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Davis is by far the strongest of the Shadow Cabinet. To be honest, apart from the Big 3, I struggle to think of anything of note anyone of them has done. Anyone for a May, Spellman or Lidington policy intiative?

Hague has been curiously disappointing for me. The EPP decision was a total Horlicks, but I do get the sense that he was given a hospital pass by the lad Dave. He just doesn't look like a statesman: he's up against Margaret Beckett, so it's may well simply be a matter of time.

Osborne is hopeless. With all that Brown has dropped recently, he should have been home and dry with some real impact. I heard him speak at a private dinner in May: he just comes over like a shrill, naive schoolboy with no depth, originality of thought or grasp of business and economics (and yes I do at least work in the City). He is truly hopeless.

Well said, MH.

David Davis has done splendidly - but, of course, he has had almost daily opportunities to do splendidly. I have no doubt that he is capable of sorting out any remaining mess at the Home Office. William Hague has been disappointing but has huge talent, so it might be a matter of finding a more congenial post.
Surely the other two really vital posts are shadow Health Secretary and shadow chancellor.
We have to be able to demonstrate that we can manage the NHS competently; I am told that Andrew Lansley is very good, in which case I would like to hear much more from him.
George Osborne is the enigma; he is obviously very capable and, if the election is some years away, might grow into the post. At the moment, however, though he scores some telling hits on Gordon Brown,it is a bit like David and Goliath. Part of the problem (as with some other MPs) is his voice; it is not nearly authoritative enough and, if he decided to have some voice training, he would not be the first (I can recommend a very good speech trainer).

Dave's preference not to reshuffle the team is very sensible. It should help estabish the ShadCab in the public's eyes, build up the credibility of those involved and long-term experience in the role should be a boost when fighting their Lab and LibDem opposite numbers.

There are 2 concerns. Is the current team the right one, and are we making sure they are getting the right amount of exposure?

David Davis is very good . Would make an ideal and winning leader . No gimmicks with him , just solid content .

Osborne is a lightweight - and a deeply anti English one - he is still sticking to his idea of taxing England at 3p in the £ income tax more than Scotland . This is IN ADDITION to the already incredibly unfair Barnett Rules and the general British governmental bias against England . The Union is already in deep trouble - if anything is likely to finally kill it off - this will be it .

Many are coming to the reluctant conclusion that that might not be bad thing !

Osborne does not strike me as "very capable" and I was not aware of the proposals Jake notes which seem bonkers.

While I agree with David Cameron on the fact that we shouldn't continuously reshuffle the Shadow Cabinet, I just wonder whether we really have the best people in the right roles; I'm also not surprised that there's been a dip in the popularity of Messrs Hague and Osborne while David Davis' popularity has risen.

The problem I feel is that people tend to see both Hague and Osborne as ineffective.
In the case of Hague, people feel he was incapable of handling the EPP (whether or not the fault really lies with Cameron), and of course his mild critique of Israel, although I also believe people feel he could do more in his role as Shadow Foreign Secretary; however I don't think his popularity will drop any further and I do believe we will see him keep his current role come the next General Election.
In the case of Osborne, people are obviously disappointed with his refusal to advocate cutting taxes or decreasing government spending, but of course when people voted for David Cameron, they knew this would be the case, and rightly or wrongly, people can't stand Osborne's voice, which means he comes across as this weak, ineffective and obnoxious child; but again I don't believe he will be moved, although I think his rating may still drop lower.

There are also some other Shadow Cabinet members which I think David Cameron should think again about; however thankfully he hasn't said he intends to keep everyone until the next General Election in their current roles.

Seriously, what has David Davis actually done?

It will be interesting to see if anybody is willing to defend George Osborne, it's not just his voice that is rather off putting to the public it's what he actually has to say on politics and the economy.

In his time as Shadow Chancellor I’ve not really seen him give a effective performance apart from his conference speech which was over-shadowed by Ken Clarke's leadership speech if I remember correctly. In his monthly duels with Gordon Brown in Treasury questions he fails to land heavy blows. He was ineffective in the pre-budget report. He failed to make much of impact during the various media appearances around the Budget i.e. party political broadcast, which was very cringe worthy. How many times has Osborne subjected himself to tough interviews on Newsnight and the Today program etc? How many times has he subjected himself to interviews by Economics editors such as Davis and Flanders? His courting of the City has been futile.

Can one really imagine him at the Treasury looking after the country's finances? The thought simply fill's me with a great deal of dread. Gordon Brown and Ken Clarke had their faults but they were substantive intellectual figures for a post such as Chancellor. Surely the Tory Party can do better than George Osborne?

Davis OPPOSES, for a start. He tells the media what he thinks is wrong with Labour's domestic policy and quite often says how it might be improved (old fashioned approach to politics in this era of Dave, but quite refreshing, in an ironic way). His scalp-rate is as high as any opposition front-bench spokesman in years. And he looks and sounds like a conservative with conservative views who you might vote for, which is worth a bit.

Poor Osborne has had the rug pulled from beneath him. I think he might have made a fist of tax reform, given some good advisors and speech writers. But I allow that, on current form, he'd be lucky to make the bench, let alone start the next fixture.

Hague looks like a man whose heart isn't in it, frankly. But he's quite profound, nonetheless, and no longer the Harry Enfield ToryBoy. That particular baton has been passed to Gideon.

I thought George Osbourne gave a good speech at conference. I think his main problem as shadow chancellor is he's not being allowed to set his own agenda. I think we saw the real George Osbourne pre the Cameron leadership with talks of flat taxes. Now he's being hamstrung by a leadership reluctant to take labour on over the economy, so we don't see the best of him.

So what about having hague at the treasury and moving dr fox to foreign?

Dave really can't get rid of Osborne for political reasons. Osborne was central to his campaign for the leadership and the first rule of politics is to reward your supporters.

I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt. We've probably got another three years or so until the next election (unless Gordon calls an early one, which I doubt) and so he'll have time to grow into the role. Don't forget - he is pretty inexperienced.

I think we need someone better at health. The government are fucking up all over the place on the NHS and we don't really hear anything from Lansley. The policy review can't come too soon as we need to be able to provide some positive proposals on the subject. The NHS budget has now reached nearly £90bn.

"So what about having hague at the treasury and moving dr fox to foreign?!
Posted by: rallie | July 25, 2006 at 21:03

And the NHS? Nulab is in a mess over the NHS; they are now weak where once they were strong. Is Lansley the man to reform it and manage it so that it works half efficiently?
If not, why not try Liam Fox there? He came over very well in the leadership contest looking a heavyweight performer, he is a doctor and he spent some time looking at health provision in other countries.

"Dave really can't get rid of Osborne for political reasons. Osborne was central to his campaign for the leadership and the first rule of politics is to reward your supporters."

Firstly i'd say his friends in the media were central to his campaign rather than his campaign manager. Secondly by demoting a freind would it not show that Cameron is a strong leader? Thirdly Blair has surrounded himself with New Labour believers it has not done him much good. Perhaps Cameron would benefit from some robust policy discussions in Shadow Cabinet meetings, I doubt very much he would get that from his Shadow Chancellor. The ideal candidate would be Ken Clarke but it would never happen in a million years, Clarke v Brown at Treasury Questions would be Prime time tv.

"Seriously, what has David Davis actually done?"

What have any of them done?

rallie is right. Fox needs to be given a bigger role since he proved himself to be a big asset to the party during the leadership election, and foreign affairs is the perfect place since he has performed well there before. Hague doesn't seem to have much interest in foreign affairs beyond europe and in truth he has been very much limited by cameron on that subject (which may be the reason for his discomfort), so the only other logical place for him to go is the shadow chancellor brief (which i believe he would excel at).

How did Fox "prove himself a big asset to the party" during the leadership campaign?

And however much some Conservatives might agree with him, it would hardly be smart politics to put him shadowing foreign affairs. Has nobody noticed Blair's slump in popularity since the Iraq war? A war which is more unpopular among non-Labour supporters?

Osborne stays shadow chancellor for the rest of this term..... Congratulations Labour, you have just won a 4th term.

Time has run out for any reshuffle.
I don't see why, party leaders have held summer reshuffles before, presumably the Shadow Cabinet Members will still be in touch now and again.

There is no depth to the team.
Davis and Hague (agree the latter may be going through the motions somewhat) are fine - the rest, nowhere. The fundamental problem of course is that it is difficult to oppose effectively while simultaneously executing a series of dramatic U-turns yourself (leaving aside whether justified or not).

Davis has gone down in my view ever since the ID Cards compromise. Given the complete shambles the Home Office is in, he should be tearing chunks out of it. Hes not though. I say give him more time and tell him to show some teeth.

Hague I havent seen much of and instead Camerons taking over the foreign position, while Hague tries to get partners for the MER. We can see how successful that one is! Hague needs a more prominent position, something he can really get stuck into. Foreigns not his best position. He needs some meat...so feed him.

Osborne...why keep him? He clearly doesnt have gravitas, in a position where you need your biggest hitter. The economy and the finances of the country are the big argument in favour of Labour. Is he staying due to the fact hes good chums with Cameron?

As for Maude, what is Cameron on? Maude is being used as the lightning rod for Camerons troubles with the A-List. Hes well past his sell by date. Get rid of him Cameron.

Looking at some of the comments today about the shadow cabinet and George Osborne in particular makes me wonder if there were people making similar comments about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown back in the early 90's?

Doubt it. Labour were further ahead in the polls at the time.

Maude really should go but I'm not surprised he's staying. After all, he's a convenient lightning conductor for some pretty inept party management and development to date.

I suspect that if we are stalled in the opinion polls after May next year a reshuffle will not only look more attractive but imperative?

Lest Mr Cameron awake to find himself a leader in trouble for failing to seize the opportunities presented by Labour's malaise?

One way to signal that Conservative policy was not to merely tinker with the Brown folly and leave it broadly in place, but to set about tearing it down and building a better model – thereby challenging the ratchet effect of socialism that has taken root in the Treasury – would be to entrust this task to John Redwood. OK, he might frighten the children, but Geoffrey Howe and Nigel Lawson were never known for their charisma, they were just highly effective Chancellors, and what else is needed in the role? Sadly, can't see it happening.

Most people dont know who George Osborn is, let alone how he performs at Parliment. It would be better to judge him as Chancellor then at "how well he argues with Gordon Brown."

Can't agree with comments saying that Fox should be promoted to Shadow Foreign Secretary - although he has always been the pin up boy of the hard right on this board. I don't really see what he would offer to the post apart from unquestioning commitment to ne Con dogma.

I think that the comments about Caroline Spelman have been a little harsh. She has been an effective Shadow Cabinet member keeping pressure on over council tax and house building. It was Spelman that exposed Prezza for not paying council tax! She has also made the Tories, more than ever before, the party of localism.

Personally I think Davis is useless. He as not come forward with one constructive idea about how to deal with the problem we have with crime in this country since the election and it seems to me that its others around the leader who seem to be putting forward a more liberal and sensible stratedy than he would ever be capable or willing to do.Davis seems to think that you can reduce crime by the use of old fashined methods like locking people up and punishing them. There is a place for this but we need to educate and reform as well and that`s why I think Cameron as more of an idea about how to tackle the problem than Davis.
I am afraid Davis comes from the Ann Widdicombe school of politics where you know what there against but not what there for.

Jack, I'm not sure why you felt the need to dig up this thread, but you're talking drivel.

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