Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Rod for Mr Cameron's Back?

Interviewed on the Today Programme an hour ago, David Cameron said that Andrew Lansley would definitely be Secretary of State for Health in a Conservative Government. Any other Shadow Cabinet member listening to that will have pricked up their ears and wondered to themselves if they too would be getting a similar guarantee. Cameron's argument that there has been so much change in the NHS, with so many different Secretaries of State that the NHS needed a bit of stability and to know who they were going to get. He pointed out that there have been five Health Secretaries in the first ten years of the Blair/Brown administrations compared to the six in the 18 years of the Thatcher/Major governments. While it's undoubtedly correct, this argument could also be used in transport, education and other portfolios too. Has David Cameron made a rod for his own back?


Paul Linford said...

Cameron showing his inexperience, I think.

Given that he justified the pledge by reference to the fact that Labour have gone through a number of health secretaries in recent years, David Davis will surely feel entitled to demand a similar guarantee.

Oscar Miller said...

"Has David Cameron made a rod for his own back?" No - he's conveyed to the public that the Conservatives are a serious government in waiting with a strong team and that Cameron (unlike Brown) backs his team. Of course Conservative MPs will have an understandably self interested reaction, but that won't make a jot of difference in the wider public sphere. Lansley is also a very good figure to attract traditionally non-Conservative voters.

Unsworth said...

Maybe Cameron has some idea as to the date of the next General Election. Then again, maybe he just thinks that the Conservatives will not win it.

Either way, with this statement he's narrowed his options considerably.

Anonymous said...

" He pointed out that there have been five Health Secretaries in the first ten years of the Blair/Brown administrations"
This is for England only Ian.
Can we stop pretending Lansley will be put in charge for the whole of the uk?

Bob Piper said...

In fairness, Iain, Lansley is one of the only Tory Shadow Cabinet members who is respected by our side. He knows his brief, he works hard at it, he has pushed health up the Tory agenda and health professionals talk well of him (which has certainly not been the case for Secretary's of State (Labour or Tory)before the current incumbent who hasn't had enough time to upset them yet).

Perhaps if a few more Shadow Cabinet members were to show as much dedication to their political portfolios, who knows, Cameron may give them a similar guarantee.

strapworld said...

Certainly not.

The people want stability and not a the usual carousel of ministerial positions after a general election, whereby those in shadow positions getting different jobs.

It is common sense that the individual who is on top of his or her subject goes into that department and is not browbeaten by the civil servants. He/She must get on with what they have promised.

It makes the job of shadow minister far more interesting if the individual knows that, should they do a good job, they will get the real one.

I thought cameron was honest and came across well.

Anonymous said...

He knows the area inside out, but why hasnt he done better as a shadow minister...

Anonymous said...

Just ANOTHER EPP type rod methinks.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Bob Piper at 10:16 AM -

While you're here would you care to comment on the damage your leader Brown/Darling has caused to the economy and what can be done to fix it please?

Try and come up with something original please, not the usual lies that seem to spill forth from politicians.

mens sana said...

I agree with bob piper (I never thought I'd say that!) I dopn't think there is anyone else in the shadow team who could approach Andrew Lansley's knowledge of the brief. He may not be inspirational, but he understands the system and has the respect of the professions within it. It is inconceivable that anyone else could do the job as well.

The same simply cannot be said for other front bench positions!

Anonymous said...

As a junior doctor heavily involved in medical politics I have met Lansley a couple of times.

He is absolutely fantastic.

I joined the conservatives after chatting with him. He really would make a difference, I have no doubt at all.

I'm delighted Cameron values him this highly.

strapworld said...

You do not have to be inspirational. You have to show competence. Something that Brown and his cabinet colleagues are most certainly failing in!

Lansley comes across as a very bright, considerate individual. He makes his point carefully and without any ranting (the hallmark of a labour minister!) and I believe he is the kind of Secretary of State people want.

When, not if, the Conservatives are elected and the books are examined in depth. The black hole of debt will mean that more people with Lansley's measured approach will be required.

The country will go through much hardship to pay for the incompetence of Blair and Brown.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Cameron refused to commit, Iain. The implication would be that Lansley isn't good enough, which would beg the question why was he in post now? Is Cameron saying he has no one good enough in the party good enough?

It's a no brainer answer really.