“How to read a UK Cabinet Reshuffle”




This blog began as a comment on the Guardian’s “Comment in Free” columns in response to Andrew Rawnsley’s take on the recent UK government Cabinet reshuffle. He thinks it’s an example of  “The prime minister’s masterclass in how not to conduct a reshuffle”.


I reproduce it here for two reasons. Firstly, a CiF commenter never knows when they are likely to encounter moderation and even though I think I’ve backed up any contentious issues with evidence, it would be a shame to lose this train of thought. Posting it here as well is a form of back-up. Secondly, there was not enough space in the comment box to complete my train of thought. I might as well do it here.


So, here is the original post:-


What surprises me the most is how most people don’t seem to notice just how obvious Coalition plans for the country have become as a result of the reshuffle. From my perspective, it looks as if Cameron has declared war on ordinary people and really isn’t bothered about hiding it anymore.

The Tory’s knowingly hid their intentions for the NHS from the electorate prior to the election. Despite repeated evidence that privatisation is failing to produce the ‘savings’ and ‘efficiencies’ claimed by it’s supporters, the appointment of a minister with form for ignoring Ministerial codes points to Letwin’s prediction coming true… and the Tories didn’t even need to have a victory with the LibDems acquiescence. So, farewell, NHS and universal healthcare – murdered in cold blood by a government-without-mandate and perpetrated by those who apparently regard a parliamentary seat as the best way to increase their bank balances.

At the Justice Department, the country is now governed by another one with form, this time a known  thief of public funds and who is also economical with the truth. Isn’t that rather like putting the proverbial fox in charge of the henhouse?

Remaining in-situ is a publicly-loathed Chancellor whose main claim to fame is crashing the economy and inflicting merciless hardship on the very people who are paying for this and who are investors in the public services now being torn apart. When people start dying, as they are, and we are told there is still no alternative then a charge of heartlessness is well founded. A heartless government has never been known as good government.

As Home Secretary, we continue to have a convicted criminal despite the fact that the woman is clearly too old. She presided over the FUBAR of Olympic Security and she also has form for attracting allegations of misleading Parliament.

As Chairman, we have someone whose business acumen is based on violating the systems of other businesses and who’s belief in himself is really quite startling! I wonder if the matter would have produced the same outcome if Mr Shapps had been a teenager from the Shetlands instead of within Cameron’s inner circle.

The allegation’s about Cameron’s sexism and ageism do hold up when set alongside the repeated insults aimed at women MP’s including those of his own party. It takes a true master of the art to make CiF readers feel sorry for Nadine Dorries but he managed it.

When you stand back and take a good look at this bunch, they really aren’t terribly impressive, are they?

There is one thing we can be sure of and that’s the direction they’re heading in. Cameron’s favourite think-tank has given us the heads-up on that. That’s the same think-tank involved in PCC elections and police privatisation and the image they have of themselves has been found to be highly offensive to some of our Crown servants.

At a time of high unemployment, increasing homelessness, increasing hunger and general all-round increasing hardship being borne by the bulk of the UK population, we have these people in charge of government? Their agenda? The evidence suggests that the intent is to make things worse for those already suffering whilst making it better for themselves and their friends. The police won’t be able to protect you because there won’t be enough of them and the law will be only be in reach for those who can afford it. At least we’ve got to the stage where anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves and anyone who thinks this is an excellent idea is likely to have a personal interest in the matter. As far as anti-social behaviour goes, Cameron really couldn’t have done better.

I suppose we can be grateful for this clarification of his intent.


When ordinary people are faced with the kind of Tory government we have now, we turn to those we elected to help us. Traditionally, the Labour Party used to fill that role but recently their contribution has been most notable by its absence, despite numerous pleas from their supporters. As the political party whose roots are embedded in the trade union movement, we might have expected our parliamentary ‘shop stewards’ to throw the book at these gangsters but nothing has happened. Business – it would seem – goes on as usual and it’s hard not to believe they really are all in it together. The following tweet puts it very succinctly:-




It is my own belief that this country will be in total social collapse if the present government, led by this Cabinet, remains in power until 2015. Indeed, governments displaying this kind of behaviour frequently show a cavalier attitude towards democracy itself. We are ‘informed’, by their actions, that it is acceptable to have a criminal in charge of the Home Office! Isn’t this the seat of domestic law-making in this country? What does it tell us when the reaffirmed incumbent has a conviction for contempt of court? That such a thing could be permitted is astounding and beggars belief. Is there really nothing that is a resign-able offence anymore? That, in the process of doing one of the highest legal and security jobs in the country – which is supposed to be run in the interests of the public – the incumbent can acquire a criminal record for disregarding the law and everyone behaves as if nothing happened? She was in charge of the biggest privatised-security Olympic FUBAR, where the public still aren’t being told a straight story, and everyone behaves as if nothing has happened? And the private company, G4S – at the centre of the mess – continues to remain an acceptable competitor for contracts aimed at privatising the police probably because nothing has happened. What is truly alarming is that this example is repeated everywhere!


I am no longer able to keep track of where this kind of dodgy dealing is going on it is so widespread. Everywhere you look, these people are connected up with each other and it’s not just the Tories. It seems to be rife throughout the upper echelons of power in both public and private sectors. A few get caught but there are most don’t. Even when they are caught, they seem to believe they can call time on their ‘apologies‘!   In my book, an apology has to mean something. Clearly there are those who no longer believe that and the lack of grace when they are brought to book is quite breath-taking to behold! A few MP’s took the fall for the last expenses scandal but there were many who didn’t. Look how many are now turning up at the high table whilst their expenses bills go back to ‘normal‘ and any ‘misunderstandings‘ get sorted out behind closed doors. These people aren’t getting wealthier by their own ability – they’re getting rich off the public purse whilst telling us there’s no money for those aspects of civil life that are absolute necessities. Exactly what kind of people do that?


In reading the underlying intent of the Cabinet reshuffle, it’s starting to look as if it’s not so much a question of how many criminals we have running the country but how many, within our parliamentarians, are actually honest?


When the answer to that question is “I don’t know”, then it really is time to be very concerned indeed.




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