The Return of Ken Clarke

January 19, 2009

Ken Clarke’s appointment as Shadow Business Secretary is a genuine big beast return to the Shadow Cabinet and will be welcomed by most Conservative Party supporters as well as many non Tories. As a politician he has the rare gift of being able to appeal to a wider and non partisan audience and comes across as  a ‘normal’ person.

Obviously his views on Europe don’t mirror those held by the majority of members within the Conservative Party but it is to David Cameron’s credit that he has allowed someone with such differing views in the Shadow Cabinet.

Details of the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle:

New to the Shadow Cabinet:

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (replacing Alan Duncan)

Mark Francois MP
Shadow Minister for Europe (same job, but now with shadow cabinet status)

New Shadow Cabinet responsibilities:

Alan Duncan MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons (replacing Theresa May)

Chris Grayling MP
Shadow Home Secretary (replacing Dominic Grieve)

The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice (replacing Nick Herbert)

Nick Herbert MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (replacing Peter Ainsworth, the one casualty of the changes)

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women (replacing Chris Grayling)

Eric Pickles MP
Chairman of the Conservative Party (replacing Caroline Spelman)

Caroline Spelman MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (replacing Eric Pickles)

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New Bank Bailout

January 19, 2009

Another set of measures to get the banks to lend more have been announced this morning. It’s an acceptance that the previous bailout hasn’t worked and more taxpayers money is being exposed to correct the mismanagement at the banks. You get the feeling that the banks are a bottomless pit which the Government will throw money into and cross its fingers praying that the latest money thrown in will somehow get the whole banking system to work. How far off the nationalisation of all banks are we?