Friday, June 29, 2007

The Importance of Being Earnest?

Is it just me or does David Milliband our new Foreign Secretary strike you as being way to earnest? "The opportunities and challenges of the modern world require, in my view, a diplomacy that is patient as well as purposeful, which listens as well as leads,” Is what he said yesterday on being given the job. Having had the appalling Margaret Beckett, who did nothing for our reputation abroad, we now get a man who seems to lack the credentials, the stature and the gravitas to put Britain's position in the world on the required footing. David 'Pencil case man' Milliband is far from substantial; he's got the gravitas of our three year old Springer. Although on reflection as the old saying goes, Labradors are born half trained and a Springer dies half trained. Milliband is a Labrador!

Maybe it's because our new PM sees foreign affairs as an extension of his responsibilities, Then again perhaps this was the reward for not running against GB in a party leadership contest? Take a look around the other appointments, and haven't there been a lot? Does it really make sense to change so many? It's a great reflection on the way business is done today in that continuity seems to have a little currency. You'd think that Gordon Brown had won an election and been given a mandate rather than getting the job on a shoe in.

And why Hazel Blears and Ruth Kelly? The latter has had more jobs than it seems possible in government over the last few years. Bizarrely she now has Transport, again what are the particular talents she brings to the job? From 2004 she had Education and made a fist of it. Since 2006 she's been Communities and Minister for Women and Equality. (Why don't men have a minister?). It's a bit like 'any job will do', just as long as she's in the cabinet. Hazel Blears just appears silly and wanting.

Still it's not all bad at least the dreadfully patronising Patricia Hewitt has gone, there's no more Prezza, and Tessa Jowell's been downgraded. But there's one last moan. Sir Digby Jones is to join the Labour Party and be given a peerage in order for him to be Minister for Trade Promotion. Another position that must be dubious and must cost us millions when you add in all his office and staff costs. Funnily enough he's another lawyer.

Government of all the talents my big toe, it's Gordon Brown trying to appear to be all embracing while he will continue to be what he's always been - a controller and a man who is exclusive rather than inclusive. This is not going to be a lot of fun.


Huttonian said...

Having served under at least 6 Foreign Secretaries (three as Ambassador all Tory-Rifkind, Howe, Hurd) I find DM a bit off putting. Beware Yon Minister He has a lean and hungry look-Watch Out Gordon next Ides of March

Richard Havers said...

My thoughts exactly!