Friday, October 03, 2008

Labour Reshuffle: Beckett and Mandelson Back


The return of Margaret Beckett to front line duty is an excellent idea, and predicted here. I didn't dare put Peter Mandelson in the frame, but I can't say I'm all that surprised. Hoon and Hutton moves, Brown N promotion - all unsurprising. Ed Miliband promotion - absolutely expected.

Graham Stringer is on the 'phone live to News 24. Says he's surprised, but is broadly supportive. About bloody time too. Suggestion that this is Brown starting over and providing a more balanced cabinet.

Watch out for that nice ex-Tory Mr Woodward getting closer to that cabinet table. Perhaps replacing Digby Jones? John Denham perhaps. Harder to achieve if some more big hitters of old return. Lord Blair anyone? David Blunkett?

Jackie Smith will be on tenterhooks I'd say. And Hazey also.

POSTSCRIPT 11:23: There were suggestions in dark corners at conference that Woodward would go rather further than I've suggested here! My guess is that the Treasury Team will stay as is. And that Burnley's finest Alastair Campbell will be back to join his old mucker Derek Draper on the staff.

UPDATE 11:26: Woodward is to stay at Northern Ireland after all.

13 comments:

Everybody Hates Chris said...

Your record of claiming to have predicted events you didn't predict at all and for not predicting things that have happened remains intact.

"The return of Margaret Beckett to front line duty is an excellent idea, and predicted here."

I think you actually said that she would become Leader of the House of Lords. You demanded that she be kicked upstairs and a by-election held in her seat.

"I didn't dare put Peter Mandelson in the frame, but I can't say I'm all that surprised."

You don't need to put Mandy in the frame because that's where he permanently lives. And if you are 'not surprised' then why did you neglect to mention it beforehand.

This is a disastrous choice by Brown. At a time when unity should be everything for Labour he decides to bring back one of the most divisive people ever to be in government.

"Hoon and Hutton moves, Brown N promotion - all unsurprising." Ed Miliband promotion - absolutely expected."

Again, you asked that Hoon (or Buff Hoon as you refer to him) be removed to the House of Lords.

Well done on the Ed Miliband and Nick Brown predictions. Although you really should read Nick Brown's contribuion to the asbestos debates and then come back on here to pontificate about others - if you dare.

"Watch out for that nice ex-Tory Mr Woodward getting closer to that cabinet table. Perhaps replacing Digby Jones?"

Woodward is already in the Cabinet, Digby Jones is not. So your statement is complete nonsense.

"There were suggestions in dark corners at conference that Woodward would go rather further than I've suggested here!"

He didn't even go as far as you suggested.

"Burnley's finest Alastair Campbell will be back to join his old mucker Derek Draper on the staff."

I doubt if they were ever 'muckers'.

Draper managed the impossible and actually got himself in sleazy goings-on that didn't involve his former employer - Peter Mandelson. That must have taken some doing.

Mandy was a useless and scandal-beseiged minister who should have been dumped at the earliest opportunity. The only reason he survived, nay prospered, is that he knows where the New Labour bodies are buried. Even for Blair to have brought him back would have been calamitous, for Brown to do so is both unthinkable AND calamitous.

Everybody Hates Chris said...

Nearly forgot.

You also predicted that Ruth Kelly was stepping down from Cabinet in order to be able to spend more time nursing her small majority.

Wrong.

Chris Paul said...

This is possibly one of the most inaccurate comments you have ever made matey!

Your record of claiming to have predicted events you didn't predict at all and for not predicting things that have happened remains intact.

Really?

"The return of Margaret Beckett to front line duty is an excellent idea, and predicted here."

I think you actually said that she would become Leader of the House of Lords. You demanded that she be kicked upstairs and a by-election held in her seat.


I don't think I said that at all. I simply said watch Margaret Beckett. That was during the LP conference when she was getting busy.

"I didn't dare put Peter Mandelson in the frame, but I can't say I'm all that surprised."

You don't need to put Mandy in the frame because that's where he permanently lives. And if you are 'not surprised' then why did you neglect to mention it beforehand.


The idea that one has to mention everything one thinks on one's blog is a bizarre one indeed. I'm not a Dale, and certainly not interested in spoiling anyone's surprise.

This is a disastrous choice by Brown. At a time when unity should be everything for Labour he decides to bring back one of the most divisive people ever to be in government.

This is the business job. For which Mandy is rather well qualified. And at least one might argue (vide Lord Jones) he is a Labour Party member of long standing.

"Hoon and Hutton moves, Brown N promotion - all unsurprising." Ed Miliband promotion - absolutely expected."

Again, you asked that Hoon (or Buff Hoon as you refer to him) be removed to the House of Lords.


I'm not sure I did that either. But he will be Lord Hoon before he heads off to Europe after the deep and wide reshuffle I'd expect in maybe six months time.

Well done on the Ed Miliband and Nick Brown predictions. Although you really should read Nick Brown's contribuion to the asbestos debates and then come back on here to pontificate about others - if you dare.

Interesting observation. What is he supposed to have said? This will be in 1983 won't it when he was first elected? What are you claiming he said or did that I'd struggle with - compared with spanker Cyril, or at all? How did he vote?

"Watch out for that nice ex-Tory Mr Woodward getting closer to that cabinet table. Perhaps replacing Digby Jones?"

Woodward is already in the Cabinet, Digby Jones is not. So your statement is complete nonsense.


Is NI Secretary in the Cabinet with a vote? If so I stand corrected.

"There were suggestions in dark corners at conference that Woodward would go rather further than I've suggested here!"

He didn't even go as far as you suggested.


True. But he will. A long way further. And now it seems that'll be in one mighty leap. Though the poll bounce and events, dear boy, events, has slowed him down for now.

"Burnley's finest Alastair Campbell will be back to join his old mucker Derek Draper on the staff."

I doubt if they were ever 'muckers'.


Shows what you know.

Draper managed the impossible and actually got himself in sleazy goings-on that didn't involve his former employer - Peter Mandelson. That must have taken some doing.

He is a clever man. Now retrained in all sorts of useful dark arts.

Mandy was a useless and scandal-beseiged minister who should have been dumped at the earliest opportunity. The only reason he survived, nay prospered, is that he knows where the New Labour bodies are buried. Even for Blair to have brought him back would have been calamitous, for Brown to do so is both unthinkable AND calamitous.

You'll have to explain. As far as I know it was in his private dealings that he came unstuck, latterly in what DD described as a 'miscarriage of justice', and not in his competence as a minister where he was a respected operator if not everybody's cup of tea exactly.

McDonnell is spitting feathers. But Stringer is pacified, interesting stuff. Good for Brown in taking the initiative.

Chris Paul said...

PS Ruth Kelly will probably be expected to muck in in Bolton West whether she is the candidate or not. Mrs Fildes is a formidable opponent in some ways but her own worst enemy in others. This will be a hard fought and interesting selection and assuming there is no imminent General Election with a three-week lead in this will probably be an AWS.

My old friend Nargis Khan is from Bolton though not sure she'd want to try there. But a Boltonian or thereabouts would be nice. Rochdaleian Fitzsimons may be close enough. Is she angling for a come back? Or will the AWS be discarded and Iain Stewart MP from reasonably nearby Eccles be given a run out?

Miles said...

Chris
Alistair campbell is from Keighley.
He supports Burnley football club.
There's a difference.
I can't believe EHC missed that!

Everybody Hates Chris said...

Chris Paul said:
"Margaret Beckett to get the Leader of the Lords job after a hiatus?"

Chris Paul said:
"Did I just hear talk of Peerages tomorrow? If so could Buff Hoon and Maggs Beckett each get one? A couple more by-elections into the mix."

1) Hoon will indeed depart for Europe and the Lords next year, after a few months pottering around in his temp job.

2) As for not spoiling everyone's surprise by telling us before the event the he was about to make yet another entance to the Cabinet. Really? Of course you don't have to mention every single thing that you think (in fact, please feel free not to) but it's a bit rich if you later claim that it was what you were thinking all along.

3) Nick Brown and the asbestos debate. Look it up. It's all there.

4) The Northern Ireland post is in the Cabinet (unpaid, but with a vote). That would make him one of the few people in St Helens Labour Party not to get paid to vote!

The 'one mighty leap' that you claim Woodward is in line for will take him from Northern Ireland to where exactly?

5) Draper was little more than a research assistant and tea-boy for Mandelson and yet managed to pass himself off as an 'advisor'. I notice that he still does. His lack of judgement among all those who knew him at Manchester University or ever since is legendary. His claims to be inside the loop are preposterous as he was never there to begin with, let alone now.

6) If you want to describe Mandelson getting a preferential loan from a multi-millioniare MP colleague when the latter's business dealings could and did come under investigation by the minister's office as 'private', then I suppose that's up to you.

If you want to describe Mandelson wanting to fast-track naturalisation dealings for wealthy Labour donors as 'private', then ditto.


Desperate diseases require desperate remedies. It takes a desperate disease for John McDonnell to be in the majority among Labour MPs, but it looks as though Brown has managed it.

Chris Paul said...

These are not my only remarks on Beckett and Hoon EHC.

Mandelson clearly messed up the Robertson loan. Clearly should have been declared. But he was exonerated on the other matter.

Here's Brown N opening his account.

Chris Paul said...

PS I think the most recent one re Beckett one may be in comments somewhere. She would have been back if she'd taken a peerage of course. But no one wants a by-election, not even in Derby. She'll be good at Housing. I predict some public works coming out of that department, big style.

Chris Paul said...

PS again, thanks Miles. EHC recognised it presumably as the Elephant trap it was.

benchilltory said...

what will be Mandys new name,
i liked Lord Mandelson of Dracula

Diablo said...

Chris Paul said: "...Mandelson clearly messed up the Robertson loan."

Shurely (sic) it was the "Robinson" loan - or do you know of an other one, Chris?

Wally Range said...

Mandelson will be ennobled as Lord Helpus

Anonymous said...

I hear Mandelson has just resigned.
He said it will save time later on.