By GoShow (Own work. Added on to Flickr .) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It is difficult to feel very worked up about the reshuffle. It is a reshuffle of a pack of knaves and jokers.

At DEFRA, George Eustice remains – I feel more favourable to Mr Eustice than do many. It’s not as though I can imagine myself ever voting for him but he has served a long period of time as Agriculture Minister of State at DEFRA, and now as Secretary of State, and he resigned from his ministerial position (and was later reappointed) over a matter of principle, namely Brexit. As I say, I disagree with him on many things, but I see him as someone who has demonstrated some commitment to his beliefs and has done his best to serve the public interest as he sees it. I don’t agree with him, but I see him as a fairly worthy occupant of his current government position.

Also at DEFRA, the smiling Rebecca Pow departs to be replaced by Jo Churchill, who also smiles by the look of things (see note at foot of post).

Like many, I cannot fathom Liz Truss’s meteoric rise to one of the principal offices of state at the Foreign Office. Boris Johnson must like cheese an awful lot.

Truss was a terrible DEFRA Secretary, voted by you, and hasn’t shone that brightly, in my opinion anywhere. Look out Switzerland, France and Germany – the cheese monitor is in charge of foreign policy.

Talking of ex DEFRA ministers, what about the infinitely cuddly and sympathetic Therese Coffey – she keeps her job in the caring department of Work and Pensions.

Ms Coffey is ‘entirely happy’ about cutting universal credit by £20/week but that may be because she demonstrated that she doesn’t understand how it works. Well, why should she understand it? It’s only a contentious policy from her government and her department. Knowing what you are doing has never been so lightly prized by a Prime Minister, so she stays.

It is so difficult, as to be impossible, to feel any pity for Gavin Williamson’s complete removal from government. The wonder is that he remained around for so long.

And Dominic Raab may find it easier to take his holidays in the Ministry of Justice although it is felt by many that he deserves even more time off.

I notice that my MP, Tom Pursglove, will be working for Mr Raab as a new MoJ Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, but he is ‘shared’ with the Home Office and the charming Priti Patel. Congratulations to him, but it sounds like a tough gig, working under two of the most loathed Cabinet Ministers. Still, I’m sure he’ll cope and learn a lot.

Note added 6pm: it seems as though Rebecca Pow is still at DEFRA and so the Department has gained a minister (although the execrable GOV.UK website hasn’t updated this news yet). Very odd. But who would expect this lot either a) to know what they were doing or b) to tell us what they are doing.


29 Replies to “Reshuffle”

  1. Victoria Prentis at DEFRA is not a good sign, pro CA and BASC, has also been quoted as ” Rewilding is evil.” Clearly clueless but then that may be one of the blonde oaf Johnson’s criteria for selection. As for Nadine Dorries as culture secretary, perhaps the PMs unkindest of jokes on us, irony must be dead.

  2. Likewise as you say Mark, it is really just moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic and the standard of deck chairs is pretty poor.
    Yes, Ms Liz Truss was a terrible Secretary of State at Defra and when she moved to the Home Office I think the police collectively asked for her to be replaced.
    We are not blessed in this Tory Government with any one with any perspicacity.

  3. Amazing what people in Britain will vote for isn’t it? Makes you wonder what sort of people we are on mass.
    Those Parody Boris tweets you shared cracked me up. Though it’s a sad state when the best thing you can extract from a government is a bit of humour.

    1. People voted for Johnson because the alternative was Corbyn. I spoilt my ballot paper in disgust at the choice.

        1. Alas, I don’t have the Labour manifesto to hand so cannot be specific. Historically my politics are rightwing Labour and Leftwing Conservative – pretty happy with either. You would, I think, agree that Corbyn is a Labour left-winger. Thus, at the general election I was effectively disenfranchised, and perhaps still am. Anyone old enough to remember the Michael Foot debacle knew exactly where we were headed.

          The foundations for our present troubles were laid by Ed Miliband when he changed the method of electing the Labour leader. Corbyn would not have been elected under the old electoral college system, we would likely still be in the EU and Johnson would probably be able to concentrate fulltime on penning articles for the Telegraph.

          1. So you didn’t actually have a reason then. You refused to out of petulance, and thus you cannot complain about Boris. You put Boris and your petulance over the country, and have forfeited any right to complain about Boris’s regime.

    2. It is undeniable that many people voted for the Tories at the last election but substantially more people voted for other parties. Under our rotten winner-takes-all system, Boris and his band of no-nothing cronies nevertheless came out with a thumping HoC majority that allows them to ride roughshod over the views of everyone else.

      There are all manner of things the government is doing with all this power that make you want to weep but one that is of particular concern is their attempt to rig the electoral system to their advantage, potentially consolidating their grip on power. The Elections Bill includes ‘anti voter fraud’ measures which address a problem that barely exists but which will effectively disenfranchise a section of society that includes few Tory voters. It also emasculates the Electoral Commission and removes its independence by placing it under direct ministerial control with the consequence that their own dodgy electoral practices will be less open to challenge. It is a disgraceful heist on democracy.

  4. The problem with any Tory reshuffle is that no matter who ends where, they are still all Tories. Stinkers one and all.

    1. Random22 – I see what you mean but there are quite a lot of versions of 52 cards – 80658175170943878571660636856403766975289505440883277824000000000000 I believe. Some of them must be a little better than the others.

      1. I would say that a different flavour of shit, is still shit nonetheless. A little less worse, a little more worse, they are all still the worst. There is not a single one I would grieve for if a bus full of them went over a cliff. There is not a single one whose grave I would not willingly dance on either. It doesn’t matter where Boris redistributes the sinecures among his cronies, none of them are going to do anything to make things better and all of them are dedicated to making things worse for us all.

        If any Tory wants to make things better, the only thing they can do is resign.

          1. At a different scale, with a few tweaks, that is how shit is treated before it is discharged into rivers or spread on land. Or, in rural situations, discharged into a drainage field so it can soak away slowly into groundwater or a nice aquifer. Biological, innit

  5. I see now it is being touted in the media that Gavin Williamson, probably our most awful education minister ever ( even worse than Thatcher!) is likely to be made a “Sir.” What the hell for being crap at his job, but then it was Johnson who promoted him well beyond his competence level (probably remembering his own name is as far as he goes as he seems incapable of remembering the names of those he met recently) Perhaps the accompanying headline should say Tories taking the piss!

  6. Apologies, Mark. But I feel somewhat less positive (and have been mainly of that thought) about Eustace.

    Useless Eustace.

    A very well earned nomenclature IMO. He has many and diverse principles, not nesessarily aligned in a rational manner. His odd good ideas are vastly outnumbered by his “it seemed like a good idea at the time” events. And he is being an agricultural-type person. I’d say he’s the closest thing that the worst of the NFU have to a direct placement in government. But that’s my mere opinion. And what the F do I know.

    Perhaps your encounters with the very nicest agricultural people (I admit they exist, but are not necessarily in the majority) have clouded your overall judgement.

    Closed herd status is apparently not that important in my locality. Cow herds get to mix and shoulders get shrugged. I only live adjacent to such. The badger cull has recently been extended into the same area (although DEFRA’s maps are black-holes as the maps are blanked out).


    I almost feel sorry for your MP.

    And I may yet regret my (what I feel to be truthful) comment.

  7. Having read the previous comments on how shit the tories are you have to wonder just how bad are the Labour Party that they can’t get in, they must surely need to ditch the unions, young people want to work and better themselves, the unions want to strike and gain power, what is it going to take to gain a party that can be trusted and put up a decent fight

    1. Unions and collective bargaining are more popular with young people now than they have been since pre-WW2 levels. It is angry aged boomers that hate them, which is odd since Boomers owe most of their wealth they accrued through their lives to the work of those same unions and collective bargaining techniques. Just because the print media don’t approve of unions, don’t mistake that for genuine distaste for them among the young and new voters. Labour is losing ground in that demographic because it keeps sloping rightwards to appease the Vernon Dudleys of the Mail reading classes.

    2. “the unions want to strike and gain power”

      Did you crib that from a 1970s Daily Mosley front page?

      Presumably you’re in favour of children working down pits and in factories, and don’t agree with or need…

      sick pay…

      a safe working environment…

      equal pay for women…

      weekends off…

      paid holidays…

      representation in employer disputes…

      assistance for those who lose their partners as a result of an accident at work…

      an end to discrimination in the workplace…

  8. With reference to the above 2 comment’s not a clue what a boomer is or a 1970s daily mosley is, I didn’t ask what have the Romans ever done for us I was merely pointing out the bleeding obvious that the Labour Party at the moment is a dead parrot, you can call the tories all you want but they will still gain power again if they called an election tomorrow, the only way a Labour party could win is if they broke alliance with the unions, they are dragging them down. Less than 25% of the British workforce are Union members and most of them are forced into paying their subs, the Labour Party has failed to evolve the last time it won a general election was because of its right wing policies, if they want to change the country they have to change

  9. yep and so are you jack, I just want to see a party that can challenge this government and make a change, at this time unless the labour party removes the shackles of the far left it is letting the country down by not being that party

    1. The very fact that you equate trade unions with “the far left”, betrays your tory heart.

      And no, I’m far from alright. Like millions of others, my life has been blighted by the tory party. Everything I studied and trained for was wiped out by tory cuts at my local authority, and I’ve existed for the last decade on a part-time monthly wage that’s less than the minimum universal credit rate. Some days, I can barely walk, but I prefer to work rather than go through the maze of trying to register disabled.
      In addition to this, I’m further crippled by the bedroom tax; stuck in a property I can’t afford, because my “social” landlord has sold off large swathes of more suitable housing.
      In winter, I sit in a sleeping bag, while condensation runs down the inside of the windows, and mould climbs up the walls, because I can’t afford to run any heating due to the parasitic energy companies, which where stolen by the tories.
      So, at just 58 years old, I’ve no hope for whatever future I have left; just almost constant physical pain, and increasing stress and anxiety, while billions can be found to grease the palms of tory backers.

      How’s that for fucking alright?

      This country is in the hands of liars, thieves and murderers, and all you can do is parrot the same old right-wing tropes, and blame “the unions”. Pathetic!

  10. so “I’m alright” and I’m a tory at heart, amazing assumptions, have you bother’d to read what I wrote properly, I’m a working class lad from a working class town wondering why a party that supposedly should represent me haven’t got in power since Tony Blair and coming up with the obvious answer, as the main opposition party they are failing miserably and have been for years something needs to change

    1. And yet you choose to blame those who seek to improve the lot of “working class” folk, instead of the Sun reading morons who betrayed their communities by voting for the criminals who feed off us each and every day.

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