Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Gordon Brown's five knuckle reshuffle.
Gordon Brown's new Cabinet meets this morning. Well, when I say "Gordon Brown's Cabinet" - that's not strictly true is it? Those who remain in the Cabinet were bought off by Mandelson, and most of those new to the Cabinet are unelected Peers. How very democratic?
Gordon is now a puppet Prime Minister who is heading government, but is no longer in charge. He's is being allowed to stay in office as long as he promises to be a good boy and plays nice. The real power sits with Mandelson and a few Ministers capable of overthrowing Brown. Brown can no longer claim to be taking the "tough decisions on the economy" since he was unable to remove Alistair Darling. Darling now controls the country's purse strings and Brown has to keep his sticky fingers out of it.
Alan Johnson must be wondering what could have been when he looks around the Cabinet table. The one poll that could have seen him backed to be PM came out too late to have any impact on the PLP meeting last night. Had those MPs attending the meeting known that a poll was about to be published that showed a lot of them could keep their seats by ditching Brown for Johnson, would the meeting have gone Brown's way? We will never know.
Then we have Shahid Malik, apparently cleared of all wrongdoing? What he has been cleared of is breaking the rules. He has not been cleared of milking the bloody system. It makes me sick to see him re-appointed after Labour MPs have spent the last 48 hours bleating that the expenses scandal was to blame for their crushing defeat in Europe (which is just more spin). It's not that they don't get it - they get it OK - they just don't bloody care what we think.
And then there is Peter Hain - Peter Hain?