Cameron’s candidate list is like his cabinet: full of empty suits

Mike uses Cameron’s visit to the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelweidd, Radnorshire, to show just what a bunch of walking vacuities he has promoted into the cabinet. He contrasts this with the governmental style of Baldwin, Ted Heath, and Harold Wilson, all of whom were not afraid to include powerful dissenting figures in their cabinets. He even points out how memorable Thatcher’s cabinet were, with powerful personalities like Tebbit, Heseltine, and Lawson. Although Roy Hattersley did say that being attacked by Geoffrey Howe was like being savaged by a dead sheep.
The days when prime ministers dared to include figures in their cabinet, who just might challenge them are long gone. Matthew Paris, in his book on political scandals, states that he found the experience of being a cabinet minister entirely dispiriting. You were there to vote and do whatever the prime minister wanted you to do, and although to others outside parliament you were a powerful figure of authority, in the House itself you were acutely aware of your powerlessness. In his experience, your vanity and ego grew as your real power and sense of self-worth shrank. He illustrated this further with an anecdote about his part in a march by the Longbridge workers in Birmingham to persuade the government to keep the car plant and its jobs open. He was there with his opposite number from the Labour party. As he was walking, one of the ladies said to him, ‘Mr. Paris, I’m so glad you’re here with us. I feel really confident that with you here, we’ll win and get the prime minister to reverse the decision’. When he heard that, write Paris, he felt utterly wretched, as he knew that despite his presence with the marchers, the decision to close it had already been taken, and nothing he could do would reverse that.
Of course, Major faced a leadership challenge from his cabinet, most notably from Heseltine, and then John Redwood and the ‘B*stards’, who, according to Private Eye, he called ‘Ward 8 from Broadmoor’. But politics has become increasingly micromanaged. This was particularly true of Tony Blair, who, like Cameron, was also accused of promoting young, attractive women, who had no obvious talents except that they supported him. They were called ‘the Blair babes’. Cameron’s done exactly the same, along with promoting a similar number of male nonentities to power.

Mike Sivier's blog

David Cameron and Tory election candidate Chris Davies: A suit full of hot air next to a suit full of nothing at all. David Cameron and Tory election candidate Chris Davies: A suit full of hot air next to a suit full of nothing at all.

Here’s one to file under “missed opportunities”: David Cameron passed within seven miles of Vox Political central and we didn’t know about it.

He made a surprise visit to the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Radnorshire, to talk about some agricultural scheme – but we don’t need to discuss that. Nor do we need to discuss the fact that the bronze bull statue in nearby Builth Wells town centre was found to have had its tail ripped off shortly after the visit; it would be wrong to suggest that the comedy Prime Minister was responsible but if he starts sporting a uniquely-shaped swagger stick, well, you read it here first.

We don’t even need to discuss the fact that Cameron arrived by helicopter, which is an…

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One Response to “Cameron’s candidate list is like his cabinet: full of empty suits”

  1. Florence Says:

    Does that help explain how IDS has managed to hang on? Is he simply too useful a tool? Has Cameron managed to let him believe that he has autonomous power, when in fact he is doing exactly what is required?

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