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Fair assessment - oddly Purnell was looking quite promising with last week's welfare reforms, but this was a stupid idea, and more stupid for the facy that they thought they could get away with close to Christmas.

Grayling isn't particularly portfolio-specific - he seems to attack on just about anything - and I can see how his coleagues might resent him stepping on toes from time to time. Maybe if they were as robust as he is, he wouldn't have that opportunity. He's not been remarkably agressive - just about right, I'd say - it's just that some of the Shadow Cabinet seem so passive and relaxed. I suspect this is because he doesn't have any other jobs, whereas the more laissez-faire members are otherwise engaged.

He's probably tied with Gove for member of Shadow Cabinet who's had the best year.

20 Chris Grayling's in the Shadow Caninet and we would have double our poll lead imo. Too many people in there who are just along for the ride.

and it's not just an ability to oppose, oppose, oppose either.

with a lot of help from the c.s.j. chris grayling has also led reform of welfare.

An extremely serious matter though this is, I have to say I thought the treatment of it on WATO, BBC r4 at 1300, was hilarious.

First of all, Purnell himself wouldn't come out to play, and had sent a junior minister instead. She said the problem was all down to poor drafting. The interviewer said it was pretty clearly written, and what's more the secretary of state's signature was on it. She said, well, whatever, the government wouldn't do it. He asked whether the consultation would be cancelled. She said no. It was quite clear that the government had yet again been caught with its proverbial pants down.

Purnell is, in my opinion, a man without principles, without a political belief structure at all, beyond the ascendancy of one J. Purnell. At least with Labour people from the past, like Benn, you knew that they had some integrity, some philosophical consistency. Purnell has none of this.

But there is more to this story than has been made of it so far. Clearly the government were planning to charge interest on social loans. The usual justification for a high interest rate is to match a high default rate, but in this case, the repayments are taken out of benefits at source, so default can't be an issue. I heard it said that the high rate was to cover the cost of other services, such as provision of advice, that are currently available for free. So is this the first inkling that the government is acknowledging that in the parlous financial state that they have driven the nations finances to, the Welfare State as we currently know it is no longer affordable?

With more like him you'd be streets ahead.It is good to see someone above the parapet doing more than soundbites.Visible,effective and responsive.Unlike some un-named others he has always responds positively to communications which others might ignore.He also conveys sincerity.

Grayling, Shapps, Pickles, Hammond, Osborne and Gove are the workhorses of the shad cab.

Fox, Spelman, Hague and Duncan are the workshyhorses.

Good work

But when are the Government going to be brought to account for charging an interest rate equivalent to RPI on student loans, well above the bank rate?

He should be Shadow Chancellor !!!

Chris is a legend who should be Party Chairman.

This would free him from his Work & Pensions brief to be in Labour's faces on every turn about every issue.

That Grayling creats jealousy from other shadow cabinet colleagues is a classic problem of the Conservative party. Labour leaders stick together with the party lines, the Tories either say nothing or just wait for the appropriate shadow minister to stir themselves. Hence Labour get all the good publicity. It's been like that since Maggie left and is a major reason for losing three elections.

Another Shadow Cabinet member who deserves to be put in the same bracket as Grayling is Owen Patterson. Completely committed to his position and works, works, works. He really puts Shaun Woodward to shame.

Chris Grayling has an ability to Keep the message simple. By boiling a line of attack down to two or three bullet points (in this case, 1) People need short term help to tide them over 2) Gordon Brown is acting like a loan-shark) he gets the message across in a punchy, effective way.

I think a lot of it is due to his previous job working in TV and the media, which may also explain why Gove performs so well. They should give the shadow cabinet (especially long winded egg-heads like Oliver Leftwing and Dominic Grieve) lessons in getting STRAIGHT TO THE POINT.

Perhaps we could hire David Yelland, Kelvin McKenzie or someone of that ilk to help with this (where's Andy Coulson?)

I agree about Owen, Ulster Tory.

I concur with Cleethorpes Rock. It was notable on his last Question Time appearance that CG gave straight and concise answers to the questions rather than skirt round them and waffle as many panellists would. We need more people like this in high profile roles.

You do have to admit that Labour delivered him an absolute golden egg.

Labour/Torys close in the polls? With Labour hitting the poorest in the pocket again and again noone who thinks about how they vote could ever go for labour...

Chris Grayling is consistently excellent, both on policy formulation and performance. He is indeed an example to a number of his shadow cabinet colleagues who are either nigh on invisible or seem to have forgotten that they are Conservatives.

As far as I can see he is no Cameroon as such, just a good, solid, Conservative with well honed skills and instincts, however, whatever he may be, the Cameroons, and the Party, could most assuredly do with more like him.

"Grayling attracts criticism from some of his colleagues. There is some resentment and jealousy that the Cameroons rely on him to such an increasing extent-----"


Disraeli said "the duty of an Opposition is to oppose". He was right and he knew how it had to be done. He would never have held back if presented with a comparable gift.
It is time to kick 'em in the rollocks.

Get in there Chris and do your stuff.

Good Work and Well said. One thing though.... It can only be a huge row in parliament if it meets!

Well done Chris Grayling and William Hague for showing an argument against this Scroogist proposal, however I note they are arguing against interest being applied and are not arguing against the principle of the proposal.

I'd like them to consider WHY state assistance is being proposed to be doled out by anyone other than the state.

What about discriminatory practices and the issue of corruption, and control.

What about data protection and privacy laws.

What about the cost of yet more "investment", simply to provide the mechanics in terms of systems, computers, security, staffing, etc etc etc.

What about the problem of take up.

What about the staff levels of people already handling these matters, are they to be sacked ?

What about every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing Mrs Smith at number 23 has an emergency loan ?

These clowns are on another planet, and Chris Grayling should stick a stake through the heart of Purnell's purile proposals and Scrooge mentality which shows a complete lack of any thought or competence on Labour's part.

It defies all logic and is as far away from what you could call competent government decision making as you could get.

Westminster Wolf is being a tad unfair to Liam Fox I think. He has the air of a man who is passionately committed to his brief but who has been muzzled by the Shadow Treasury team for fear of making excessive budgetary commitments.

Grayling is consistently excellent - keep up the good work.

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