Make David Davis Minister For Europe with Cabinet rank and discipline will be restored and talk of a leadership at thing of the past
22 Jun 2013 at 14:09
As the nation is gripped with reshuffle fever (well those poor sados who would sell their own grannies for a job) I suppose I ought to be totally honest and tell you that I haven’t got a clue who will be up or down the greasy pole. I’ll go even better, nobody except Cameron and a handful of trusties have a clue either. So anything that you read about Downing Street insiders and their view is complete speculation usually by those who want to push their own people.
The dilemma that Cameron has is that he has so little talent at the very top but for political reasons he can’t move them. With the exception of Theresa May who is a perfectly adequate Home Secretary, the women are hopeless. Theresa Villiers has sunk without trace. Maria Miller is a catastrophe waiting to happen and Justine Greening is unspeakable. But if Cameron gets rid of them everyone will start accusing him to reverting to an Etonian phallocracy. I suppose he could get rid of one of them (Miller would be the favourite) and replace her with Anna Soubrey but even she has her fishwifery moments.
And the men aren’t that much better. Apart from Osborne, Hague, Gove, Pickles and IDS they don’t actually glitter. O’Patz is living out his fantasy of badger genocide and Grayling has achieved something no other Lord Chancellor could dream off, he has united every judge, barrister and solicitor against his insane reforms. There will be a debate in the Chamber on Thursday when he will be slaughtered by both left and right. Normally I don’t approve of blood sports but I will be there bayoneting the wounded. He would be easy to get rid of. He has no power base and is a dangerous liability. If only he could be replaced by the cerebral and well liked Dominic Grieve who would make the real savings that can be achieved in the totally dysfunctional MOJ. The trouble is Dominic is not all that keen on the idea.
At the moment.
And I am not convinced that George Young will survive. But not through any desire on Cameron’s part who has made it very clear that he would like him to stay. I understand that George has made it clear that he has just had enough. This should be the time to right the wrongs done to Andrew Mitchell. He has been silent, loyal and has shown no bitterness towards Cameron. He should be brought back as Chief Whip.
For what it’s worth I am of the view that there are three people who deserve to be in the Cabinet. Nick Boles, Jesse Norman and David Davis. The former because they have ideas intellect and political nous. But David Davis could be a game changer for Cameron. Yes I know they dislike each other intensely, but if you want a friend in politics buy a dog.
There will be the usual suspects who will say that this would be a mistake as he is not a team player. They would be wrong. Davis may have had his moment of madness by causing a by election for reasons that I still don’t comprehend, but things have moved on. The right just don’t have a respected and seasoned heavyweight who can rally the troops both in Parliament and in the country. They feel unloved, lonely and ignored. Mind you some of them deserve it, but that’s not really the point.
With Labour flatlining and Miliband on his knees this is the time for backbench discipline. No matter what sense Cameron talks on EU renegotiation the right just don’t believe him. And they are so jittery at the moment they are mad enough to launch a coup. I know, I know, it would be utterly insane and a gift to Miliband, but the Tory backbenches are not unlike the Wild West at the moment. They’ll shoot at anything.
So the solution? Give Davis his old job back as Minister of Europe with Cabinet rank. The right would be creaming in their jeans. And Cameron would at last be believed by his enemies. Discipline in the ranks would be restored. Springs will be in steps and chins held high. Europe will be in the news again but in a positive way. And an old bruiser like Davis would take the fight to Labour’s door step and give offshore Farage a run for his money.
The chances of this happening are remote as I suspect Cameron would regard it with distaste. But both are big enough men to rise above it. If Cameron can sup with Clegg the spoon wouldn’t have to be that much longer for Davis. And frenzied talk of leadership challenges would just be the ravings of the deranged.
Oh, and a lot of marginal seats would be saved.
Courage mon Brave!!