Friday, January 16, 2009

The Tories' elephant in the room

I've not written anything thus far over the big issue gripping the Tories at the moment, namely the potential return of Ken Clarke to the political frontline, but that's been more due to lack of opportunity than lack of interest. As it happens I am a huge KC fan and nothing, bar the appointment of fragrant Yvette Cooper as Chancellor over the head of her bumptuous other half Ed Balls would give me greater pleasure than to see him back in the Shadow Cabinet.

Will it happen? Well, David Cameron has allowed expectations of Clarke's return to reach such a point now that it would be a serious setback for the Tories if it didn't, which probably means it will. But it should be as Shadow Chancellor rather than Shadow Business Secretary. Gideon Osborne is a smart operator, as he proved in autumn 2007 when his inheritance tax ploy frightened Brown into cancelling the election, but he lacks the essential gravitas for the role at these troubled times and would be much better employed as party chairman and key strategist for the 2010 campaign.

Cameron should also bring back David Davis as Shadow Home Secretary in place of the ineffectual Dominic Grieve, and Iain Duncan Smith as Shadow Defence Secretary in place of the lightweight Liam Fox. Defence is one of the big jobs in a Tory government alongside Foreign Secretary, Chancellor and Home Secretary, and a "Big Five" line-up of Cameron, Hague, Clarke, Davis and Duncan Smith would for me have the look of a formidable government in waiting.

Meanwhile, here's regular cartoonist Slob's take on it all. What I like about this image is that it shows how the Clarke conundrum is currently dominating Tory politics, Heathrow, recession and Gaza notwithstanding.

free web site hit counter

No comments: