Sunday, January 20, 2008

Could Hain's demise mean the end of the territorial departments?

Yesterday Dizzy speculated that the government was about to create a new Department for Devolved Affairs from the existing Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland offices.

By complete coincedence I said much the same sort of thing in my Saturday Column in the Newcastle Journal, arguing that the departure of part-time Welsh Secretary Peter Hain would create an opening for such a structural reshuffle.

The Prime Minister would have done better, in my view, to have acted more decisively and used the departure of Mr Hain as an opportunity to strengthen his beleaguered administration.

Firstly, it would have freed up a Cabinet berth for Darlington MP Alan Milburn, bringing much-needed fresh thinking into the government and enabling Mr Brown to stage a public rapprochement with the Blairites.

Secondly, it would have created an opening for a long-overdue structural reshuffle, combining the territorial Cabinet posts under a single Department for Devolved Affairs.

Why Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still need a Cabinet minister each when they all now have their own elected First Ministers is not just beyond me but many other observers besides.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Are you suggesting that GB would let Alex Salmond take Hain's place at Cabinet meetings? Ha, ha,ha.
The world has changed. Labour is not in control in Scotland!

Anonymous said...

No it does not we need our offices who speaks for us in cabinet. Give us a voice on cabinet.

Anonymous said...

No it does not we need our offices who speaks for us in cabinet. Give us a voice on cabinet.

lettersfromatory said...

Moving Hain sideways could certainly get him out of the limelight for a while, without actually humiliating him with being sacked.