Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dead Pool

The Ministry is doing a ministerial dead pool for the post-Blair era. Strange concept. I have to say I'm not that impressed by his pre-resignation. Not only do I have the feeling it won't be over until something like the Czech joke about Bilak's widow going to visit Husak in jail to tell him how Jakes was murdered at the funeral of some other dinosaur whose name I forget, what really matters is the Blairite continuity or lack of it.

But here goes, anyway:

Douglas Alexander, Alistair Darling, Des Browne, Alan Johnson, Hilary Benn: in line for promotion, clearly. Amos, Hain, John Hutton, Jack Straw and "World's Boringest Man" Mike O'Brien: dull, useful placemen, in line for a sideways move. God, this is going to be a boring government, isn't it? No wonder Brown is talking coalitions and "governments of all the talents". David Miliband, Hazel Blears - difficult to see whether to use one of them to square the Special Republican Guard survivors, or crush them. Hewitt - strong Brownite/Kinnockite credentials, but if Brown goes for the idea of pulling the NHS out of ministerial line management, it'll be indistinguishable from a demotion.

Lord Falconer - no, can't see a future for him, whack him on the list. Ruth Kelly: the unions despise her, so does the press, and it's only a matter of time until some council or planning issue goes pop. Jowell - whatever she's got on Blair can't harm Brown, surely? Hoon - much the same.

Goldsmith - that bastard would survive a nuclear holocaust, and turn up perfectly pressed in the smouldering aftermath to justify it. Chief Whips - for a start, who are these people? Simply a tactical issue, anyway - does the benefit of having your own thugs outweigh the risk of offending the last ones?

Beckett - might survive for the sake of credentialism, but her seat is probably wanted for Miliband or someone.

I'll go with Falconer, Beckett (if Miliband is saved, else Blears), Jowell, Hoon, and Hewitt with the proviso that the Department of Health will be reduced enough to count as a demotion.

Tories, meanwhile...

Andrew Lansley - numskull, associated with Hague's 2001 campaign. Gotta go. Francis Maude - doesn't have a department to shadow, so can't get very much wrong, and anyway has managed to survive from 1997. David Davis, William Hague - needed to prop up Dave from PR, like a drunk's less pissed friends. Oliver Letwin - the tribal right hate him, but more importantly he's bound to fuck up epically at least once. Might make it to the first reshuffle. The rest - really, I've no idea. Who are these nonentities?

Out of sheer schadenfreude, I'll list Philip Hammond, my MP, because he's a slimy old git. But I suspect he's really going to shadow Pensions until he draws his pension. I suspect George Osborne might crash at some point.

So...Lansley, Letwin, Duncan (bright, but flaky), Osborne as a long-range target, who else? Liam Fox is a thin layer of sane over an abyss of right-wing crazy, and there's always the chance he'll plunge through.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Armstrong - ex-Red Pepper, probably stays

Er, no. Different Hilary.

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