The New Cabinet

Well, here we are at the end of what must be one of the most remarkable (and, for those of us who like seeing politicians squirming in deep shit, incredibly funny) days in Parliament ever. The ruling party are taking the hammering of their lives as yesterday's election results come in, seeing Labour absolutely thrashed by the Tories and looking pretty damn unhealthy next to the LibDems too. Four MPs have had enough and have thrown in the towel (and if we don't see at least one more go by the stroke of midnight I'll be surprised) and Gordon Brown, desperate to make something worthwhile out of what is left of his party, has been reshuffling like mad in an attempt to try to insulate himself from the ever-growing number of back-benchers who are baying for his blood and gearing themselves up for a leadership contest.

The famous green leather is going to take a while to cool off tonight - it's been a busy day in the Commons.
Image from Wikipedia, used under regulations detailed here.

Here's the new Cabinet:

Prime minister: Gordon Brown

Leader of the Commons: Harriet Harman

First secretary of state: Lord Mandelson

Chancellor of the exchequer: Alistair Darling

Foreign secretary: David Miliband

Justice secretary: Jack Straw

Home secretary: Alan Johnson

Environment, food and rural affairs secretary: Hilary Benn

International development secretary: Douglas Alexander

Communities and local government secretary: John Denham

Children, schools and families secretary: Ed Balls

Energy and climate change secretary: Ed Miliband

Health secretary: Andy Burnham

Northern Ireland secretary: Shaun Woodward

Leader of the Lords: Lady Royall of Blaisdon

Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Olympics and paymaster general: Tessa Jowell

Scotland secretary: Jim Murphy

Work and pensions secretary: Yvette Cooper

Chief secretary to the Treasury: Liam Byrne

Wales secretary: Peter Hain

Defence secretary: Bob Ainsworth

Transport secretary: Lord Adonis

Culture, media and sport secretary: Ben Bradshaw

David Miliband looked set for the chop just a couple of days ago, but after expressing his support for the beleaguered PM, he's been able to hang on to the position that indications showed was going to serve as a way for Mandelson to slime his way back into the Cabinet. Naturally, he's managed to do so anyway with a brand new position created just for him: First Secretary of State. Honestly, how the hell does he do it? (Not through honesty, at any rate). Put it this way...imagine you were asked to leave your job over some trifling matter such as, hmm, £373,000. Yet, for reasons beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, your boss decided to give you another job. But you screwed up again and were made to resign a second time because you did a bit of dodgy dealing to get your mate into the company, even though this mate had previously been involved in a massive scandal with his former employer. Not even the most incompetent boss would take you on a third time, surely?

But in Mandelson's case...well, back up he pops like a zombie when you've only shot it through the body instead of the head. Does the man have a philosopher's stone or something?

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