Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Dave realigns his frontline

No wonder its called a reshuffle,now there's almost 52 cards in the Shadow Cabinet. There are some curious moves, not least Dave appointing his own National Security Advisor when his Home Secretary is his best performer. The TaxCutter wondered a few weeks ago where the stories about Basher's "unhappy" team where coming from when some intern got tossed out of DD's office and started crying because she might need to go and get a real job. Maybe from those Tories who'd like DD out of the Shadow Cabinet?

Also, Theresa Villiers to Transport, Caroline Spelman as ChairBird, the Asian Girl to the House of Lords, Theresa May kept in? Just because the A list got scrapped for possible PPCs there's no need to recreate it within the FrontBench team.

There's some good news. Nick Herbert is quality, a fact confirmed to me when John Glen, when in CCHQ stated that "he'd done his best" to try and stop Nick getting selected for Arundel. All the signs are that Gove will score heavily in Education, an area where the party has really failed to show up Labour incompetence. And I don't see Bully Boy Blinky's oh-so-hard tactics going down any better in Education than they did for Ruth Kelly.

But maybe most interesting is the move to Chris Grayling to Pensions, and Philip Hammond from Pensions back to Shadow Chief Secretary. Appointing Grayling is fine, but Hammond was scoring hits in a quietly effective manner in Pensions. So why effectively move him to one of the lower jobs.

The TaxCutter worked with Philip when he was Shadow Chief Sec before. He's like an MP, but with brains. My best guess is that George is struggling a bit as Shadow Chancellor with the technical issues, so there's no better support than one of the biggest intellects in the parliamentary party, and one with business experience. And with George focussing more on electoral strategy, the need for a quality No.2, with complimentary skills, in the Treasury is key. Maybe DC is more clued up than I gave him credit for, and realises that "Its the Economy, stupid" and its a time for proper tax policy if he's serious about winning an election. What looks like a demotion might actually be a very wise move, and hey, maybe Dave's just having a little think about who would be Chancellor if he won......

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