My opinion on the 2012 reshuffle

Posted 5 Sep 2012 by Walaa Idris

The long awaited reshuffle is finally here and it did not disappoint. It had something for everyone; it pleased some Conservatives, upset a few Liberal Democrats and disappointed most of Labour.

Replacing Baroness Warsi was one of the most anticipated moves and it was right. In my opinion, the party chair should be an MP, someone who is easily and daily accessible to all MPs plus of course to the media and the grassroots. Someone who UK politics’ and the Conservative party are their main focus. Grant Shapps is very dynamic and I believe he can deliver in all accounts. Another predictable move was keeping George Osborne as Chancellor. Let’s put loyalties and friendships to one side, replacing Osborne now would have sent a dangerous and very disastrous message to businesses the world over. It would say; we were wrong, and after almost three years in government, have no idea what we are doing! Labour and opponents of this government would love for that to happen, but its consequence for the country will be dire and it will destroy confidence in our economy for years to come. Thankfully, Osborne is on the right track with his brief, we just need to be patient.

Jeremy Hunt going to Health is just what the doctor ordered! Although, Andrew Lansley is the visionary with the objective, who developed and delivered the NHS Reforms from an idea to policies – he sadly was unable to clearly articulate his vision to the public. Jeremy Hunt on the other hand is a brilliant communicator and a good media performer who can hopefully decipher the complex reforms and bring them to the public in a simpler easy to understand format. This might sound ominous to some, but good teams work together to deliver the best results.

Like many people I was surprised by Andrew Mitchell becoming the Chief Whip and definitely did not see that one coming. However, Justine Greening moving from Transport, only eleven month after her appointment, although a surprise it was needed. Because, if the Tories decided for the future they need to revisit the Heathrow expansion or HS2 then a change at the top of Transport is a must. Moving Ms. Greening now will pave the way for someone new, Patrick McLoughlin, who can see the issue with fresh eyes and from a new prospective. Of course this move, despite hysteria from all corners, does not mean breaking current manifesto promises, however, it allows for a future rethink.

My only disappointment with this reshuffle is not seeing enough of the 2005 class, those MPs who did most of the heavy lifting during opposition, get promoted to top posts. Bright talents such as Adam Afriyie, Greg Hands, Adam Holloway, Nadine Dorries, Daniel Kawczynski, Anne Milton, John Penrose, Mark Pritchard, Shailesh Vara and Ed Vaizey to name but a few?

Reshuffles are never easy; they are tough on either side, but however uncomfortable they are still a necessity. Change is always good; it reenergizes the groups and brings a new life and fresh eyes to old sometimes stale issues.

Overall, this reshuffle was a good one. It showed resolve, vision and understanding of the publics’ mood plus it had something for everyone, but most importantly it did not shake to world’s confidence in UK Plc.


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