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David Cameron is right. This is a very important cabinet position and the next person to get the job ought to be someone who can come up with some original thinking. Yvette Cooper would certainly have the energy and enthusiasm for the job, it would be a mistake to bring back Clarke and especially Blunkett. What is needed is a person who is not afraid to rock the boat. The department needs a thinker and a fighter to bring about change.

I wonder if Brown's imminent reshuffle will include some reconfiguring of Departments.

If so, perhaps Mr Cameron will have a window of opportunity to subtly re-model the line-up in the Shadow Cabinet.

The replacement is James Purnell, apparently.

The problem Brown faces is that his 'team' doesn't offer any big guns to put forward into this role and go about rescuing his reputation... not that I'm complaining.

Yvette Cooper is the only Labour minister who looks genuinely angry and motivated enough to bring about change. All the rest seem to be sated career-politicians cruising along in the comfort zone. If David Blunkett were to return, in any capacity, the Conservative party should sound off loudly about standards in politics.

Yvette Cooper or Dawn Primarolo are probably among the most likely people to replace Peter Hain for the simple reason that he is unlikely to want to have another reshuffle of cabinet ministers after what was a very big set of changes in June. They also are among non-cabinet ministers who have regularily attended cabinet meetings and been quite prominent albeit only at Minister of State level. Althought it's always possible that Stephen Byers could make a comeback as Work & Pensions Secretary.

Tony Makara must be joking about Yvette Cooper being appropriate for DWP. Leaving aside the question marks about MPs and their use of housing allowances, it's Cooper that blundered on regardless with HIPs whilst virtually everyone else was telling her that they'd be bad for the housing market.
She's just another Nulab policitican that won't listen.

Yvette Cooper is also, of course, Ed Balls' wife. So her appointment would only tighten the cabal around Brown.

Steve Garner, Yvette Cooper is the only conviction politician in the Labour government. You are right that she won't listen, but thats because she is driven by her own beliefs. Of course I'm not saying that I support Yvette Cooper's brand of politics, certainly not! However I don't think anyone can deny that she is the only Labour politician left who 'cares', the rest just don't give a damn anymore.

Caroline Flint must be another possible contender for the role - she's already something of a rising star and is a Minister of State in the DWP and was Minister of State for Public Health.

Or Gordon Brown could even try again for the big tent solution and offer it to one of the Liberal Democrats.

The next step is for him to resign as an MP and face the music, but he will not...

Maybe Yvette Cooper will be the new DCMS Secretary, it having apparently been announced that James Purnell is the new DWP Secretary, or Tessa might just be de-demoted and restored to her old role which would mean no other changes.

With Purnell put in as DWP Minister, it looks like Brown has added to his Kindergaten Cabinet, and added to kiddies he can boss around.

Brown should have taken the opportunity to bring some competence into his Cabinet. He's missed that opportunity. James fake photo Purnell is not a heavyweight.

Yvette Cooper is apparently the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andy Burnham is the new Culture Secretary and Caroline Flint is the new Housing Minister.

So Tony Makara gets part of his wish in that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury still has a prominent role in Welfare Reform.

As an afterthought - it will be the first time that a husband and wife have been full cabinet ministers at the same time!

"Brown should have taken the opportunity to bring some competence into his Cabinet. He's missed that opportunity."

The question is did Brown see it as an opportunity to add weight and competence to his cabinet, or to add another lightweight he can boss around?

In this it would seem the latter, and as Obrone detailed in his analysis of Brown, he is doing exactly what he did as Chancellor, i.e. surround himself with juniors, people beholding to him and people who won't challenge him.

So Conservatives should be pleased with he appointment, for Brown is following all the character flaws people have identified in him and gone against the calls from Labour backbenches to add some weight and people prepared to challenge Browns in Cabinet, and as a result the Conservatives should look forward to more blunders, like we’ve seen from Jacqui Smith who has got into the mess she is in, (Police pay, 42 day detention ) because she was weak and unable to challenge Brown’s agenda.

Yet Another Anon, its not so much a wish on my part as a desire to see jobs go to people who have the desire to do them. So many in the Labour government just seem to be enjoying the trappings of power rather than wanting to work to improve the state of the country. Yvette Cooper is a person who will give 100% because its in her character to do so, whether she is up to the job is another matter. Only time will tell, but at least she has not lost her hunger for politics, unlike her sated colleagues in government.

Yet Another Anon, its not so much a wish on my part as a desire to see jobs go to people who have the desire to do them.
And the one you named was Yvette Cooper who is in a role that does include involvement in Welfare Reform, I have no idea whether she desired to have that job or not in particular - actually there is a merit in having someone who does have a desire to have the job, because if they don't they are far less likely to have much enthusiasm for it. I have no idea about how her enthusiasm for getting on with running the country compares to others in the government as I know little about her except that she is married to Ed Balls.

Yet Another Anon, I'd say judging from Yvette Cooper's oft visible irascibility in interviews its more than obvious that she believes in what she is doing. Her voting record reeks of toadyism but on a personal level I think she is committed to the Labour cause. She is certainly a person who could embrace Old Labourism if the opportunity arose. She has a background in economics but as I'm sure you will know in economics there are many so-called 'thinkers' who just follow the fashion of the day. Let's see how she goes in her new role and see if her energy can be translated into a real effort to bring change.

I noticed the BBC interviewer of (Welsh) David Davies asked if George Osborne should, therefore, also resign. Perhaps this is an oportunity to put this straight after the initial poor explanation. "Osborne's money was declared but the commission said it wasn't necessary". Talking of "missunderstanding" is so lame.

Yvette Cooper is as wedded to power as the rest of Nu Lab. She is one half of the expensive couple. You would think that by sharing expenses with her husband eg second homes, we would see some economies. Not so. Her ability to live with hypocrisy is demonstrated by her husband who bashes Cameron for his private school [he also went to one], demands their abolition at the Fabian Society and then hours later, turns up a private school in his constituancy area sucking up to parents, all sweetness and light.
I used to wonder what he would do when his own kids were of school age [I am familiar with the schools in his area]. Of course, they do not go there! They go to school in London. They even moved their London home [AT GREAT EXPENSE TO THE TAXPAYER -increasing substantially the size of the motgage that we pay out for] to get them into a better school.
She was on the Daily Politics yesterday explaining how armies of civil servants prepare Brown for PMQs. It took Mr Neil to point out that that is against the rules of the civil servce at which point she fell back on the usual lazy arrogant ministerial reply - 'Oh I am not sure what really happens!'
He is the worst kind of Labour politican. She is quite comfortable with the hypocrisy that is New Labour.
No love of a man or a belief is that blind.

Her voting record reeks of toadyism but on a personal level I think she is committed to the Labour cause. She is certainly a person who could embrace Old Labourism if the opportunity arose.
Whatever you think of Gordon Brown he very much has a clear agenda he believes in, on many issues Tony Blair presented himself as being someone who sought to follow a consensus position, but actually on many issues he showed he had a clear agenda - Peter Hain on the other hand was someone who very much lost any sense of purpose at some point in the last 30 years and was very much using his past image as some kind of radical to further his career.

Many who joined the SDP in the 1980s had a very clear agenda, although the tribune, fabian and Marxist elements in Labour have tended to claim the intellectual high ground, or claimed that somehow the more Social Democrat elements, or Hard Centre elements that Dennis Healey talked of were somehow compromising their opinions this was simply because those elements simply assumed that anyone who disagreed with them was either some kind of evil stooge or someone hellbent on achieving power by abandoning their opinions.

People such as David Owen, Roy Jenkins, Dennis Healey, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Stephen Byers as much have or had a clear agenda they sought to achieve as Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Peter Shore or Anaeurin Bevin - they were just different agendas, that was all!

Yet Another Anon, very interesting points that you make. Ideologues do like to present themselves as pristine followers of the true path and anyone that thinks independently is presented as a deviationist. So much of politics is built on reaction, the SDP was clearly a reaction to the entryism that Labour suffered in the late seventies and early eighties. I used to read the Tribune journal whenever I saw it being peddled on the street corner and often it was only a few degrees away from the sort of material the Socialist Workers Party were producing at the same time. The great mistake of the SDP project was to allow itself to be aligned with the Liberal party. It was a move built out of necessity maybe, but a bad move nontheless.

The great tragedy of today's parliament is that it is riddled with career-politicians who are self-serving, party-serving and nation-serving in that order. The conviction politician is now most definitely in the minority. The great political thinkers are no longer coming forward, men and women with vision. Now politics has become more about managing a bad situation than changing it for the good. Welfare reform is the perfect example of this. Today's politicians only seem to want to manage the effects of unemployment rather than the causes. No politician has the vision necessary to actually eradicate unemployment. All we get is the New Deal and Workfare, pointless tinkering with the tail-end of the problem, without vision there can be no change.

Returning to the subject of Peter Hain, he very much reminds me of Clare Short. So-called conviction politicians whose convictions were sacrificed at the alter of careerism. A new dawn has died, has it not?

"Whatever you think of Gordon Brown he very much has a clear agenda he believes in,"

What would that be, for Brown seems to have occupied both sides the argument on most areas of policy.

Why is it that whenever anyone uses the phrase "conviction politician" my instinct is to wonder 'which one?' and then ask why I haven't heard media reports of the trial?

What would that be, for Brown seems to have occupied both sides the argument on most areas of policy.
He's evidently shifted his opinions from his student days to middle age that's all.

Ronald Reagan was initially not only in the Democrat Party, but very much from the Liberal side, actually well on in life he shifted towards what was a mainstream Republican position.

Bernard Ingham was solid Labour initially and became a supporter of Margaret Thatcher.

There have been Labour and Conservative cabinet ministers who in their student days were members of the Communist Party and later changed their opinions, some of those referred to as Drys in the 1980s were ex-Communists.

Yet Another Anon, wasn't James Callaghan in the Communist party as a boy, Charles Clarke too. Of course Sir Oswald Mosley was in The Conservative and Labour parties and Sir Winston Churchill was even a Liberal for a while. The most important thing of course is that a politician serves the crown and the nation rather than serving themselves.

Here's one to watch!
After years of playing the invisible man Geoffrey Robinson has been bobbing up all over the place.
Anyone need mortgage support?

Sir Winston Churchill was even a Liberal for a while
He started out as a Liberal MP and for some years stood on a platform of fairly widespread nationalisation.

Jim Callaghan started out with similar views to Michael Foot, I don't think he was ever in the Communist Party though, nor was Michael Foot - Dennis Healey was.

Peter Hain of course was part of an attempt in the mid-1970s by Trotskyites to takeover the Liberal Party, he dined out on his reputation for this for years before becoming a Labour MP.

I can't think of anything Peter Hain has actually done, there are things he has claimed the credit for - in the case of the discussions between the DUP and Sinn Fein, Ian Paisley was so eager to become First Minister he shelved most of what the DUP had been holding out on, so it was pretty much inevitable at that point. I don't consider an Executive including Sinn Fein in as being a success, rather a sellout.

Yet Another Anon, I stand corrected on James Callaghan and the Communist party. Perhaps I was confusing him with Dennis Healey? Its not always easy to remember political titbits that I read over thirty years ago. I agree with your points about Peter Hain, he seems to be a master of self-publicity, not a bad thing in itself in politics, but to have had such a lengthy political career and to have contributed nothing of worth to the nation is a very poor show, still, some are talking about a comeback already! I found your points on Ulster very interesting. Thirty years of struggle, all those pointless deaths and in the end neither side really got what it wanted. There is a history lesson to learnt for future generations. I must say that although I was happy to see peace return to Northern Ireland the release of people who had consciously committed murder left me feeling very uncomfortable. I often wonder if the troubles of Ulster were a generational thing? Something that was only destined to end when the leaders of that generation grew old and longed for closure?

still, some are talking about a comeback already!
Nothing less than than both the Police finding nothing to charge him with and the Parliamentary Authorities finding he has done nothing wrong and was merely slightly careless could possibly give him the opportunity to return to the cabinet.

I'm not sure he is really much wanted back whatever some in the cabinet say, if he makes a return it might be as a Minister of State for Wales perhaps - he's getting on now, there are others Gordon Brown would prefer in the cabinet such as Dawn Primarolo and Caroline Flint. Even Gordon Brown said that Peter Hain had been incompetent in the management of registering donations to his leadership campaign, hardly a ringing endorsement, more distancing himself from any criticism of Peter Hain, who potentially could be expelled from the House of Commons and even jailed, unlikely but possible.

"He started out as a Liberal MP"

Churchill started out as a Conservative MP, following his father. He crossed the floor twice in his career, possibly uniquely?

Unfortunately after a decade of Labour, when I hear the phrase "Conviction Politician" I just think......

Convicted on what charges?

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