Cameron has now undertaken a reshuffle of his cabinet and ministerial appointments. Although he has had the temerity to undertake it this week while I am in France, I can still make a number of conclusions.
For starters, transport has been shafted. The incoming Secretary of State for Transport comes with an appalling reputation from his time as a Junior minister at transport in the 1990s. Furthermore, to have moved him from Chief Whip to Transport smacks of ‘one last big job for a loyal servant’.
Cameron has managed to show his apathy for the Department for Transport as well as clear the path for all options in the upcoming full aviation review.
The ministers coming in: Simon Burns, at health was considered a free thinker of the right. Friends and colleagues will probably understand that euphemism!
Stephen Hammond is totally different. I know Stephen quite well an have a lot of time for him. In position he got to grips with transport and was very interested and engaging. He should get the top job ASAP at the DfT – there should be no doubt about it!
So from a transport perspective I am pretty cross and frustrated. Overall, this reshuffle smacks of a dying Government that cannot find ideas let alone the means to get things done.
Duncan Smith refused to budge from the DWP – Cameron backed down from moving him. Hague and Osborne and May remain in place. Cameron is no Blair, he cannot drive change and he cannot hold the reins and use the whip effectively. Will the Tory Party latch onto this and get rid of him ASAP now they can clearly see electoral defeat in 2015 after one term of failure in office??
Overall, this is bad for Transport, bad for Cameron but it will be bad for all of us as well.