Reshuffle thoughts

So – whilst we’re waiting for tonight’s results in the Euros – I pause to wonder how the mighty (and not so mighty) are fallen. I guess Caroline Flint has the most egg on face . To support Brown publicly and then execute a complete volte face to diss him certainly doesn’t help her message re window dressing. And during her stints as Minister for Housing and Europe she hasn’t really registered.

I am surprised, however, that Dawn Primarolo, didn’t get a promotion – as she has impressed me. She was particularly good at steering through the Embryology Bill – which was hardly the easiest of gigs – but which she did successfully, authoritively and well.

Looking at Gordon Brown’s record from the outside – and his behaviour and attitude to women – Caroline Flint probably has a point in that the Prime Minister always seems uncomfortable with the women in the Cabinet. The shame is that the accusation came from such a flawed quarter. He clearly damned and dumped Blears. He was underwhelmed by Flint. He failed to support Jacqui Smith. Conversely – he has protected Darling, Hoone, Purnell – although with hindsight he might have not bothered.

Harriet Harman has handled herself and the situation pretty well over recent weeks – and as she actually is the only person with a mandate (albeit not loved by her brethren – and I do mean brethen) maybe she could push further forward. Round and round she goes – where she stops nobody knows…

0 thoughts on “Reshuffle thoughts

  1. Lynne, I bow to your judgement on Dawn Primarolo, and it is good to hear about good law, but to me Dawn has a past (e.g. as Brown's Rotweiler at Treasury, plus a long time ago an association with bad lefties in local govt) and a most unfortunate way of talking down to people with serious questions and concerns. Not that bumptious media people should not be given a dressing down by MPs when necessary…

  2. Failed to support Jacqui Smith???Now lets see – she's claimed porn on her expenses, she flipped her second home and not been honest about where she lives. On top of that she's totally incompetent, and tries to push through the most ill thought out and oppressive policies we've ever seen in this country. I make her the worst home secretary ever, and that's really saying something.The fact is that she should have gone months ago and she's incredibly lucky to have held on for this long.Without wanting to defend Brown on anything too much, I'd suggest the reason he has protected other politicians is because although some might be a bit crap at the job, and others might have fiddled theri expenses, none have have been guilty of both of these things to anywhere near the same extent as Smith has.As for window dressing and sexism, well i think we need to differential between women who are there solely because they are women, and those who are there based on merit. It's only natural to have more respect for someone who's in a job on merit against someone who is there to fill a quota and who hasn't had to prove themselves and compete like others have done (not least because such processes make a person stronger and more effective). It's exactly why sexism and quotas are so wrong.Throughout her entire career Smith's only been getting jobs because of her gender. She didn't even have to complete properly when she was first elected as she was even on a all women shortlist In fact her selection as a candidate in 1997 was of course illegal sex discrimination, ruled so at an industrial tribunal – now that's proper sexism for you and she's the beneficiary, not the victim (I wonder what happened to him?) Perhaps if such sexism wasn't allowed a decent politician could have been selected in her constituency and thus we might even have had a competent or less dodgy home secretary.I think the Lib Dems should be extremely proud they rejected all women shortlists, otherwise they'd have fewer politicians like Vince Cable, and far more like Smith.