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It would seem that a lot of the stirring is coming from sources outside of the party.

There is no reason to be bounced into a reshuffle by the machinations of Mandy and his cronies.

Hold nerve - the right time will come

It is worrying that our press operation has not closed this down

Peter Riddell says we all need to calm down:-


He says it's the economy.
Reshuffle chit chat is irrelevant to voters.

It's all getting silly, but the biggest issue is that NO reshuffle can solve Cameron's fundamental problem: that there aren't sufficien cards in the pack.

It has been pointed out here time and time again that the current parliamentary party simply doesn't contain sufficient Cabinet-worthy MPs.

Let Cameron focus on that: he needs to A) parachute appropriate people into safe seats and B) have some senior people ready in the Lords.

His team is too weak. I don't think there is much to re-shuffle.

I should like to see men of experience, like Mr Clarke, given important positions in the shadow cabinet. As characters who know the art of government, their contribution can be vital. Particularly as the next Conservative government is going to need the real-life skills of those who have been tried and tested to face the choppy economic situation ahead.

What our people are looking for at the moment are safe pairs of hands, voters many not fancy handing government over to persons untested.

I wish Cameron would just bring Ken Clarke in and have done with it.

If challenged on VAT, Ken Clarke just has to say he meant it to be a permanent cut, not for it to be raised to 20% in a year's time!

I'd go for the Iain Martin recipe; Davis + Clarke + Redwood. Bringing them all back would scream GIW; Government In Waiting.

Irrelevant in the short term, I agree, however in the long term there's every chance that this reshuffle will put in place future ministers and so I'd like DC to think as long and carefully as needed...

Re William Hague isnt the point rather that he could command the spotlight if he wanted to but, for whatever reason, hes more interested in other things. As far as I am concerned that is lamentable but thats the way it is and Hague only gives 1/2 time to the cause.

As for the reshuffle as a hwole, I agree with others- it must happen and KC must be brought in- this speculation has been going on long enough.

Hhmm...perhaps more speculation about speculation but nevertheless there is plenty of experience at hand to bring in if desired.

Goldie said: "It has been pointed out here time and time again that the current parliamentary party simply doesn't contain sufficient Cabinet-worthy MPs."

'Cometh the hour, cometh the man' as the old saying has it. Cameron will simply have to pick the best he has and they will have to DO the job to the best of their ability.

It will test them. Some will measure up and others will not. Since none of the Labour shower are up to the job, Cameron's tories can only be an improvement.

I'm suprised you lot have let this go on so long; I'd have though your press opperation would have been working 24/7 to stop this sort of speculation getting out of hand. That said I think you should bring back Clarke. I'll admit some bias in this; I'm a Nottingham man and know from personal experience what a good person he is, and I'm also a Europhile.

But the advantages for your lot are clear; it enables you too fight off our attacks about inexperience and adds a lot more interllectual vigour and weight to your team. Osbourne is, frankly, lightweight and Clarke would help give gravitas. The only real problem is weither or not he'd toe the party line but hopefully the threat of the whip and the chance of being in government once more would keep him on board.

Davis + Clarke + Redwood is absolutely the right way to go, as has already been said. Though I'd add Douglas Carswell too in a supporting role.

Forget this nonsense about "parachuting" people into seats. We have plenty of excellent MPs in the shadow cabinet and out of it.

Clarke will by his opinions (he supports Lisbon, the origonal treaty, not that there is any difference and joining the Euro) and his disloyalty (he has voted 33 times against the Tory whip, primarily on these issues) will end up Campaigning WITH Labour during the Euro and General Elections. Therefore what ever the merits of bringing him into the Shadow Cabinet, the is, in the words of Captain Blackadder "only one thing wrong with this plan; it's B@ll@cks"

I agree with the person who has asked why our press operation has not "closed this down"! The longer the speculation goes on, the more damaging it is. Something has got to happen and soon.

This speculation keeps bloggers and anoraks in the Westminster village busy. Most people couldn't care a fig. They are too busy trying to hold down their jobs and pay their bills. Get a grip.

Anon: I concede thst reshuffle speculation is a bit of a Westminster Village thing but ConHome attempts to address a wide range of issues. Just yesterday you had the choice of discussing whether to cut the number of MPs... whether to reform the select committee system... alleged bias at The Telegraph... the role of Pakistan's al-Qaeda-Taliban network in destabilising Afghanistan... the qualities of Simon Wolfson as a potential peer... what 'proportionate' means in the context of terror... should geography lessons be restored in schools... and how we can get social mobility going again. And all for FREE!

Correct Anon @ 07:56

"The danger for the Tory leadership is that this reshuffle speculation is now running all over the place and that if very little happens, and less recognisable members of the shadow cabinet who are not even household names in their own household are merely swapped for others in a half hearted fashion, the cry will go up of "damp squib"."

of course to much of a reshuffle may look like moving deckchairs while the titanic sinks (uk plc not conservative party)

I don't want Clark back - and I thought Cameron had put that to bed when he said 'he is already back' (meaning he is already on the 'team' so nothing more need be done).

The occasional discussion of 'should he come back' is far preferable to the endless rubbish that will be discussed if he is brought back.

As Tim says - the range of discussion here is vast and varied -- contrast to 'labourlist' - canned 'pro government' and 'anti tory' messages with little actual content, while the users clamour for real information, accountability and answers (which they will not get, because truth, openenss and transparency can only damage labour).

There is only so much bandwidth - don't get into a situation where the important stuff (issues) gets pushed out by the irrelevant noisy stuff (personalities and westminster chatter).

Well, the Sun has got a nice little puff piece from CCHQ today [makes a change from the Guardian] detailing the non revelation that William Hague is Cameron's Deputy. The Sun loves Billy Fizz of course, for reasons that are not entirely understandable. The only time that they did not love him was during the 2001 election, when despite doing contortions to get Rupert on side ["three days to save the pound"], David Yelland poured a big bucket of s*it over our collective heads anyway.

Anyway, back to the main point. Alan Duncan was on Radio 4 last night, and performed * a little better*. Maybe all the spin over the last couple of weeks has motivated him to pull his finger out? But the fact is that Ken Clarke is a Premier League class politician, that Brown has just drafted back similar in Mandelson, Campbell and Milburn, and that we need to match it.

I agree with London Tory.
Alan Duncan has been completely invisible, and appears to be simply too "comfortable" as a London socialite - no passion or energy to take the fight to Labour on their disastrous economic policies. The occasional appearance on Radio 4 does not wash. We want guts and tenacity.

"Ken Clarke is a Premier League class politician".

Absolutely. And, despite his flaws, he has been right on the two key critical issues of the last 13 years. His economic management was very solid and above ALL else he got the Iraq vote right and was not suckered into supporting the war like so many Tories who got it completly wrong. Those two things outweigh everything else.

Isn't this called "dithering". I thought that was supposed to be Gordon Brown's weakness.

If the Conservative want to be seen as a decisive party shouldn't they get on with the reshuffle?

..........and no thanks to Ken Clarke - it would open up too mant divisions!

Steve Tierney. Carswell and Redwood are right-wingers who would soon lose the party support with the middle ground you have got to win to get back into power. A right-wing team will see Gordon Brown back in Downing Street for another full term after the election as sure as night follows day.


A slightly more right-wing team would improve our position because we would be more balanced.

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