The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Time For A Reshuffle, Harriet

Posted by The Futility Monster on May 19, 2010 @ 11:41

The Next British Prime Minister

With the number of contenders for the Labour leadership about to reach four (if John McDonnell can get the signatures) it may well be a good moment for Labour to take a leaf out of Michael Howard’s book.

Bizarre as that may sound, he did have one good idea. In the aftermath of his election defeat in May 2005, he took it on the chin and stood down. Though not straight away. He decided to give the Conservative Party all the time it needed to really think about what the future of the party should be.

Eventually, David Cameron was elected Tory leader in December 2005. A whole seven month interregnum, despite Howard still getting very badly beaten (in majority terms) in the election.

Yesterday, Labour announced they were also going to take their time. It sort of makes sense, because Labour haven’t had a period of introspection for a long while. They are taking a risk in the sense that the coalition might suddenly collapse with Labour rudderless, but it’s worth it.

But what Harriet needs to do is showcase the Labour “talent”. As Anne Robinson says, “ditch the deadwood!”. Get rid of Alan Johnson and give it to Ed Miliband. Put Ed Balls in as Shadow Chancellor. Even John McDonnell should be asked if he wants a portfolio if he gets the necessary nominations. He’ll probably refuse, but he deserves a platform too.

The goal has to be to give due prominence to those who hope to lead the party. Get them right in the limelight. Give them a chance to shine and show the country what they’re made of. It will give Labour members and affiliated trade unionists the opportunity to see a few months of real experience under pressure.

Even better, the associated free publicity for the Labour Party will be plain for all to see. The broadcasters and journalists will give extra prominence to every appearance of Ed, Ed, David and John (and anyone else for that matter) because they know they could be looking at the next Labour Party leader. And if they play their cards right, the next Prime Minister…

So don’t miss this opportunity, Harriet. The media loves a good story. A well-timed reshuffle will get some good publicity. And then, once the right faces are in the right places, it could continue to reap dividends…

UPDATE – 16:30 – and since Andy Burnham is also going to throw his hat into the ring, let’s make it five. At least it’s going to be a proper contest. No women though?

UPDATE 2 – 20/5 – 10:05 – I guess Diane Abbott read my comment above. A Labour leader, perhaps? How fantastic would that be.

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4 Responses to “Time For A Reshuffle, Harriet”

  1. paul barker said

    AsI understand it, Labour MPs now get to vote on the Shadow cabinet, except for the deputy. Thats what the rules say but the power hasnt been used since 1992 so it will be interesting to see if the MPs have the guts to use it now.

  2. Peter Reynolds said

    Talent? What talent?

  3. That’s a cracking rule, Paul. I suspect like most embarrassing rules from the past it will be quietly forgotten…

    As for you, Peter, there was a reason why I put “talent” in inverted commas 🙂

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