Opinion Piece: The Tory Cabinet Shuffle Kerfuffle

Credit: PA Images

Your family may perform the task of a “Spring Cleaning”, a day or two dedicated to cleaning your entire house from top to bottom where you declutter your working and living areas to increase performance and just make the place look nice. We used to do that at my home, and by we I mean my mum would clean and I would protest the throwing out of my Blu-Ray collection which has since become a structural part of the wall. A good clear-out is sometimes exactly what we need to have a breath of fresh air in our lives, and in the case of this premature Cabinet reshuffle, the government was in dire need of air. A shambolic situation of old school government ministers clinging to their seat and power through past loyalties can do no good, and Prime Minister Pffefel Johnson must have known that.

In scenes depicting a similarity to that of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail sketch featuring Eric Idle screech “bring out your dead”, the government did just that. We all know the one thing Tories are notoriously good at is cuts, and that’s exactly what Johnson has done the past few days. Getting rid of driftwood as if he were scraping some leftovers into the bin, he ousted the likes of Geoffrey Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Ester McVey. If anything, the departure of these three is actually quite good, as some of the more contemptible of morally questionable Tories are forced out of the cabinet like the last bit of toothpaste at the bottom of the tube.

It seemed to be relatively smooth sailing; cabinet reshuffles are usually days where you can have a bit of fun with the story as nothing much really happens. New faces come and go, old veterans return and at the end of the day we’re still left with a conniving, smiling, can do government that at the same time as trying to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland are gutting the NHS and ignoring the varying problems the country faces. From homelessness to Grenfell, continuing Windrush-like scandals and a very dubious holiday for the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party, as ever, are charging on through allegations of general snobbishness as fast as they possibly can.

But it’s not like there is anyone that can hold them accountable for these actions. Although elected by us and working for us, the Conservative government don’t really have an opposition at this moment in time. Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of the opposition for at least another month or so while the Labour party tries to salvage their car crash of an election. In a process where just about every member of the Labour Party announced their wish to lead the party, it’s looking more and more likely that the final showdown will be between Rebecca Long-Bailey and Keir Starmer. By the time this article is published, I assume one of them will be the next Labour leader. Logic would dictate such a step but in these terrifying political times there’s no telling what might happen. I’ve got a tenner on the Neil Kinnock Spitting Image puppet to take the leadership, but chance would be a fine thing.

Credit: PA Images


Perhaps the biggest event of the day was that Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has resigned. Presumably because he was asked to fire his entire workforce in an Alan Sugar style showdown, Javid, a Conservative politician, did the right thing. It feels weird saying that, like saying Marmite is nice or that dogs can look up. Sometimes the unbelievable is relatively true, and Javid stepping down from his position to protect those that worked for him is oddly admirable for a man that actively voted against the legal rights for EU Nationals already living in the U.K. His replacement is Rishi Sunak, a man I know nothing about, care nothing for and have already dictated him the lowest of the low, especially since he’s the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Let’s be fair it’s not a role that brings out blossoming, lovely people, especially not after George Osbourne’s time in the position.

The Cabinet Reshuffle doesn’t get much more exciting though. If the past 600 or so words have anything to say for themselves it’s that it’s very hard to pull a funny by-line out of a non-event. It’s not entirely a non-event, but we’ll have to wait quite some time for the impact of the actions taken during this grim period of British politics. Will keeping Michael Gove in his position work wonders, or will we just get more photos of him and his inability to drink water like a human. Perhaps the headstrong attitude of Matt Hancock will finally give the NHS the death blow the Conservative government have been trying to deliver it for the past ten years. If you truly believe in Hancock’s ability to reform the NHS then, quite frankly, you’re a moron.

As someone who writes for and works rather closely with all aspects of culture and arts, I’m interested to see how Oliver Dowden will hold up. What should be a harmlessly fluffy role highlighting the culture that Britain has to offer has since turned into something out of a genuine nightmare. Looking at his voting record is like looking into an Orwellian dictatorship, but I think even George Orwell and the inhabitants of New Brittania would’ve turned round to Dowden and said “bit far, mate”. Actively voting against anything that costs so much as a sliver of money, Dowden may be the most detestable man in the Cabinet. In fact he may be the worst person to have ever lived. You can check out his voting record here and make up your own mind though.

No matter how many times the cabinet is shuffled, reshuffled, removed and replaced, you will still have Conservatives. They hold the same ideals as their leader, and no matter who appears and how lacking they are in credibility, they will provide more or less the same service. Just because Javid has stepped down, McVey has been side-lined and Leadsom has been led into a dark room and the door bolted shut behind her, don’t think for a second that any policies will change or that anything interesting or new will happen. Having said that, if Dowden gets anywhere close to a formidable amount of power, we’ll have more to worry about than Brexit.

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