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What do you think of the shadow cabinet appointments?

13:44 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

Labour leader Ed Miliband has announced the new appointments in his shadow cabinet. Do you agree with his decisions?

Alan Johnson is to be the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls is to be shadow home secretary and Yvette Cooper is to be shadow foreign secretary.

Alan Johnson's new appointment comes as a surprise to some, with pundits predicting that the role of shadow chancellor would go to either Mr Balls or Ms Cooper.

Mr Miliband said the line-up was "drawn from a broad range of talents across our party".

What do you think of the appointments? Do you agree with how roles have been allocated? What does this mean for the future of the Labour party?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

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Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    I question the use of the word talent. These idiots were culpable in the disaster created by the last government.

  • Comment number 2.

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.

  • Comment number 3.

    Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor - ye gods.

    Is Red Ed really so frightened of the Balls/Cooper team that he picks a nonentity and has been who Osbourne will wipe the floor with? Does he have any background in economics? Is this the price he paid for the unions backing him?

    All the good work stopping his brother being elected ruined by picking someone even more to the right in Labour terms than him.

  • Comment number 4.

    The labour party live in the shadows...and deal in the shadows...

  • Comment number 5.

    With the exception of Ed Balls and Harriet Harman not a bad cabinet at all.

    Harman and Balls will forever be associated with New Labour and will drag Labour down in the eyes of the electorate.

    Added to which Ball’s did a spectacularly bad job as Education secretary, he presided over mistake after mistake after disaster, culminating in half the years SATs papers not getting marked.

    He never once admitted responsibility for any of these problems and I always assumed that the only reason he was allowed to stay in the job was because he was one of Gordon’s staunchest supporters.

    Now Milliband’s given him a second chance to mess up being shadow Home Secretary.

    I know its only the shadow cabinet, but even so,why?

  • Comment number 6.

    The labour shadows cabinet is about the only part of the labour party that isn't in the RED.

  • Comment number 7.

    What experience does Alan Johnson have to be chancellor? In fact, what relevant experience does any of them have to do the jobs they've been allocated? I suppose Peter Hain is a Welsh MP, which must count for something, but what about the others?

  • Comment number 8.

    Frankly, after the disaster brought about by New Labour, it is difficult to see how any decent person can still support them. Remember when Herr Brown was full of joy in the 1990s, telling everyone how well off the British were with regard to pensions (private and public)? Remember his raid on pension funds? His means-testing apparatus for the elderly?

    Shred this party and these fools who have just appeared on its centre stage. We have had enough dangerous comedians over the last 14 years, thank you very much.

    Time to pull the chain and flush them all away.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wasn't too concerned who gets where, as all of them are complete lightweights, but thank goodness neither Mr nor Mrs Balls got the Shadow Chancellor's job.

    As Brown's financial adviser, Mr Balls demonstrated his skills at spending our money, but not wisely; he has no concept of saving. Mrs Balls is probably equally inept at looking after the nation's finances.

  • Comment number 10.

    The key point is, will Labour realise why it lost last time?

    It's interesting that any time I hear a Labour politician admit that they got it massively wrong over immigration, BBC interviewers try to skate over the subject and move on to Iraq.

    Immigration, welfare dependency, high taxes and poor public services are what lost Labour the election.

    The Tories will no doubt make a howling mess of their time in office, and Labour will no doubt be returned in due course. If they think they can come back and make the same mistakes as they did before, it will be a disaster for them, and more importantly, for the country in general.

  • Comment number 11.

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.
    -----------
    Presumably your refering to the Condemned party of all the lack of talents, not so much lights more dims!



  • Comment number 12.

    It was only a matter of month's ago when they thought Darling was the ONLY person good enough for number 11...!!!

    Just goes to show that Labour have either changed their minds, or the goal of getting back to power is more tempting. It used to be the LibDems that people laughed at!

  • Comment number 13.

    Alan Johnson? Just when I thought the Labour party had got rid of this right-wing traitor. The last thing we need is this idiot. He's the guy who thinks it's okay to deport our citizens to the US like some kind of poodle state.

    That's my vote guaranteed not to go to Labour for the foreseeable future.

  • Comment number 14.

    With a bunch of mediocre political hopefuls and proven failures to choose from, what chance has poor Miliband got?

    I still hope for the day when people of intelligence, committed to serve the nation, enter politics... but I won't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    So , an ex postie as shadow chancellor, tells the whole story does'nt it?

  • Comment number 17.

    Don't these charlatans realise how much we LOATHE them?

  • Comment number 18.

    I thinks he's missed a trick with Yvette Cooper not being Chancellor.

    Whats happened to Andy Burnham?

  • Comment number 19.

    2. At 2:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes it is most likely shining on something dim. The condem administration.

  • Comment number 20.

    Does anyone else think it strange that after the Labour leadership election being fought between the Brothers Milliband, the new Shadow Cabinet contains Ed Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, Identical Twins Angela and Maria Eagle, and Hillary Benn, the son of Labour Icon and former Party chairman Tony Benn. It all seems very cosy somehow.

  • Comment number 21.

    Can someone please explain to me the point of a 'Shadow Olympics Minister'?!

  • Comment number 22.

    So much for the new generation taking control. Frankly this means they are unlikely to mount an effective challenge any time soon and how we need an alternative party!

  • Comment number 23.

    The Government must be quaking in their boots at being shadowed by this lot !
    I don't believe any of them have the merest shred of credibility having so spectacularly messed up when they were in charge.

  • Comment number 24.

    IT APPEARS A SHREWD MOVE APPOINTING ALAN JOHNSON SHADOW CHANCELLOR,IF EITHER ED BALLS OR YVETTE HAD BE GIVEN THE JOB THE PRESS WOULD BE HAVING A FIELD DAY RE WHOS PULLING THE STRINGS,ALAN JOHNSON SEEMS A VERY PERSONABLE MAN COMPLETELY OPPOSITE THE CHANCELLOR OSBORNES ARROGANCE IM SURE HE WILL APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC,THE OTHER SHADOW POSITIONS WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE BUT I FEEL LOOKING AT THE GOVERMENTS FRONT BENCH SPOKESMEN ,THE OPPOSITION WOULD NOT HAVE TO BE BRILLIANT TO DEPOSE THIS GOVERMENT IN A SHORTER TIME THAN FIVE YEARS

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    As it is mainly made up of people who I just voted against - they are going to have go some to make me change my vote.

  • Comment number 27.

    "shadow" is the operative word here. They will have no clout at all.

  • Comment number 28.

    11. At 2:19pm on 08 Oct 2010, steve wrote:

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.
    -----------
    Presumably your refering to the Condemned party of all the lack of talents, not so much lights more dims!


    Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it.

  • Comment number 29.

    Who cares? They will simply and hopefully be in opposition for another 12 years when another set of Nulab conmen will be elected.

    The socialists will be destroyed when their puppet master union bosses further decimate the economy.

  • Comment number 30.

    As Labour are in opposition does it really matter who gets a job in the shadow cabinet, you'll still have the same people doing a rubbish job. They've already proved how incapable they are of running government.

  • Comment number 31.

    It doesn't matter how Ed Miliband shuffles his pack, there is not a decent hand to be dealt from it. It's just a slightly different distribution of the same discredited individuals.

    The sad fact is that the actual Cabinet is not much better, as events at the recent party conferences have shown.

  • Comment number 32.

    It is a joke.
    Alan Johnson as Chancellor a good choice given his track record of mistakes, poor communicator, hypocrite, PLUS, best of all, he has no grounding in either micro or macro economics.
    Ed Balls as Home Sec', hopeless as Education Minister, has a nickname of 'Mr Gaffe'.
    Yvette Cooper as Foreign Sec', this is a lady who famously said on a chat show that she was never any good at geography.

  • Comment number 33.

    As long as certain of these people remain in denial and active in the Labour party, it will remain fit only for opposition.

  • Comment number 34.

    19. At 2:30pm on 08 Oct 2010, Darwins Chimp wrote:

    2. At 2:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes it is most likely shining on something dim. The condem administration.


    Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Quite frankly, it doesn't matter. Although 'Wallace' might have been better to make Grommet shadow chancellor...

  • Comment number 36.

    Same idiots different cabinet, clean break? Who is Red Ed kidding?

  • Comment number 37.

    Shock horror! New Labour Shadow Cabinet filled with Labour MPs. Who would have predicted that?

    Even worse, having cleared out the majority of senior figures from the Brown government, the new Labour Shadow Cabinet is filled with MPs who were the next rung down in terms of experience. Who would have predicted that?

    There might be the odd surprise here and there and people may not have got the jobs they were expected to get, but most people could predicted the majority of these names being in the Shadow Cabinet a week ago.

  • Comment number 38.

    Where's Ed Miliband's New Generation....???? Most of this lot were associated with the failed Brown government

  • Comment number 39.

    A dead Parrot is a Dead Parrot!

    So it hardly matters - the triumph of incompetence, moral bankruptcy and corruption!

  • Comment number 40.

    ms Cooper was used as 'window dressing' yet blocked by Gordon Brown.

    Ed Balls has never been fit for any post, in any government, shadow or otherwise.

    To move the HYS question on: Will all Shadow Labour Cabinet MPs and all Labour MPs set a standard and decide that MPs expenses/allowances should be means-tested and not automatic on both sides of the House, including the Lords and Ladies too.

    Well, Ed Miliband - do you have to courage to do that?

  • Comment number 41.

    I'll come back later and post a comment. when I've stopped laughing!!

  • Comment number 42.

    No credibility

  • Comment number 43.

    28. At 2:46pm on 08 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    11. At 2:19pm on 08 Oct 2010, steve wrote:

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.
    -----------
    Presumably your refering to the Condemned party of all the lack of talents, not so much lights more dims!
    __________

    Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it

    __________

    Um... Very zen. It's quite difficult to understand what you're trying to say, though. Does the light only benefit (illuminate) the light-bearer, then? Or does it mean that they constantly trip over because they can't see anything? Actually, that does make perfect sense. Sorry.

    Anyway - whatever. They'll blow it. They all always do. That's why there is almost no point voting any more - you're either picking the carbon-copy you like best, or the one that seems to be the least rubbish of the three choices you have.

    It really doesn't matter. The whole rotten lot will be totally ineffective and will continue to lead this country as though it were set on rails anyway, so why pretend that there is anything that even vaguely resembles a democractic choice any more? Why pretend that the choice of shadow cabinet even matters? It doesn't. Every one of them is a party-line-towing time server. Pointless.

    We don't need more glamour, more ephemera or more hard-but-fair posturing. We need more choices.

  • Comment number 44.

    I honestly thought that there could never be a worse Foreign Secretary that David Milliband. But hey! Here comes Yvette Cooper! Thankfully Labour will never be elected again in my lifetime. Many 'top' scientists disagree with you.

  • Comment number 45.

    Any shadow Cabinet will be fine as the current government are such easy targets at PMQ. I predict they will be out in less than 2.5 years.

    The first 3 questions they should put at PMQ in no particular order.

    1. You accuse Labour of spending too much money on Prisons. Now you propose to pay the prisoners for work - that's spending additional money. This Government has probably have not checked with the EU to see if this working of 40 hours by prisoners is allowed. Since there are few jobs outside prison, a fair Government would allow non-prisoners to compete for these jobs. Will that be the case? The next crazy idea will be save up and own your own cell.

    2. Taking child benefits from the so-called rich will in time cut their birthrates, allowing a tilt towards a growth in poor families. Did the research on the value of Environment for children's development over the last 50 years not teach this Government anything. Falling birthrate will mean less taxes to support the aging population. Did you think of this?

    3. Raising the amount of money needed to study at University, as well as cutting the number of places does exactly what the Government says they do not want to do - making the next generation pay highly for University which the Cameron generation got for free. In effect the children are paying for the good life their parents had. It wouldn't have anything to do with all the people in the Conservative Cabinet being middle aged would it?

  • Comment number 46.

    "Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor - ye gods. Is Red Ed really so frightened of the Balls/Cooper team that he picks a nonentity and has been who Osbourne will wipe the floor with? Does he have any background in economics?"

    I think Johnson is being rewarded for not standing against Miliband for the leadership. Your point about his lack of economics knowledge is interesting. While I don't particularly agree with Mr and Mrs Balls over economic policy, both their resumes in the field are impressive. Johnson however was a postman, then a union man, then a labour MP - it's not the best grounding for running the economy.

    I also a echo a previous comment about how nepotistic and narrow the labour party now is. It all seems to be a small group of brothers, sisters, couples and dynastic families in charge.

  • Comment number 47.

    Alan Johnson, Marxist, idealistically linked to Communism and therefore does not support capitalism. Hmm! Perfect choice for Labour as shadow chancellor, but, then I must concede that anything is an improvement on the Clown.

  • Comment number 48.

    With Alan Johnson in the mix it's sure to be a disaster. His handling of the home office was a calamity, though his ineptitude in dealing with government advisers clearly highlighted the absurd way in which drug laws were being put together. Definitely something that needed to be seen by the public.

  • Comment number 49.

    Ed Balls vs Theresa May? That's like a Rottweiler vs a German Shepherd.

  • Comment number 50.

    From what I understand of the system, Ed Milliband had no choice in the names of those he has had to place in cabinet positions, with the expection of 2 people he can co-opt as "wild cards".

    So the Labour Party has chosen the faces now adorning the Shadow Cabinet. Ed decided to keep the Welsh and NI Sec.s (though I personally think Peter Hain is smarmy, he apparently does a decent job). So the choice Ed had, then, was which of the cards he'd been dealt he would place in which post. That is the art of politics - in this case choosing faces for jobs to keep the greatest number of supporters happy. He could have broken completely with that, looked at their resumés and picked the best qualified for each position. But his marginal victory left him too politically weak to do that so he had to balance power in the Shadow Cabinet.

    I think he tried to clip Balls/Cooper's wings without offending them, and he has a hidden agenda in appointing Alan Johnson to Chancellor, but the rest are reasonable with what he had to work with. Time will tell if he was right, but I think he made a mistake in his appointments and this will come back to haunt him in his Shadow role.

  • Comment number 51.

    Well we have 2 Conservative parties running the Country we need a strong liberal-left opposition that represents the ordinary joe instead of Cameron-Clegg's representation of the mega rich and greed.

    Go for it Ed.

  • Comment number 52.

    The appointment of Mr Johnson as was good move as Balls and his wife, if they were in the real world, would have been struck off and jailed for the economic mess they have left this country in. Incompetance at the least but more like criminal gross negligence. I would not trust them with my kids piggy bank. I still think they are looking at too much childrens TV and think their is a Magic Money Tree at the bottom of the garden. This lot should never see government again, but their are plenty of fools who will STILL vote for them.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'll be interested to see what difference this makes to the shadow cabinets stance on introducing AV. Ed Milliband made clear in his speech to the Labour party conference that he supports it. Alan Johnson is also a supporter of electoral reform. The old shadow cabinet came out strongly against the bill in July. Looks like this could change.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hey! What's with all this disrespect to Alan Johnson? Okay! He hasn't got any experience in economics! All right! He may not be very good at sums! But does that disqualify him from being Chancellor? Noooo! Look at Gordon Brown. He was very good at sums but he presided over the biggest disaster for the British ecomomy since the last Labour government. So lets face it! He can't be any worse than the last lot of Labour incompetents. And don't worry folks - there's no chance of Labour being elected for at least another 50 years!!!! Hurrah!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    What do I think of them? As much as I thought of the last Labour government.

    Not a lot.

  • Comment number 56.

    7. At 2:14pm on 08 Oct 2010, RunForCover wrote:
    What experience does Alan Johnson have to be chancellor? In fact, what relevant experience does any of them have to do the jobs they've been allocated? I suppose Peter Hain is a Welsh MP, which must count for something, but what about the others?

    ----

    Careful, glass houses and that - what experience has Osborne had that qualifies him for anything?

    He's not even allowed to write his own speeches, at his age, outside of politics he'd be virtually unemployable.

  • Comment number 57.

    A bit of musical chairs and they think the public is guillible enough not realise it still the same idiots as last time.

  • Comment number 58.

    Good old BBC always the simple questions.
    The were rubbish when they were in power, I'm sure they will be consistent in opposition...

  • Comment number 59.

    As Khan and Denham are the only sub ministers to represent people below a line south of the midlands, then it doesnt instill any hope in the future for middle England. After the boundaries are redrawn I can see the LibDems being in power with the Tories for a very long time. I can only say this shadow cabinet of being a non identity ie its wet, watery and somewhat damp in appearance.

  • Comment number 60.

    Black and gay candidates rejected, hardly a new approach, Blair was more progressive - I suspect the union pressure and culture does not favour minority candidates. the union bosses are after all from a different era and out of touch with modern society.

    Toby Young points out that half the Shadow Cabinet went to Oxbridge and 40% of them were privately educated.

    The Tories also point out that all of Ed Miliband’s “new generation” Shadow Cabinet members were on the government payroll when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister. Eighteen were ministers Mary Creagh was a Government whip.

    Of the top ten Shadow Cabinet members, not one of them chose Ed Miliband as their first choice in the leadership election.

  • Comment number 61.

    The appointment which amazes me is Yvette Cooper as Foreign Secretary.

    I'm not doubting the lady has political talents in abundance, but her perfomances on programmes like Question Time when she not only seems to be totally incapable of allowing other members to express their views without interruption, but is also apparently unable to resist the urge to talk over others when they respond to her points hardly suggests that she possess the diplomatic skills needed to be Foreign Secretary.

    Double kop out. Irrespective of one's political standing, it seems obvious to me that her determination and single mindedness are skills better suited to being (shadow) Chancellor whilst Alan Johnson's skills are better suited to being Foreign Secretary.

    Only logical reasoning is that it is intended to head of more family problems which, if so suggests that Ed Millband will be a weak leader appointing the wrong people to the wrong jobs because he fears he might not be strong enough to bang heads together, all of which will be music to the ears of the Coalition.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's certainly an interesting assembly of 'talent', but Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor??? Methinks this could be a big mistake on Ed Milliband's part. He should have found a role for Diane Abbott though.

    At least Ed's not got anyone as confrontational and objectionable as Baroness Warsi in his Cabinet - her appearance on last night's QT was embarrassing and unpleasant to watch. She is the epitome of rude, surly and confrontational. What a dreadful harridan she is!

  • Comment number 63.

    A great shame they couldnt persuade David M to be a member of the team - but still a vast improvement on the current Tory crowd ( a bunch of failures and has-beens).

  • Comment number 64.

    Yes I agree with his decisions?
    Having had a string of chancellors and shadow chancellors who have not done an honest days work, it is refreshing to see Alan Johnson appointed shadow chancellor. Allan having been an ordinary working person (Postman) has an understanding of how politicians decision affect ordinary man and women.

  • Comment number 65.

    New Labour, progessive, talents..??
    No this is [and always will be] Old Labour, stagnated, talentless..!!
    To echo others, we voted this lot out because of what they caused.

  • Comment number 66.

    43. At 3:04pm on 08 Oct 2010, Sheb76 wrote:

    28. At 2:46pm on 08 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    11. At 2:19pm on 08 Oct 2010, steve wrote:

    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.
    -----------
    Presumably your refering to the Condemned party of all the lack of talents, not so much lights more dims!
    __________

    Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it

    __________

    Um... Very zen. It's quite difficult to understand what you're trying to say, though. Does the light only benefit (illuminate) the light-bearer, then? Or does it mean that they constantly trip over because they can't see anything? Actually, that does make perfect sense. Sorry.


    Men trip not on mountains, they trip on molehills.

  • Comment number 67.

    Whoever is in the Shadow Cabinet now will be under the orders of the trade unions, they won't be allowed to think for themselves.

  • Comment number 68.

    Interesting that Diane Abbott was considered suitable to stand as party leader but not offered as a candidate for Sahdow Cabinet. Perhaps she disqualified herself in a fit of pique like 'Banana Boy' Milliband

  • Comment number 69.

    They have not proven them selfs yet so we dont no if they have talent or not may be on stricktly.As with all opposition there will be alot of child like noises and toys thrown from the pram,that is what opposition in parliment is about is it not.

  • Comment number 70.

    "Well we have 2 Conservative parties running the Country we need a strong liberal-left opposition that represents the ordinary joe instead of Cameron-Clegg's representation of the mega rich and greed."
    You won't find any "liberal-left" in the Labour Party now just left wing bordering on communism. But I would think that Labour's surge to the left and now being controlled by the trade unions should keep them out of power for the foreseeable future.

  • Comment number 71.

    About as effective has when they were in power, in other word's useless. With the Labour party swinging back to the mad cap, union inspired days of the early 80's, the Tories will laughing their heads off.

  • Comment number 72.

    RunForCover wrote:
    What experience does Alan Johnson have to be chancellor? In fact, what relevant experience does any of them have to do the jobs they've been allocated? I suppose Peter Hain is a Welsh MP, which must count for something, but what about the others?

    What experience did Broon have to be in that position?

    Peter Hain is not Welsh he was born in Kenya, and he counts for nothing

  • Comment number 73.

    Peter Hain plumbs a new low. Failed the shadow cabinet election process but was appointed as shadow Wales secretary in the shadow cabinet anyway. He had no credibility before, not sure how he has managed to undershoot such depths. Wonderful stuff.

  • Comment number 74.

    During the recent BBC Spending Review Debates I watched the Hull/Lincolnshire version in which Alan Johnston was the Labour representative during which he neatly demolished the economic arguments of his Tory and Lib-Dem counterparts by refuting the house of cards 'logic' on which they were based. It look forward to seeing him doing something similar to George Osborne.

    Incidentally in the same programme the Lib-Dem tried to show his superior knowledge of the economy to one of the audience members only to have his face rubbed in the dirt when that person turned out to be an Economics Professor from the local Uni. That was classic.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am sorry BBC but no one gives a monkeys outside Westminster Village. If a political party can be reinvented so easily in the space of a few months then it clearly stood for such a loose concept that it doesn't really mean anything in the first place.

  • Comment number 76.

    What do I think of the new cabinet? Not much!

    Frankly they will make a lot of noise (at great cost) opposing policies not too far removed from what that they would (more than likely) have implemented themselves had they been voted into office.

    Why do we put up with this charade of democracy in the UK? There's not enough to choose between the parties, any more.

    And as for having a Shadow Olympics Minister? Now there's a useful, highly paid non-job....

  • Comment number 77.

    The appointments mean nothing whatever. They were demolished at the election, watch and hear how the "new generation, new Labour, La, La Labour" what ever their identity is are carved up and demolished at the dispatch box and exposed for what these country busters and financial wasters truly are..

  • Comment number 78.

    #46. At 3:05pm on 08 Oct 2010, qwerty wrote:
    "Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor - ye gods. Is Red Ed really so frightened of the Balls/Cooper team that he picks a nonentity and has been who Osbourne will wipe the floor with? Does he have any background in economics?"

    I think Johnson is being rewarded for not standing against Miliband for the leadership. Your point about his lack of economics knowledge is interesting. While I don't particularly agree with Mr and Mrs Balls over economic policy, both their resumes in the field are impressive. Johnson however was a postman, then a union man, then a labour MP - it's not the best grounding for running the economy.

    I also a echo a previous comment about how nepotistic and narrow the labour party now is. It all seems to be a small group of brothers, sisters, couples and dynastic families in charge.

    -------------------

    As opposed to the Eton elite who run the country at the moment. I for one prefer the band of brothers.

  • Comment number 79.

    I would have liked to have seen Ed Balls remain at education his constant mauling of Gove when the education misister came to the hpouse,usually to appologise for something he said yesterday,was pure entertainment.

    It was akin to a contest between Sonny Liston and the female flyweight champion of the Isle of Sky

    Gove,for all the world, gave the appearence of the preverbial rabbit caught in the lights of an onrushing lorry as he approached the despatch box.

    He will glad Balls has gone thats for sure.

  • Comment number 80.

    Virtually all our politicians are utterly hopeless and entirely out of touch.

    The coalition are ineffective and this lot are even more so as they have no power.

    The one thing that the last couple of years has taught me is that leaders have less idea than I have. Be it bankers, politicians, the head of BP, regulators etc.

  • Comment number 81.

    This farce gets ever more comical, firstly Red Ed and now "Postman Al" as... titter....Chancellor Of The Exchequer, what on earth is Ed Milliband thinking about appointing the least qualified person in the Labour Party to such an important position, Johnson will be way out of his depth, does the man actually know how to add up? The Tories must be laughing all the way to the Ballot Box. It will be such a parliamentary drama when George Osbourne exposes Johnson's ignorance, however good debater one is, if you don't have total command of your brief you are sunk. This is an own goal for Labour and will be cruelly exploited by the Tories and surely condemns Labour to opposition for a generation.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    "IT APPEARS A SHREWD MOVE APPOINTING ALAN JOHNSON SHADOW CHANCELLOR,IF EITHER ED BALLS OR YVETTE HAD BE GIVEN THE JOB THE PRESS WOULD BE HAVING A FIELD DAY RE WHOS PULLING THE STRINGS,ALAN JOHNSON SEEMS A VERY PERSONABLE MAN COMPLETELY OPPOSITE THE CHANCELLOR OSBORNES ARROGANCE IM SURE HE WILL APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC,THE OTHER SHADOW POSITIONS WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE BUT I FEEL LOOKING AT THE GOVERMENTS FRONT BENCH SPOKESMEN ,THE OPPOSITION WOULD NOT HAVE TO BE BRILLIANT TO DEPOSE THIS GOVERMENT IN A SHORTER TIME THAN FIVE YEARS"



    I'M SORRY, COULD YOU SPEAK UP A LITTLE, I DON'T THINK THEY HEARD YOU IN THE BACK.

  • Comment number 84.

    What experience does Alan Johnson have to be chancellor?
    ------------
    Well He has had to live ,house and feed a family on a normal working income, which is more than can be said for the 18th Baron Osbourne!

  • Comment number 85.

    Where's Ed Miliband's New Generation....???? Most of this lot were associated with the failed Brown government
    -----------
    Derr they were the Government for the last 13 Years. He could hardly pop down to the local Job Centre and pick up a new set of MP's

  • Comment number 86.

    It's all ambitious nonsense after proclaiming NEW GENERATION gimmick !!
    ....with dis-owining of brotherhood outright; ...how will there be shadow for good?

    ......With no link to the past, means ...will fall into past.
    Sorry ..but sure!!

  • Comment number 87.

    So , an ex postie as shadow chancellor, tells the whole story does'nt it?
    -------
    Much better to have the heir to the Osbourne Bronny!
    Or not.

  • Comment number 88.

    What a load of thoughtless cobblers in many of these comments! Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor is a perfectly reasonable appointment. By contrast with the sleek, rich Chancellor, who has no experience of earning a living or managing on an ordinary weekly wage, Alan Johnson is a plain-speaking man with real life experience. I look forward to hearing his response to the deep cuts in public service jobs that we are promised. And how short are people's memories! The shadow cabinet is written off because these are the same people who got us into this mess. Nonsense. It wasn't Labour who brought down Lehman Brothers, sold packages of sub-prime mortgages as triple-A rated goods, or caused the collapse of Northern Rock, Halifax Bank of Scotland and all the rest. Just think for half a second before opening your mouths.

  • Comment number 89.

    Truly a bizarre mismatching of people and positions. Did he seek advice from David Cameron on this? It's certainly going to end any honeymoon period he might have enjoyed as Labour leader, as the voters have long enough memories to remember most of them were involved in the last shambolic (New) Labour government. At least we'll be able to get on with repairing the country undisturbed by any worries that a re-election of Labour is round the corner. Phew.

  • Comment number 90.

    Excellent. Full of marxists. Labour will be out of Government for several years. Top. I no longer have an interest in what politicians think, all I want is an administrative body that runs the country according to what the voters define as the state's responsibilities.

  • Comment number 91.

    Labour in Gov't are, well - a disaster.
    In opposition they're usually very effective.
    Whether or not the current lot of lightweights, losers, never were & hasbeens will maintain this tradition - we'll see.I hope they are but not sure whether I can hold my breath for long enough.

  • Comment number 92.

    I wish the presenters on BBC News would stop repeatedly stating "Ed Balls wife Yvette Cooper was assigned the foreign secretary role". She is her own person and doesn't need her own husband for her identity. Really poor show of sexism there BBC.

  • Comment number 93.

    7. At 2:14pm on 08 Oct 2010, RunForCover wrote:

    What experience does Alan Johnson have to be chancellor?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Not sure he needs too much experience seeing the dollies that Georgie Porgie has started lobbing his way. Please take a look at the latter's CV prior to becoming Shadow Chancellor.... impressive eh?

  • Comment number 94.

    I really hope so, we need a strong opposition to oppose the grab-all-give-nothing-back nasty party. If and it is a BIG 'if' the botched up coaalition last the full 5 years, I expect the voters will welcome the Labour party back with open hands.

  • Comment number 95.

    #54. At 3:18pm on 08 Oct 2010, You Are On Another Planet wrote:
    Hey! What's with all this disrespect to Alan Johnson? Okay! He hasn't got any experience in economics! All right! He may not be very good at sums! But does that disqualify him from being Chancellor? Noooo! Look at Gordon Brown. He was very good at sums but he presided over the biggest disaster for the British ecomomy since the last Labour government. So lets face it! He can't be any worse than the last lot of Labour incompetents. And don't worry folks - there's no chance of Labour being elected for at least another 50 years!!!! Hurrah!!!!

    ----------------

    Are you sure about that. Labour are already above the Tories in the popularity polls. While you maybe think that Alan Johnson will be hopeless and that Gordon Brown was not a good chancellor, I personally think that George Osborne is not up to the job, and before John Major became an MP (and chancellor) he failed to get a job as a bus conductor because he could not do his sums.

    Whatever party is in government or shadow government you can always find something or someone that does not live up to your expectations.

  • Comment number 96.

    Hmm...
    Alan Johnson is just awful, I'm still livid with him over the ACMD matter, I think he's an idealogue, not an effective politician.
    Balls and Cooper, no shock there, despite Balls being a catastrophic education secretary and Cooper being really very bog standard, they were both groomed for big Labour futures in Brown's treasury. Same as Burnham, except that he is extremely left wing and likely a consolation to the more hardline unionists..

    Harman i think will be sadly integral to British politics for a long time now, of course she was getting a portfolio... Khan and Murphy are there to shore up ethnic minorities and Scottish labour respectively. Can't believe Tessa Jowell is still knocking around, and Caroline Flint will probably get chucked after another moronic comment on gender issues, same as Liam Byrne but for some outrageous economically insensitive comment instead. Can't complain too much about Hain, Benn, Alexander and Healey, although Alexander is a bit wet.. love the token bipartisan selection of Woodward.

    Not really familiar with the rest and not exactly keen to get to know them. Based on the aforementioned it seems we have a shadow cabinet of Brownites, unionists and Europhiles, if not just bleeding hearts with lacking brains, and a few Blairish/D.Miliband types for the sake of unity.

    A very predictable and safe selection, basically perpetuating the current Labour institution. It doesn't remotely live up to Ed's reckoning of a new era for the Left and I'm quite sure the coalition will have very little trouble keeping them at bay.

    To be honest however, had Ed picked the most stellar and brilliant cabinet in recorded history it likely couldn't have lived down the last 13years of Labour.

  • Comment number 97.

    Pleased to see that Hain the vain from the land of rain didn't make it into the shadow cabinet, probably because he casts no shadow. I'm sure I could live well on his personal grooming budget. Anyway, Wales has its own parliament and language, so let them get on with it.

    As for the rest of them, I applaud Ed the tortoise's choice of cabinet, as they should keep the socialist scourge divided and unelectable for years. Hooray.

  • Comment number 98.

    Labor breeds real rogues. Ed Rendell and his protege Dan Onorato deploy sophisticated surveillance on political foes like Tom Corbett. Ed pays cash (usually from his own pocket) to a Philadelphia-based company called ITRR for spying on environmental groups. Despots take full advantage of technical internet programs. Spyware allows espionage against the government and ecology interests without fear of prosecution.

  • Comment number 99.

    I think this is a wise choice, as well as a brave one. Alan Johnson's appointment should end any worries about Ed Miliband's being too "red" and may also help unite the party more.

    However, it is curious that the New Generation has chosen experience over youth, as I discuss here:

    http://the-brooks-blog.blogspot.com/2010/10/politicians-and-vision-thing-good-thing.html

  • Comment number 100.

    if you could get a vidieo tape from 30 -40 years ago about mps from goverments past and present saying the same old thing about what they are going to do once they are in power they always go back on their word.it does not matter how bad the recession is mps, lords,are not affected cus their wages are coming from the tax payer.

 

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