Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If I Were Nick Clegg...

Now there's a thought. Over the next 48 hours Nick Clegg will be choosing his front bench team. It will be his first opportunity to make his mark on the LibDems. And of course the appointment which will tell us most will be which portfolio he offers to Chris Huhne. As I see it, he has four options.

1. Keep him at Environment

This would be a calculated insult. If he had won 60-40 he could have got away with it. Not now. Huhne would turn it down.

2. Home Affairs

This would give him a huge profile as Home Affairs is the portfolio which involves a huge number of media appearances. It's what Clegg ought to offer, but I doubt whether he will. If he did, Huhne should accept with alacrity.

3. Foreign Affairs

Huhne couldn't turn this portfolio down, but it would effectively sideline him unless he manages to keep climate change as part of it. If I were Nick Clegg, this is what I would offer him.

4. Treasury

It's the portfolio Huhne wants, and his vote share ought to guarantee it. However, there's just one small problem. Vince Cable. He ain't movin'.

Clegg should have quote a dramatic reshuffle of the rest of his team. Out with the old, in with the new. He should keep Vince Cable where he is, but despacth the lacklustre Foreign Affairs spokesman... see, you don't know who he is, do you? He's Michael Moore. No, not that one. THIS one. In addition, Don Foster, Andrew Stunnell and Roger Williams should all be sacked. Nick Harvey, Norman Baker and Simon Hughes might all feel under threat. Sarah Teather should also be fired, but I doubt whether she will be.

Those Clegg should bring in include Jo Swinson, Jeremy Browne, Martin Horwood, Stephen Williams and Jenny Willott. All able people and all very media friendly. I expect him to promote Julia Goldsworthy, Ed Davey and Steve Webb.

Paul Linford offers his thoughts HERE.

10 comments:

molesworth 1 said...

You appear to labouring under the misapprehension that he has a plan...

Newmania said...

God knows how you keep track of the C list Iain.I like your subject are we about to see the Toy Town version of the Brown Blair enmity?The crux may be when Clog wants to get a role in Government and Huhne will be able to block it with what we ought to start calling "Old Liberal" Party power.

Its deja vu all over again. Yipeee.

Mrs Smallprint said...

I wish he would get rid of Sarah Teather, she has to rank as one of the most annoying people I've ever seen.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Can someone tell me what Clegg has actually done outside politics.

I dont know why you are getting all excited Iain about the Lib/Dems.

Its just another leader who has done NOTHING.

We need leaders with a proven track record in the real world, not teachers and lawers and local government people. We need to really shake up politics. So I find it impossible to feel any kind of enthusiasam for these people.

Abe said...

Iain,

With regards the Home Office - I would be surprised if Clegg would want to put his competitor into his old job. It would only encourage media comparison of their performances.

Regards the Foreign Office, their differences on trident would surely make it unlikely that he would want to put his rival in that post. That said, I agree that Michael Moore will almost certainly be demoted.

neil craig said...

I think he should give Huhne the Treasury because he would be good at it, economic advice having been his very successful, career. This does keep somebody with a knife standing behind him but this only matters if being leader of the LudDims is his total ambition. If the party wants office they are going to have to put their best feet forward.

Chuck Unsworth said...

I was not impressed with Clegg's first eforts on early morning TV today. He's going to have to do a lot better than that.

It was almost as if he was some sort of sixth-former making a presentation in class. Completely uninspiring, going through the motions, not really understanding what he was saying, knowing it was going to get 6/10 if he was very lucky.

So the inevitable comparisons start. How long before the cabals (or is that Cables?)start forming? Perhaps they already have....

bj said...

Huhne gets home affairs, then....

Phil said...

ID predicted...
Home Affairs: he won't offer it to him
FO: he'll offer him this.
Result: Huhne gets Home Affairs.
With only four posts to choose from your dog Gio is more likely to have made a correct guess - and your commentators were equally wrong.
In fact, in 2008 can we have your dog making political predictions alongside yours and at the end of the year tot them up to see who is the winner?

Anonymous said...

Don Foster is one of their most effective advocates