Friday, May 14, 2010

The Casualties of Coalition

Appointing MPs as Ministers is always tricky. This time it's trickier than most, because a fifth of the ministerial positions have been allocated to the Liberal Democrats. Nevertheless I am astonished at some of the names who haven't made it into government. Ben Wallace, Keith Simpson, Adam Afriyie, Mark Lancaster and several others.

Tobias Ellwood must wonder if there is such a thing as loyalty in politics. He was one of the first people to declare for David Cameron in 2005 and has been an uber-loyal soldier ever since.

There are some very unhappy people among the ranks of Tory MPs this morning. On a human level this is perfectly understandable. Many of them have slogged their guts out for up to 13 years in opposition. They've done the heavy lifting with scant little reward for their endeavours. And now they feel shafted. Whether they have been or not, it's how some of them will feel. Unfortunately realpolitik has dicated that there were always going to be some casualties if 20 LibDems were to be fitted in.

But debate will range as to whether they are the right casualties.

UPDATE: The list goes on - Greg Hands, Stewart Jackson and James Brokenshire, Eleanor Laing. Quite incredible. It makes one wonder just who has been appointed!

38 comments:

Tim Johnson said...

Tough decisions needed to be made. There were fewer seats at the table. I don't know enough about the individuals to say if Cameron made wise choices in the lower ranks of the government. I am sure that there will be plenty of disappointed people, but then Cameron will need to get used to that. You wait till the government starts cutting spending or raising taxes - then we will hear some screams!

Cantstandcant said...

Iain, sorry if I am missing something here, but the Government isn't complete, so how do you know they haven't got jobs?

Hopi Sen said...

Do you have a full list Of PUSS's whips, etc then?

If so would love to see it, as it's not on No 10 website

Peter Baruffati said...

I would prefer to focus on the causality rather than the casualty.

Hopi Sen said...

So do you hav a full list of PUSSs, Whips etc, Iain?

If so, would love to see it - it's not on No 10, BBC or conhome.

wild said...

Why is John Redwood not in the Cabinet instead of that old Europhile rust bucket Kenneth Clarke?

Boo said...

perhaps a strong case, for empowered select commitees.

The MPs must have a root for advancement, beyond the cabinet

Pad said...

This post seems to be written on the assumption that the Conservative Party has an overall majority. Reckon you should have called it "The beneficiaries of coalition", i.e. on both Conservatives and Lib Dems who got jobs thanks to mutual support between the parties. No party or individual should take the opportunity to serve in Govt forgranted.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Adam Afriyie has been sacrificed to accommodate the useless Sarah Teather.

Since he was first elected for Windsor in 2005 Adam concentrated on establishing himself as a first-rate constituency MP (which he has become) and latterly as a shadow junior minister on mastering his brief without unnecessary show-boating and attention seeking.

He is also one of the very few MPs of any party who had a successful business career before entering parliament. For the avoidance of doubt, I don't consider "spinning" for a public relations consultancy or a trade union to be a measure of success.

As you might guess from my label, Adam is my MP and I know him moderately well. OK, so maybe I'm biased, but I think he's had a very raw deal.

johnwillman said...

To govern is to choose. And the first to declare for a leadership candidate may not be great ministers.

If I was a disappointed candidate, I'd be more angry about who got past me - some ministerial appointments appear to owe more to Cameron's party balancing act than competence.

Sally Roberts said...

As others have said, the list of the Government is not yet complete. Methinks there is some stirring going on.

trevorsden said...

The only casualties the UK is suffering are out in Afghanistan. I hope and pray a better way of recognising them is found other than the PM parroting their names out at PMQs.

As for Conservative MPs - well they should think of me sat suffering impotent viewing the mad mad mad world from my sofa -- and be intensely grateful for where they are - and of course for where Brown currently is.

Unsworth said...

Isn't the point that Government in recent years has become a vast sprawling mass of Ministers, Junior Ministers, Civil Servants, Advisors, etc etc? The whole thing became an inverted pyramid, unwieldy and unproductive. Maybe Cameron is serious about light touch.

Not only should they take a pay cut, there should be far fewer of them. And then they should start hacking the Quangos to pieces, too.

Cameron's committed to reducing the size of Parliament, I see no reason why the same logic cannot apply to the whole of Government - national as well as local.

In those circumstances it's unsurprising if some have not been immediately rewarded for their loyalty and support. No doubt their time will come.

Rita said...

If this government is to work, its members will have to show emotional maturity. Managing disappointment and dealing with not getting what you want will be part of it.

We are *all* going to have to learn about focussing on what we need, rather than what we want.

Martin said...

None of them would be in Government if they hadn't done a deal with the Limp Dems. They should remember that.

Eddie said...

"Many of them have slogged their guts out for up to 13 years in opposition. They've done the heavy lifting with scant little reward for their endeavours"

Then they should remind themselves of their loyal activists, that have been knocking on doors for the last 13 years, who had no chance of an MP's salary at the end of it, but did it simply in the hope of a Conservative Government.
Everyone makes sacrafices. I hope they are not too bitter.

Fred Blogs said...

I agree with Wild - of course John Redwood should be in the cabinet. Preferably Welsh Secretary again - he's had 15 years to learn the national anthem.

Fred Blogs said...

Iain, you posted several months ago that any new Conservative Government would have so many new MPs that many junior posts, etc. would have to be filled by newbies. Be grateful that the Liberal Plutocrats have eased the burden!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

You are astonished! It looks as though the agenda has moved on and you are not on it. It happens to the best of us.

Have you noticed how young police officers are these days?

Judy said...

From the reported comments/attitudes of the disappointed rising Tory stars I'm getting a very strong whiff of a sense of entitlement. It sounds remarkably similar to some of the bile emanating from the Labour camp in response to the way they didn't get what they thought should be their due from the LibDems in the coalition they tried to set up.

If this is indeed the way these folk think, they're due for the same sort of disrepute as their now disgraced colleagues in the previous Parliament. And if they turn into a faction in the Tory Party it will rub off on the reputation of the Party too.

Where's all their brave words about needing to remember they're supposed to work for us, not for themselves?

Cameron rises in my estimation with everything he does in this situation. Of course he doesn't rate Sarah Teather higher than his own party's equivalent. But he recognises that the Big Picture means he has to prioritize ensuring that his government can stay in power for five years at least and do what has to be done, without pandering to egos on either side--but especially his own side.

That's the deal. The whingeing you're reporting and sympathizing with does them and you no favours.

Ray said...

All these guys are young enough to be around when it really is their turn, but John Redwood may not be, and I don't mean that in bad way, the fact that he is not in government is a dreadful waste. Maybe there is a special committee lined up for him ? He deserves some reward.

Judy said...

From the reported comments/attitudes of the disappointed rising Tory stars I'm getting a very strong whiff of a sense of entitlement. It sounds remarkably similar to some of the bile emanating from the Labour camp in response to the way they didn't get what they thought should be their due from the LibDems in the coalition they tried to set up.

If this is indeed the way these folk think, they're due for the same sort of disrepute as their now disgraced colleagues in the previous Parliament. And if they turn into a faction in the Tory Party it will rub off on the reputation of the Party too.

Where's all their brave words about needing to remember they're supposed to work for us, not for themselves?

Cameron rises in my estimation with everything he does in this situation. Of course he doesn't rate Sarah Teather higher than his own party's equivalent. But he recognises that the Big Picture means he has to prioritize ensuring that his government can stay in power for five years at least and do what has to be done, without pandering to egos on either side--but especially his own side.

That's the deal. The whingeing you're reporting and sympathizing with does them and you no favours.

scotch said...

Not astonished at Nadine Dorries not getting a post then Iain?

Iain Dale said...

Why would I even be surprised, let alone astonished. She wasn't even frontbencher before the election so could hardly expect to be a minister.

Up to your usual shitstirring tricks again? :)

bewick said...

Who? Never heard of any of them

John R said...

If you're correct about those who werent appointed it means you must regard some of the new office holders as in some way unworthy.

Could we have a list of those as well (and why you feel this wya bout them)?

scotch said...

Shitstirring, huh? Isn't that a bad word on these pages?

You're a friend of Nadine, you've praised her on many occasions, including very recently, 9 May 2010:
"Well done her. After the abuse she has suffered from people not fit to lick her books, I was delighted at her result."

You even use a bit of her words on your blog front page, when the server decides to roll it in.
But she doesn't appear in your "astonished" list. I find that...interesting.

GrimUpNorth said...

No sign of Malcolm Rifkind's name on the noticeboard. What has he done wrong?

Iain Dale said...

Oh dear. You clearly can't read. Go back and read my previous comment. Then all should become miraculously clear.

Jabba the Cat said...

"There are some very unhappy people among the ranks of Tory MPs this morning."

Tough shit.

They should be grateful they are in Parliament, we have a Tory PM and Labour should be dead meat for the foreseeable future.

They should also be grateful for the extra time that they can dedicate to serving their constituents.

scotch said...

Nadine Dorries, 2007:"If we were in government and David didn't give me a front bench position, I would barricade myself inside his office until he did."
(full article http://bit.ly/99bADB)

You disagree with your friend, I take it it?

Ian said...

Stewart Jackson will not be missed, he is a joke as a constituency MP not even supporting the excellent Tory council leader, just imagine what mess he would make on a national stage, he would be better off given a job cleaning the Westminster toilets.

GrimUpNorth said...

"Oh dear. You clearly can't read. Go back and read my previous comment. Then all should become miraculously clear."

Dear Iain, I have always been a big fan of your blog. But the above response indicates that you must be a lot cleverer than me. Don't forget that some of your readers are ordinary punters hundreds of miles away from the Westminster village where you obviously feel most at ease. You need to get out and about a bit more than just East Anglia.



May 14, 2010 4:45 PM

Iain Dale said...

GrimUpNorth, My previous comment was directed at Scotch, not you! Apologies.

manicbeancounter said...

The promise of some stability in cabinet (with a quota allocated to Lib-Dems) may be a problem as the parliament moves on. Whilst constant re-shuffles will be unwelcome, by mid-parliament there will need to be room made at junior levels for the new intake.
One in particular whom I would like to see in government is Rory Stewart. See http://www.rorystewart.co.uk/

jojoko said...

They seem to be overwhelmingly the white male Oxbridge elitists who have been appointed to government. So what did anyone expect with Cameron & Clegg's backgrounds? They will be happiest with what and whom they are most familiar. Dave likes to be surrounded by women but not on an equal basis, and Cleggie also appears to like being adored by rather than working in partnership with women and ethnic minorities.

Lady Finchley said...

Jabba the Cat and others - are you willfully missing the point? Some of the people who missed out on jobs were particularly talented people who slogged their guts out in the long, dark years of Opposition. It is not a matter of entitlemt - it is natural to want to be rewarded for a job well done and to be able to contribute their considerable talents to Government.

Then to add inuslt to injury you have the poison dwarf, Sarah Teather, a scheming little no-talent as a minister. Why? Because they needed an extra pair of t.ts to make up the numbers and appease the Lib Dems and Guardinistas?

Mirtha Tidville said...

They should perhaps remember that the first wave of appointees in a new Government rarely rein long, and as long as they remember which side their bread is buttered on, their turn will come..