Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Who's Next?

According to Sky News, the reshuffle is already underway, as if that might make people more likely to vote Labour tomorrow. Nick Robinson is reporting that John Reid was offered Home Secretary last night but turned it down. He also said there were rumours which he couldn't substantiate (would I get away with that?!) that Alistair Darling has been offered the job and he too turned it down. So, Blunkett, Johnson, Denham and Woodward seem to be the most likely replacements.

The biggest decision for Gordon Brown now is what to do with Alistair Darling and David Miliband. Darling seems to be making it clear that if he can't stay as Chancellor, he will quit the government. David Miliband has also signalled heavily that he wishes to stay as Foreign Secretary. Having been seen as having wimped out of standing up to the PM in the summer of 2008 he won't make that mistake again.

One other interesting scenario is whether any of Hazel Blears' close allies decide to follow her lead. I wonder, for example, what the future holds for Caroline Flint, the Europe Minister, who spoke out in Hazel Blears' defence last week. In theory she should be a sure fire certainty for the cabinet, but I wonder whether she might a) resign or b) be fired.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have heard a suggestion that Nick Brown might leave Govt as a sop to Blairites. With him, Watson & McBride gone, Blairites might feel the attacks & briefings from no. 10 would stop. Not sure personally, that it would be enough.

David said...

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't so far as Darling/Balls is concerned. People say that MacMillan was in this much trouble but I can't recall a reshuffle from such a position of weakness in my lifetime. For such a control freak it must be more than he can bear.

Glyn H said...

Hoon for Paymaster General.
Woodward for the 7 homes Secretary
Flint for Wimmin (she did go the UEA did she not?)
Cable for Treasury – might as well bring them into the fire as well.
Geoffrey the necrophiliac for Secretary of State at the Home Office – has he got his driving licence back yet?

Brown is spoilt for choice!

Tory Politico said...

Key to any reshuffle is Johnson, if he refuses to move to No 11 or the Home Office then the challenge is on. Even although he has been on the TV backing the PM to me that means nothing. Johnson is the key to the whole reshuffle make no mistakes about it.

Matthew Dear said...

Deckchairs on the Titanic

Word ver: gaggrarb

Newmania said...

You are in the Zone Mr. D...fascinating

subrosa said...

I read somewhere that if Alan Johnson is going to make an attempt to oust Brown then he wouldn't accept a post in the reshuffle. Does that make sense?

Uncle Bob said...

Not Flint...only bit of decent totty in the government!

JuliaM said...

"David Miliband has also signalled heavily that he wishes to stay as Foreign Secretary. Having been seen as having wimped out of standing up to the PM in the summer of 2008 he won't make that mistake again."

You give him far too much credit, I fear...

Dick Smith said...

Anna Raccoon has the perfect photograph of Mandelson!

Oliver Drew said...

So Iain, you're suggesting that Miliband will quit the government if he is moved from Foreign Secretary?

Awesome [sarcasm], the government really is falling apart [gleeful joy].

If Darling and Miliband go too who will be left? There are hardly enough big hitters anyway without losing these two.

Plus, Miliband would be a very dangerous opponent if ousted from the cabinet.

Stepney said...

For all the good it will do he may as well fill the cabinet posts with Bagpuss, Mr Bean and the Diddymen.

More appealing to voters, better qualified and would probably do a better job.

At this rate he may have to.

Anonymous said...

It's got to be Woodward.Witney have picked some strange types over the years.Is the butler on the payroll or do Sainbury get that?

Anonymous said...

Sadly,the accusation that Dave lacks (like Blair) real substance rings true.

Alcuin said...

How about some of the Newsnight and Today team in Government? Pesto as Chancellor, Essler at the FO, Numptie as Scottish secretary, Humptys as Welsh, Paxo at the Home Office. They would all have to take quite a pay cut, but they might learn something, and wouldn't have to conceal their party bias any more.

JuliaM said...

"For such a control freak it must be more than he can bear."

There's always the bottle of whisky and revolver in the drawing room.

Or whatever the Scottish Presbyterian equivalent is....

Boo said...

Hmm if Miliband and Darling keep their job, how will Balls and Mandy respond. They have coverted those posts for a while and it may be the only chance they get.

I wonder if Brown realises that he has made far too many enemies.

Leadership is issue number one. If you don't have it issue number two doesn't get a look in.

Which is a disaster as issue number two is a bigie

Sniper said...

Re: Flint

or c) be further over-promoted to stop her from jumping ship..

Simon The Bluesman said...

And now the encore. Brown, Balls, Mandelson & Woodward, thank you and good night.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

I second the comment of "Deckchairs, rearranging, Titanic"

And yes, any rumour-mongering around Al Johnson is key to this - watch him.

Victor, NW Kent said...

"Sadly,the accusation that Dave lacks (like Blair) real substance rings true".

Brown certainly has a substance but it is usually found in a farmyard.

I wonder if occurs to any of these Labour-blind commenters that we all know they are only repeating a tired and worn party line, as tired as the Labour party?

There is no sword in the stone that some Labour politico can pull and flourish. If there was one it would prove to be made of papier-mache.

Jonathan Cook said...

Labour ministers should aggressively use the reshuffle to depose Brown.

I'm not sure that anybody is willing to take the bull by the horns and lead a challenge though.

Chipmunk might Geoffrey Howe Brown, or the backbenchers may get 80 odd signatures demanding Brown goes - but surely the rebels need to rally around a ministerial figure head?

At the moment, there is potential that Labour could further wound the lame duck prime minister and still fail to remove him.

politicalphilosopher said...

With any luck the fiasco that is the reshuffle will all be moot anyway if Labour do as badly as the polls are predicting and the SNP/Cymru Commons vote is passed.

Cjamesk said...

Iain, in fact has everyone else read the Guardians piece on the "timetable" for a Leader change?

The anger from the expenses is pretty engrained with the electorate I really fear what will happen if we have another un-elected PM at the helm and no GE, not only will Labour destroy themselves but I fear the Country will go with them.

My Granddad always warned me about Socialism and the Left.

Maybe i`m paranoid but this isn`t good at all.

Anonymous said...

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Paul Halsall said...

This day has been frenetic with virtually continuous coverage of the Prime Minister's problems. Fair enough.

But this meant it wasa good day for the Daily Telegraph to have hidden Boris Johnson's £16 claim for a memorial wreath. And, incredibly, that Douglas Carswell - the Tory MP who most campaigned against the Speaker, was both house flipper and claimed things just as embarrassing and trivial as anybody else -

see the Daily Mail on this - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1190470/Ex-education-secretary-Estelle-Morris-claimed-thousands-refurbish-flat-months-stepping-down.html

Anonymous said...

Who would take these jobs knowing that it could be for just a few days??

Will said...

Is he actually going to find enough bodies to fill the posts?

Alfie said...

At PMQs, Woodwood was sat to the PM's right.... His new right hand man then?

Not bad for a Sainsbury's self stacker.

Bird said...

Jackie Ashley tore into Brown on PM, telling us how he likes to surround himself with oafs like Balls, McBride and Tom Watson, forcing women out.(down to three in the cabinet now?)
Ex-minister Barbara Roche disagreed, but wasn't asked why she left.

acadman said...

From what Ive seen of Flint she is a nasty piece of work. Aggressive, badly spoken and rude. A Europe Minister who hasn't read the Lisbon Treaty - that's arrogance on a Ken Clarke scale. However Clarke undeniably had talent.

People say she intimidates men because of her looks. Sorry, but well below my standards.

Thomas Rossetti said...

What on earth is Alan Johnson waiting for? If he acts now he can always claim he was courageous. If he doesn't act, his opponents can always attack him for being weak at a decisive moment.

A teacher at school once told me that good politicians -- stupid and arrogant though they may be -- have excellent timing. What's happened to Johnson's? He must be playing another game. Does he not want to lead his party?

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Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

The Labour way to five-a-day (ministers that is). Bwa ha ha.

Anna Raccoon said...

Anna Raccoon worries about Mandelson’s,role in all this!

trevorsden said...

Alfie he sat on Browns left.

Woodward is a toff ... by marriage. Does that make it OK in labour circles?

foreign prisoner wanting early release said...

Bring back Charles Clarke as Home Secretary.

Flemingcrag said...

This Labour Governmnet has a Cabinet made up of balsa wood, everyone in it including Brown are lightweights. Compared to those in administrations of yesteryear like Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph, Denis Healey, David Owen the current lot are insignificant political pygmies.
The only surprise about any of them resigning is that it registers on the media or public consciosness at all.
Everyone in Government and Opposition has been transfixed on the expenses scandal to the disregard of all else and we all seem to have survived and the economic outlook seems to be benefiting from the absence of Government interference.
The outlook will continue to be good if everyone in Government resigns and we do not vote in a replacement....Happy days.

Glynne said...

We have an important election tomorrow.

Wall to Wall media coverage on Brown and the Labour party.

On the basis that all publicity is good publicity, did Brown leak the expenses, at least it took the heat off his handling of the Economy.

And has he orchestrated Jacky and Hazels goodbye's to the best possible effect?

Victor, NW Kent said...

"Greater love hath no man but that he will lay his fellows' lives to save his own". Gordon Brown 2009 from Courage, the second edition.

East Midlander said...

I have been reading some of the posts on Con Home, many of the members are worried about an early election as many vacant seats have not yet selected prospective candidates partly due to iaction of CCHQ. Lets hope that the Labour Party
do not wake up to this weakness and the new Leaders catches the Tories with their trousers or skirts down around their ankles

Souwester said...

Ms Flint as Anti-Smoking Minister for Pub Closures

Fausty said...

Flint is a good scrapper but she's privately critical of Brown. She was also responsible for Gibraltar's fishing waters being purloined by Spain. She fully supports the Lisbon Treaty although admits to never having read it. Strange behaviour for a Europe Minister.

And then there was the uncovered document on the housing market's prospects which she carried into No. 10 for a cabinet meeting - giving a reporter the opportunity to photograph it and make it public.

Flint is a Blairite and friend of Blears, so she might be on the cull list.

It's impossible to say who'll replace Smith. Home Secretary is the poisoned chalice and there would have to be much arm-twisting and manoeuvring to get anyone to accept it! Perhaps someone who plans to stand down at the GE anyway?

troymolloy said...

Should Miliband stay in post it will be the surest sign yet that Gordon's totally lost the plot.

Mirtha Tidville said...

God I`m loving this....its even better than I dreamed it could be....

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Come on Iain, my post on the fact that Labour men have no balls must make your Daley Dozen tonight?

I'll even give you a song on Friday if you do.

Lord Lavendon said...

Good evening Iain

Pleased to hear you had a nice luncheon!

Hope you are now unwinding with a nice glass of the old claret , one is tempted to say that you are in for a few busy days.

I am angry at the fact Boron seems unmovable, no matter what happens and happy that for the first time in 2 years I get to pass a verdict (finally) on this despicable regime with the euro elections.

The current problem for the labour elite seems to be more about power and keeping it, rather than ideology;contrast to labour in the 80s and the Tories in the 90s.

At least then there were views to discuss and the protagonists had something more intrinsic to fight about than the perks of the job (Tory example - Thatcher vs. One Nation, Euro sceptic vs. Europhile, Labour example - Benn vs. everyone else etc).

Also - disagree about your view on Blears and Smith, people might be nice but they have to be good at their job as well .

Gongdonkey said...

You are right that Milliband won't make the mistake of "wimping out" again - but he's going to do what Blair did when he hid behind Harriet Harman's skirts over selective schools for his kids !
It's a bugger when the women -and a pathetic bunch they are - in New Labour have bigger balls than the so-called big beasts !