Thursday 14 July 2016

Theresa Mays new cabinet - Don't be fooled, Machiavelli would be proud

I am mightily impressed by the way Theresa May has dealt with the job of appointing her new cabinet. Wherever Machiavelli is, he is clearly purring. In the days of the USSR, each minor change in title was pored over by experts, trying to work out the real meaning. This reshuffle clearly needs a very careful and lengthy period of analysis. The headline news is that Osborne is out. I long suspected that May had little time for him. In politics three is a saying 'always kick a rival when he's down'. If Osborne were rehabilitated then he would be a formidable figure. May knew that when Brexit dust settles, he'd be on of the names people looked towards if her stock fell. By assassinating his career, he is now clearly a yesterday man.

Then we have Boris. Clearly May benefitted from his decision not to stand. Was a dodgy deal done? I suspect it was. I also suspect May has carefully filleted the job, bringing in David Davis as Brexit Minister, in such a way that Boris is now effectively shafted. Brexit is the biggest Foreign policy issue. May has made clear that Boris isn't trusted to do such a difficult job. Davis is a hard line Eurosceptic, but has a decent grip of reality. He is also unlikely to be a potential rival. I suspect that May knows Boris is accident prone around foreigners and in this role, he's simply been given enough rope to hang himself, which given his previous record, shouldn't take too long.

In fact as I look down the list, it seems that all potential rivals have been either given a bullet(Gove), parked out of harms way or been set up to fail. It wouldn't surprise me at all, if Ms May already has her next cabinet reshuffle planned, before the ink has dried on this one.

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