Cameron swerves to the right in Cabinet reshuffle
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Bilbo Baggins | 5 December 2016

In a country where white, upper-classmen in tailcoats are few and far between, this seems unlikely to me. But, other than successfully alienating the majority of the population from representationin the Cabinet, Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle has caused much more concern.

 

The first major challenge to the PrimeMinister's sanity is the promotion of the former Culture Secretary Jeremy Huntto the position of Health Secretary. It has been less than a year since cries were heard in the Commons for Hunt's resignation -- this after the controversy surrounding his apparent links with the Murdoch empire and News Corp. Hunt's reputation seemed permanently tarnished by his alleged murky dealings with James Murdoch, to whom he texted 'Congrats' upon the success of News Corporation in the BskyB bid just hours before the MP formally took over the role as a supposed unbiased judge, deciding who the final bid should be awarded to. After the scandal of the 'impartial' Mr Hunt being revealed to have apparently favoured the Murdochs after all (just oneof many failings by the MP), it seemed inevitable that Hunt would have to leave office.

 

And yet, the man has now been promoted and is now in charge of a public sector worth £106 billion. Where is the logic, Mr Cameron?  If the marginally corrupt MP failed as Culture Secretary, how is he supposed to manage the National Health Service, which is already in an awful state? I certainly do not know -- and I doubt Mr Hunt does either.

 

Another major issue with Hunt being Health Secretary would be that he does not actually believe in medicine. That's right, the new Health Secretary thinks that medicine doesn't work; Jeremy Hunt is infact, a homeopath. Now you are probably saying to yourself, well that is al lwell and good -- he is entitled to believe what he wishes to believe. But hold on, we aren't talking about a man using the occasional herbal remedy to soothe a cold now and again (after all, that is not what homeopathy is -- i.e. you can use herbal remedies and not be a homeopath), we are talking about the Minister of Health believing in and actively supporting homeopathy which -- and this is crucial -- has been out-lawed (yes, out-lawed) by the World Health Organization. Again, Mr Cameron, your logic is where?

 

The second key problem with Cameron's Cabinet Reshuffle is his replacement of the Chief Whip. Essentially, the Chief Whip is the MP who keeps the Party in order -- making sure no one breaks the Ministerial Code or does anything silly. The new Chief Whip is Andrew Mitchell. At the time of the reshuffle, he was far from front-page news, being relatively unheard of, and few tears were shed for the outgoing Patrick McLoughlin. However, scandal has tarnished the Tory name once more: it was reported in The Sun not long ago that Mitchell erupted in a torrent of abuse against police officers guarding the gates of Downing Street when he tried to leave on his bicycle after a late night at Number Ten (where the port may or may not havebeen flowing). He apparently called the officers 'morons' and his rant followed along the lines of him being too important to be stopped by police -- drunk on power in more ways than one. This has, of course, led to calls for his resignation. After all, calling police officers 'plebs' hardly does much for the Tory campaign of being a party for the average-Joe.

Being awarded role as Chief Whip (the onewho should be preventing such action and setting an example for other MPs) just goes to show Cameron's lack of ability at judging character. If the man can't tell when the role is right for someone or not, should he really be running the show?

 

The final issue with Cameron and his farcical reshuffle goes back to my original point: do we need a government full of posh, white men? Considering our track record with these posh, white, male MPs, I doubt we do.

 

Three out of the five women in the Cabinet have lost their jobs; only one of the nineteen men in the Cabinet have lost theirs. This clear inequality is outrageous: one wouldn't even be able to argue that these women lost their jobs because they weren't any good at them. Actually, considering the fiascos brought about by their male equivalents, these women have done well to stay out of the headlines.

 

Maybe Cameron has some old favours due for repayment -- you never know, he may have lost a crucial Eton Fives match back in the day and now it's pay-back time. Perhaps, when paralytic on champagne, he made a far from well-reasoned promise to the Oxford boys that he would get them in eventually. Or, it could be that David Cameron shares Andrew Mitchell's allergy to the 'plebs' (a disease Mr Hunt would no doubt have a good homeopathic remedy for), a parasite which might actually suggest workable government policy that-- horror of horrors -- might even benefit someone in the working class majority for a change.

 

James Routledge 2016