20 Financial Services, 22 Environment, 24 Policing and Criminal Justice, 26 Immigration, 28 Defence.

    Options for change were colour coded green, amber and red. Green and amber could be negotiable but would require goodwill on the part of the other members, whilst red requires withdrawal from the EU.

    A final question – will Parliament be resting between now and the 2015 election?
    I imagine the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commisssion report is gathering dust on Patrick McLoughlin’s desk at the Department for Transport. Too much of a political hot potato for Cameron to tackle before the election. Consevative held constituencies are: – Chelsea & Fulham, Putney, Richmond Park, Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner, Uxbridge & South Ruislip, Spelthorne, Windsor

  49. Reaguns
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Gove is the best minister in the government, and if his demotion is the action, then I hope the reaction is that he will change his mind and stand for the leadership. If he did so then I for one would certainly be hoping that he would defeat Osborne and Boris.

  50. forthurst
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    An interesting take on the reshuffle can be found on the ConservativeWoman website:

    “As for the ousted middle-aged male MPs who’ve been passed over time and again – on account of their being male rather than of their absence of of talent – they must be hopping mad, if they dare voice their fury.

    Why? Because its too easy to forget the many so called ‘pale and stale’ male MPs deserving of promotion on their merit. To take just three:

    First on my list would be the ever denigrated and demonised but quite brilliant and highly experienced John Redwood (63), a Chancellor of the Exchequer we never had but needed. A man who understood the banking crisis, who is in command of all matters economic and financial, who has the ability to deal with the public sector deficit, to cut taxes, reduce our national debt and deliver growth to boot. Not one of today’s over-promoted females comes near him in experience, ability or brain-power.”

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      If I would have said that I would have been called a creep. But allow me just a little frippery.. he is good looking too .. why did they get rid of the guy?

  51. Edward2
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Well I like the re-shuffle.
    I think it increases the chances of the Conservative Party winning the next election.
    Growth is now at last increasing and unemployment is now coming down and with some fresh faces who are more modern and voter friendly added, I think the Prime Minister has acted sensibly.
    I hope these changes will result in more votes from the younger generation and from women who according to some polls had been less inclined to vote Conservative.
    There simply not enough middle aged white males in the UK to win the Conservatives the next election.

  52. BobE
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Is there a date in next May for the GE?

    Reply May 7th

  53. BobE
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    After Cameron looses the election and goes off to a new job in the Eu. I rekon Boris will become the new leader.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Probably best if he changes his name from Boris to Doris and grows the hair a bit if he is to stand a chance of the leadership.

  54. ian
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I won”t be wasting any shoe leather, if you lot want carry on with the football match that up to you. I”m not wasting my time voting for these school yard boys & girls. If they want my vote they will have to grown up first and make their own decision. Not be told what to do by other country.

  55. Bazman
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see Esther McVey promoted. She is absolutely crystal clear in the North among the working poor and single mothers. Count on it..

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      ‘Crystal clear’? Does that mean transparent or that we can all see right through her?

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted July 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        In the sense of “seeing right through her” does that carry with it connotations of a possible deceitful nature or does it mean that she is honest and open?

  56. matthu
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Question for John Redwood: Is it also your opinion, John (as it is Mr Fallon’s) that Mr Cameron has selected a “Eurosceptic Cabinet” to prove to UKIP voters they can change the EU?

    It seems to me that he has selected a bunch of people who have never spoken out independently against the EU in their lives. Perhaps people who have created the impression that the Conservatives will somehow manage to extricate themselves from control of the ECHR. People who believe passionately (against all the evidence) that Mr Cameron will be able to achieve meaningful reform of the EU.

    Are the people who have recently been promoted counted amongst those you would have regarded as Eurosceptic members of the CP?

  57. Tim Robson
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Moving Give was a mistake. From what I’ve been told, Patterson held the right views. Hague – I could live without.

    What annoys me – and I’m not sure you’ll publish this John – is that someone like you doesn’t get the call. Speaks volumes over the static of ‘more females in the cabinet’.

    Substance not froth.

  58. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Does it matter anyway who is in the cabinet now we know the Conservatives have been busily giving away powers to the unaccountable and unelected EU for decades.

  59. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    You sign off on gaza, your government is complicit with this act. When is a british government going to stand on it own two feet.

  60. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Germany looking east not west are you ready for that. They want the gold standard back, fed up with the west”s gimmick.

  61. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    What is the Prime Minister up to?

    He appoints a genuinely Eurosceptic Foreign Minister.
    He nominates an erstwhile ally of John Major as our European Commissioner.
    He wants a new relationship with the EU but won’t specify any ‘red lines’.
    He praises Baroness Ashton’s work as EU Foreign Minister, a role that Eurosceptics don’t want to exist, which was created by the hated Lisbon Treaty.

    There is no consistency, intellectual or practical.

    The old question comes to mind: “Would you buy a second hand car from this man?”

  62. Bazman
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I see Clegg is repenting the bedroom tax Maybe he should look at DWP unspun as further use in his road to Domestos and the rest of you should look at the internet further than your bias sites such s the Telegraph and the Daily Mail for enlightenment, but that not what most of you are about is it. Bigoted deluded right wing nonsense and conformation of this. If you are offended good you should stay offended.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      There is only one person being offended on this site and it is of course you Baz.

  63. Bryan
    Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    The reshuffle appears to be about trying to win the next election, not about what is best for our country. Why else would the TV coverage be stage-managed as a fashion show. The Queen’s speech had already demonstrated that the government has either run out of ideas, or is keeping them until after the next election, presumably for fear of frightening the electors.
    We only had two real reforming ministers, one Michael Gove has been replaced, not because his policies were flawed, not because his work is complete – far from it – but, it appears, because an Australian pollster advised the Prime Minister that Gove is unpopular. How our children have been let down.
    The other, Ian Duncan Smith had we are told to fight to stay in his post.
    The replacement of the Foreign Secretary may be more positive. We once had a foreign policy, then the Foreign Secretary brought an initiative on Syria to the Commons. It was rejected; surprisingly he did not resign.
    With Russia invading the Ukraine, whose integrity the UK had promised to guarantee, with ISIS taking large chunks of Syria and Iraq and with a much greater agenda, with Israel and Gaza once more at war, our lack of foreign policy is frightening. Perhaps with a new Foreign Secretary we will get a foreign policy, but don’t hold your breath.

    • APL
      Posted July 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Bryan: “whose integrity the UK had promised to guarantee,”

      More of an empty guarantee you could hardly wish to have. I suppose we could send a score of Admirals and their desks from Whitehall to protect the Ukraine.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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