‘s much-vaunted Cabinet reshuffle will have as much impact on ordinary voters as reshuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic.
Should we be celebrating that two of the four most important jobs in government are now held by women? That there are slightly more people with ethnic backgrounds?
Hardly. Sex and race is irrelevant. If this is promotion of the best talent available, I weep at the calibre of people entering politics and grovelling their way up the greasy pole to ministerial level. Success in politics is still down to networking and being pals with the right people.
This reshuffle wasn’t about creating a dream team to level up Britain or Build Back Better – the latest dumb sloganhas devised to try and rekindle our belief in the government’s ability to keep Britain solvent, to get food on supermarket shelves when in reality we need 83,000 lorry drivers, and to keep hospitals running when we’re 50,000 doctors short and nurses are set to go on strike.
Tell me a single business with a turnover of billions that would chuck out key executives with no notice and immediately appoint a fresh set of people who will need to start learning their new jobs from scratch.
The Prime Minister has appointed Nadine Dorries – the MP who appeared on I’m a Celebrity without asking permission from her bosses – to be the new Minister for Culture. The woman who will now be deciding the future funding of the BBC, who should run Ofcom, and what power should be wrested from media giants like Facebook and Google, once admitted that her blog for constituents was ‘70% fiction’
Would you ask men and women who have run pet supplies to take over nursing homes? Or let the top team at Asda decide whether the BBC licence fee should remain?
Politicians bang on about how important education is. We tell kids to go to university, do apprenticeships. We moan they are useless at interviews, lack the social skills and the desire to go out and get jobs.
And now the Prime Minister has appointed Nadine Dorries – the MP who appeared on I’m a Celebrity without asking permission from her bosses – to be the new Minister for Culture.
The woman who will now be deciding the future funding of the BBC, who should run Ofcom, and what power should be wrested from media giants like Facebook and Google, once admitted that her blog for constituents was ‘70% fiction’. Does that give you confidence in her fitness for the new job? It’s like asking me to run the Samaritans.
At least Dorries is not an Old Etonian – she grew up in Liverpool and went to state school. A successful writer, last year she earned over £120,000 in royalties from her novels. She’s voted against gay marriage and attacked ‘snowflake culture,’ consistently accusing the BBC of being left-wing. Has she the ability to make impartial decisions about the future of our National Broadcaster?
And why did Boris remove the previous Culture Secretary – the utterly competent Oliver Dowden – to appoint such a controverisal figure? It smacks of box ticking to keep the feminists happy.
This sham reshuffle demonstrates yet again that running Great Britain PLC isn’t about experience or skills, Government ministers are appointed because they are loyal to the biggest ego on the block – BoJo.
If top executives fail at their jobs in the real world. They get the chop before they can impact on profits and morale. Not so in government. Witness the incredible career of Gavin Williamson. A man running schools who once had a business making casseroles.
why did Boris remove the previous Culture Secretary – the utterly competent Oliver Dowden – to appoint such a controversial figure (Nadine Dorries left)? It smacks of box ticking to keep the feminists happy. Boris has put an extremely ambitious female – Liz Truss (right) – at the Foreign Office, meaning she’ll be permanently flying around the world instead of plotting against him for the top job back at home.
Boris has cynically swapped around a few posts, chucked out the hopeless (Gavin Williamson), the insolent and supercilious (Dominic ‘sunlounger’ Raab) listened to Carrie and brought a couple of females to the front of the pack
Or the appointment of Dido Harding to run Test and Trace after she’d presided over the debacle at Talk Talk, voted the worse phone company for customer service.
After the National Audit Office found serious shortcomings in Test and Trace, Dido Harding remained as Head of Improvement at the NHS and will only be leaving her job next month.
Boris has cynically swapped around a few posts, chucked out the hopeless (Gavin Williamson), the insolent and supercilious (Dominic ‘sunlounger’ Raab) listened to Carrie and brought a couple of females to the front of the pack, all with the aim of showcasing himself at the centre of a team of second raters, ensuring he’s more interested in re-election than social justice for all.
Both Raab and Williamson should have been culled weeks ago if delivery and expertise were the key criteria for holding public office.
Boris has put an extremely ambitious female – Liz Truss – at the Foreign Office, meaning she’ll be permanently flying around the world instead of plotting against him for the top job back at home.
Tell me a single business with a turnover of billions that would chuck out key executives with no notice and immediately appoint a fresh set of people who will need to start learning their new jobs from scratch
As she’s one of the worse public speakers in the Commons, it will be interesting to see how her communication skills flourish when relying on teams of interpreters.
Liz Truss once said her daughters choose her clothes. She’s fixated on looking power-ready at all times and hard to miss in those Tory-Tastic power dresses in unflattering royal blue.
This is not a shrinking violet- every bottle of soya sauce, crate of pickled herring and bucket of squid that she’s negotiated for the UK in her previous role as Trade Secretary has been documented, and issued with its own press release and tweet so we know how hard she works.
The Foreign Office job has been billed as her reward for signing 63 Trade deals post Brexit- but nearly all were simply replicating the previous terms set by the EU, and where’s the evidence Liz Truss ever came up with a new strategy, or developed new alliances and won new agreements that weren’t in place before her appointment? Yes, she worked hard, but is toil a substitute for talent?
Now, she must try and get us interested in our ‘special relationship’ with sleepy Joe Biden to ensure her quota of appearances on social media continue to soar. This might be a challenge for the woman who once said ‘I’m not a diplomat’.
The second most powerful female at the top table, Home Secretary Priti Patel must be relieved to hang on to her job after refusing to speak to a conference of police officers face to face this week.
At least that has diverted attention from her continuing failure to stop rubber dinghies full of desperate people landing on the beaches of Kent or giving the French millions to build hostels in the vain hope that migrants might use them.
Or failure to fix the immigration halls fiasco at our airports. Or her failure to persuade the police that demonstrators blocking the M25 should be removed in something under four hours
Meanwhile, Education is now in the hands of the former Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi. At a time when our poorest children are struggling to get a basic education, with a huge gulf opening up between the haves and the have-nots, it might seem strange to appoint a privately educated man with a property empire worth £100 million to oversee education.
He’s done a good job pushing out the vaccination programme, but at education, his biggest challenge will be underfunding. Former teacher and council boss Sir Kevan Collins was asked to write a report for the Government detailing how to level up education post-covid.
Collins wanted £15 billion to fund more teachers and an extended school day but Boris came up with just £1.4 billion- which equates to £22 per child in primary school per year. Collins, unsurprisingly, resigned.
If Zahawi wants to show his mettle, he must get Collins – a highly respected figure – back on board.
Instead of celebrating women in power, it would be more telling to reflect on the team of multimillionaires now running the biggest offices of state; Education, Health, and the Treasury.
In a Tory government, Money, not talent, always talks loudest.
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