Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Dave had him by the re-shuffles!

It was 10 minutes past midnight before it could be officially confirmed that Diane Abbott would not be the next shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

Someone serious had seriously said last night this was a serious possibility and nobody serious seriously rubbished it until Emily Thornberry was given the job.

That it was even a possibility is worth recording so that naughty children can be told of it in years to come.

It marked the end of the longest re-shuffle in history - or at least the longest until this morning when it all started again.

The plan was to finally get Labour going the right direction - or at least in the right left direction - with a bit of judicious fiddling with the team.

Out would go Hilary Benn for speaking spectacularly on Syria and embarrassing Jeremy and his pals.
Out too, Maria Eagle,the present Defence Secretary, for backing Trident and embarrassing Jeremy and more of the same pals.

Out three, as many pains in the arses the pals could persuade Jeremy to drop.
And in, those more on message.
Net result, a more pro-Jeremy shadow cabinet and the bonus of an anti-Trident, unilateralist Labour Party before the end of the year.

Even better, Jeremy would be leading his new team today into the first Prime Ministers Questions of the New Year - what could go wrong?
When Harold Wilson said a week was a long time in politics, he had not met the latest Labour leader.

Fast forward to the House of Commons and the appearance of a smugly-faced still-shadow-Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn. 
He, said the pals, had learned his lesson but if he had, he seemed to have left it at home.

The smugly shop must have sold out as the PM was the next to turn up wearing one.
Having played the reverse-grand-old-duke-move over Europe at the weekend, promising to lead from behind, some caution might’ve been expected.

But Dave, was at his bullying best as he waited for the Labour leader to do his worse.
And then suddenly there Jeremy was ,welcomed to his seat by Tory cheers and Labour silence.

Outside the Commons, shadow Ministers were resigning live on TV. Inside the chamber modern technology meant everyone, apparently apart from Jeremy, knew what was going on.

He had fistful of questions about the floods and inadequate Government plans. He had questions from Chris and Victoria in York, about Leeds, the Lake district and Scotland.
 But Dave had him by the re-shuffles.

Jeremy huffed and puffed but the Prime Minister, briefed by Blackberry, would have none it.
He’d listen to the Labour leader on how to run the country, he said, when Jeremy could run a re-shuffle.

The silent ‘ouch’ from the Labour back benches, newly staffed by today’s recruits, could be heard throughout the land.

Diane Abbott was absent.