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Jerry Hayes

Mail reports Clarke to be replaced by Immelda Marcos with Tebbit overseeing Texas style executions in Frinton; nation sleeps safely.

February 20th, 2011 by Jerry Hayes

Who on earth is briefing the press that there will be a cabinet reshuffle in the summer? Certainly nothing is emanating from Downing Street, where Cameron has always maintained that this doesn’t have to be an annual ritual. And for very good reason.

The first few months of a new government are faced with many dilemmas on policy implementation and delivery. Where this government has been weak is not having the machinery to monitor the effect of what seems a perfectly sound idea in principle turns out to be madcap bollocks in the cold light of day. That has now changed. But there is another good reason. It’s far better to have Cabinet Ministers in place at the implementation of major reforms, who are experts in their subjects.

So the real reason for all this piss and wind is the constant braying of the right for Cameron to rid himself of the apotheosis of all that is evil and untrustworthy. The man who puts our families at risk by filling the streets with drug crazed rapists and murderers. Who spies for Cathy Ashton’s Secret Intelligence Service. That cheese eating surrender monkey and the reincarnation of the traitor Heath: Ken Clarke.

But the barmiest of all these manufactured reports which hope to become self fulfilling prophecies by the ill informed or seriously deluded, is that Ken is going to be replaced or share his job with Michael Howard. Of course, Howard and Cameron are close. He served as a special advisor to him when he was Home Secretary, as did Rachel Whetstone, wife of the right’s other obsessive hate, Steve Hilton. But Cameron is not a fool. Throwing Clarke to the wolves or humiliating him in such a way that would lead to a resignation just won’t happen because it would put the Coalition at risk and would resonate very badly with the voters.

But what must have sent a chill down the spine of all Clarke baiters was his bravura performance this morning on Marr, when he announced that all his pronouncements on policy were personally sanctioned by Cameron and were government policy. So, at a stroke, the myth has been exploded that Clarke is some rogue European elephant stampeding around Whitehall trying to undermine Cameron with an alternative agenda.

The subtext of what he was saying is that the Coalition government would not leave the European Convention of Human Rights, but that it had to be radically reformed. Not the Convention itself, but the makeup of the judges and the way they operate. We send our best jurists to serve, whilst other countries are less picky. Some have never even been judges before. This seems to be a more sensible way forward than going it alone with our own Bill of Human Rights. I make one prediction. The commission will deliberate for ages and come to no conclusion whilst we do deals with the French Dutch and Germans to make the EHCR a more professional body, who unless there are gross and obvious breaches of the Convention, will not dictate to sovereign and democratically elected Parliaments.

What was particularly interesting is the way Clarke totally demolished Jack Straw.The prisoners judgement was over five years ago, whilst Straw sat on his hands; not a word of condemnation quivering from his lips. And as for giving those on the sex offenders register the right of appeal?  This happened a year ago and works perfectly well in Scotland. The sex offender would have to show that he is no longer a danger to society. Something that is very hard to prove.

If Cameron has any sense there will be no Cabinet reshuffle this summer. Give lead ministers (ministers of state and parly secs don’t matter too much) two years to prove themselves worthy of the job. Perhaps another job for Warsi after the May elections and replacing her with that wise old bruiser Michael Fallon. But leave it there.  So, no doubt the Mail will be reporting that Immelda Marcos will be the new Justice Secretary with Norman Tebbit overseeing Texas style lethal injections in Frinton. But that’s not going to happen just yet.

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Comments [ 2 ]

  1. Clarke is a hugely effective politician. The party were stupid not to have made him leader in 1997.

    We’re very lucky that he’s stuck it out in the business as long he has (and, let’s be honest, that he’s remained fit and well and able to carry on).

    It’s to his credit that he consistently rises above the petty sniping and backbiting, rather than getting drawn into the kind of Bercowesque tit-for-tat twattery that ultimately results in all wings of the party losing out.

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