Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Reshuffle Question David Cameron Should Ask

The Sunday Telegraph's Patrick Hennessy has an intriguing story today, speculating that David Cameron may be considering offering Ken Clarke the position as Shadow Business Secretary. I have no idea how likely that is. Or indeed, how likely he would be to accept it. There are many reasons for reshuffling your team, and slotting particular people in particular roles. But perhaps the most important question David Cameron should be asking himself if this:

Who would Labour least like me to have in the Shadow Cabinet?

The words Clarke, Davis, David and Ken come to mind. But, as Eric Morecambe memorably said, not necessarily in that order.

24 comments:

Daily Referendum said...

Davis Yes,

Clarke NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! Labour would love to have EU Ken on the front bench.

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Bruisers

Julian White said...

The return of Ken Clarke would be inspired and absolutely the right thing to do. Clarke and Major formed one of the most consistent and formidable teams in the 1990s when delivering the strongest economy in a generation.

Mr Mr said...

Well said Iain.

I am a TOTAL Euro withouter but would dance with joy if Ken Clarke joined the shadow cabinet.

Why waste such obvious talent?

strapworld said...

There is one other name...

Michael Howard. He would slaughter them daily.

Cameron must use people who can show the public the sheer lack of class and depth of this discredited, shoddy Labour Government.

Paul Burgin said...

Oh yes, Michael Howard who succesfully brought the Conservatives to that fine general election victory in 2005! ;)
Sorry, but it will take more than Clarke and Howard to damage Labour at the moment, esp with incidents like the David Ross Scandal

Andrew Allison said...

Add Redwood to the list too.

canvas said...

Ken Clarke makes total sense. I get that choice.

David Davis, John Redwood, Liam Fox and all the rest of 'them' - ooohhh noooooo....the electorate won't have them - they don't relate to them - they don't accept them - that lot are far too right wing. It's a sure way for DC to lose the next election - DC must get rid of the certified Tory losers and bring in some fresh faces like Ed Vaizey.

DC must move forward in a positive way.


Change is good.

Jimmy said...

Clarke is certainly head and shoulders above the current front bench but therein lies the danger. he would simply overshadow Cameron; Secondly, he is certainly not going to tow an incoherent party line which appears to change almost weekly; and thirdly, he's made it abundantly clear has no interest in it anyway. Apart from that, great idea.

Bird said...

Clarke: Business secretary
Davis : Defence
Rifkind: Foriegn Secretary
Hague: Party Chairman

Cameron should sack any one of them who steps out of line.

haddock said...

canvas, you're wasted on here....
"the electorate won't have them"
please do write your own blog and explain to us your strange pronouncements...and just how you know what the electorate will or will not have.

geraldae said...

Why does John Redwood never get a mention? Reading his blog, I think he'd make a much better shadow chancellor than Osbourne.

However, maybe being 22 there's some past history that I've missed?

martin day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
martin day said...

Cameron should cast his net far and wide. A Tory Shadow Cabinet of Talent Versus a Labour Cabinet that is talent less. The only thing going for Brown is he is not at the complete bottom of the failure list - the LD's were obviously worried that Ming Campbell would not fail enough. So they got in the truly Dire Nick Clegg!

LOoooooooooooooooooOL!

If Clegg was made a minister after an election which resulted in a hung parliament: I think Clegg would struggle with the getting out of a paper bag portfolio. I think the LD's give a brilliant reasoning when presenting Clegg as their leader why a hung parliament is not a good thing!

Interestingly I have identified a Job that Clegg's talents could flatter quite well when he is defeated in Sheffield Hallam!

martin day said...

Read all about Clegg's new Job at my updated Blogg!

Nick Clegg = Neil Kinnock is starting to prove more popular than the subject matter!

Though thinking about it, even if nobody read it - it would be more popular than Nick Clegg and the useless, duplicitous and lying Liberal Democrat's.

I hate LD's - they will do anything and say anything to surpress opposition: Not very Liberal and far from Democratic!

Rich Johnston said...

Yes, appointing Ken Davis and David Clarke would be fantastic!

ranter said...

Ken Clarke - no way. The Tories need to go more right wing, Howard was on the right track but didn't get the support. Get nasty! It is the only way the Tories will see government again. Cameron is one big disappointment as are most of the MP's. Get Real and Get Nasty for the UK's sake.

dalesman said...

You're right about Clarke and Davis, Ian. I've been saying for months that they should both be in the shadow cabinet.
I think Redwood should be in too, and move Osborne to Party Chairman.

Lady Finchley said...

Redwood? Howard? Are you people mad? Michael Howard is stepping down at the next election anyway. Bringing back the dead ain't gonna help. Getting rid of the timewasters and bringing in new talent will. Pandering to the blue rinse brigade won't. Get real, will you?

Not a sheep said...

I agree that Labour would hate to see Davis Davis back, but Gordon Brown and especially Peter Mandelson would love for the return of Ken Clarke. Every opportunity would be taken to try and split Ken Clarke from David Cameron over Europe. Meanwhile the BBC would assist by interviewing John Redwood on matters European and comparing his answers with those of Ken Clarke. Norman Tebbit might even become a regular on BBC panel shows...

Julian White said...

The European issue should not have dominated Conservative thinking in the way that it did. Major and Clarke's line of "wait and see, but probably not" to the Euro was the right one, and the policy was then followed by Labour, and in my view seen as entirely sensible to the British public.

More importantly, Ken Clarke would raise the reputation of the Conservative front bench, and he can remind Labour politicians that he and John Major delivered the strongest economy in a generation. Which Labour have managed to destroy.

Although the Conservative Party must look to the future, it should also fight for the past. Labour continue to make absurd and false claims about the Major years, a period of economic management of a quality not seen in Britain for a generation.

Major's drive to control inflation from the day he got into office, through to his delivery of that target was consistent, clear and defined. Brown has had no such target, let alone achieved it.

canvas said...

Haddock asks "and just how you know what the electorate will or will not have."

When was the last time the Tories won a general election? That is all the proof you need.

Jolio said...

Julian

The policy of wait-and-see has got us where we are today. I.e a national parliament that can do little other than nod through legislation formulated by the unelected EU. In my view the shadow team can do without the likes of Ken Clarke, but John Redwood's presence would bring be back into the conservate fold from my preset leanings.

Julian White said...

Major's position on the Euro was entirely correct in my view. Rule nothing in, rule nothing out. But be very sceptical. Labour were more open to the Euro, but the country saw them as united in their policy.

The position that the Conservative Party should have in my view is to be clear, we should seek for the European Union to be wider and not deeper, we should remain open to all options and we should lead where we can.

Thatcher was all over the place policy wise on Europe, with the Single European Act being far more pro-unifying than Maastricht, confusion and resignations over her dithering policy which was directionless and vague.

It was that confusion that led us to these fixed positions where some suggest Clarke shouldn't be in the shadow Cabinet because he's pro-European. These fixed positions should never have allowed to become important in this party.

The country now, I believe, wants to see a party open to the opportunities of the European Union. It even more importantly needs leadership on the key problems in society, primarily the economy. Cameron must remain focused on that, look experienced and calm, and politicians such as Ken Clarke, and indeed others such as William Hague, will help him do that.