Changes at the top as leaders reshuffle their packs

 

You wait ages for a reshuffle and then three come along at once.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have spent the day changing some of the faces in the cabinet and its shadow.

Most of those involved are household names only if you live with a political anorak, but many will be seen as significant at Westminster - and beyond.

The big loser is Michael Moore, replaced as Liberal Democrat Scottish secretary by Alistair Carmichael. He may have no executive powers but it's an important job in the run-up to next year's referendum on Scottish independence.

As the Huffington Post reports, Mr Carmichael is taking on a job he once believed should be scrapped. Six years ago, he said: "The Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offices should merge to create a department for nations and regions, with a full time seat at the cabinet table."

That was then party policy, tied to the Lib Dems' goal of a federal Britain. The party also wanted to abolish the Department for Business, Industry and Skills, which is also now headed by a Liberal Democrat.

If you're looking for a Welsh angle in today's reshuffles - and unless you've landed on this page by accident, you may well be - an Abercynon-born product of Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Stephen Williams, has been given a junior minister's job in the Department for Communities and Local Government, the latest in a growing line of Lib Dem MPs to sample coalition government.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has chosen to keep Owen Smith, often tipped for greater things, in the shadow Welsh Secretary's job. Mr Smith is "delighted" to be continuing in the role: "In Ed Miliband we have a strong and determined leader who is taking the fight to David Cameron and his out-of-touch government. Ed has put together a formidable team and in the remaining 20 months before the general election we'll be relentless in our efforts to expose the failure of the Tory-led government to tackle the cost of living crisis and to offer hope to the British people that there is an alternative."

That "formidable team" includes Caerphilly MP Wayne David, who moves from the shadow justice team to become one of two parliamentary private secretaries to the Labour leader. Sometimes dismissed as "bag-carriers", parliamentary private secretaries act as their boss's "eyes and ears" around Westminster, keeping them in touch with backbench opinion.

Mr David was "honoured" by his appointment, issuing a press release with the headline: "Wayne David appointed as Ed Miliband's right hand man".

The leader's new "right-hand man" is certainly on message: " I have known Ed Miliband for a number of years and I can honestly say that he is a man of strength, decency and principle. Labour is fast developing clear policies which offer hope to this country and my job is to help Ed get his message across".

A former Wales Office minister, Mr David has been a parliamentary private secretary before, at the Ministry of Defence. That ended with his resignation, along with several other PPSes as part of a coup against Tony Blair's leadership.

He'll be hoping this spell as a PPS doesn't end with the downfall of a leader.

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 53.

    #52 If you don't like analogies:
    You don't have effective ring-fencing if liabilities from a non-ringfenced area (Social Services) can be passed to the ringfenced area (NHS).

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 52.

    ... leaky baths Boxer ?

    ... its time to start "thinking beyond the box [er] ".

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 51.

    #41 "you would see that the NHS has been ring fenced in the UK."
    Note the word, HAS - past tense.
    What the Telegraph alleges is that in future, the ring-fence will be breached. If you have two baths, separate, and one- the NHS is watertight, then you join it to a leaky bath - Social Services, then the watertight bath becomes leaky.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 50.

    ... Boxer, I wonder if Chris London would have the same complaint against government if subsidiarity had been applied correctly?

    Matters could have been handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralised authority capable of addressing that matter effectively, not the bureaucratic political machines of Westminster or Cardiff Bay.
    .

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 49.

    47.Boxer_the_Horse
    Oh if mine were an unusual occurrence. I have looked into this and this issue is a growing one. More and more social care is cut with the most vulnerable and often less vocal being targeted.
    46.wooodsey
    I have not hidden the fact that I am an economist who carries out freelance consultancy work, mainly for public sector in the UK, EU and for global institutions.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 48.

    7 Chris London - There is a reason form the lack of a re-shuffle down at the Bay. It is simple, the leaders of each of our political parties have no talent to call upon. Thus we are left with the third rate politicians that dominate political scene in Wales.

    And yes Woodsey I know that there are some donkeys in London - but wasn't Wales meant to be different?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 47.

    #45 Please don't continue. Personal anecdotes don't tell us much about a national service. Also, they confuse the site. Any criticism of the trend is taken as a criticism of the relative, with increasing hostility and intervention of the moderator.
    There wouldn't be a 400 character limit if you were intended to lauch a Dickens-like novel by instalments.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 46.

    41.Chris London
    I bow to your superior knowledge which evidently you've stated you have in abundance.
    However when carrying out research you should look at both sides of the argument and avoid being one dimensional with your views. Don't be continually guided by the press who as we know can be somewhat bias.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 45.

    44 Cont....
    Then to have a meeting with the social services only to be told that she in fact didn't need 40 mins for lunch should only take a max of 10 mins as should tea and any slack could be picked up in the morning as she was already getting 10 mins. Her allotted time eventually was reduced to 25 mins a day. This for a woman who had worked up to the age of 65 in the NHS TBC...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 44.

    #40 "Please don't go there re social care" Why not. We agree that both Westminster &Cardiff have to be held to account, and that all politicians (most recently GO) spin rather than reveal.
    If the NHS(E) is to pick up the defects in social care, and the budget is fixed, then NHS priorities will be damaged. e.g if the NHS retains 'bedblockers' then elective surgery will have to be cut (no bed).

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    42 Cont.....
    The 40 mins was to get her up, shower, breakfast, cook lunch, and tea. Now I challenge you to get up and shower and have breakfast in 10 mins, then cook a meal and clear up in 15 mins and prepare tea, clear up and get ready for bed in 15 mins. Not to mention that often they would arrive late if at all or arrive at 3 pm to get ready for bed and have tea after lunch at 1:30 pm TBC...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 42.

    40.Boxer_the_Horse
    Please don't go there re social care for I have first hand of social care in Wales under the WAG. If I hadn't been able to afford help my mother would have been abandoned by the state. Being housebound and unable to take care of herself she was offered initially 1:30 assistance a day only to have this cut to 40 mins. TBC...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 41.

    39.wooodsey
    If you bothered to read and research rather than troll the internet for soundbites you would see that the NHS has been ring fenced in the UK. It was the WAG who decided where to spend the cash and that is the issue for the welsh NHS. And yes all regions have had to deal with shrinking budgets. It's the WAG who decide how where to spend and where to cut and they have passed the buck.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    #39 Thank you for that, woodsey. Fascinating, and obvious in retrospect. Linking social care with the NHS blows a hole in the NHS ringfenced bank account like sharing your account with an on-line 'Nigerian general'. And this from a Telegraph columnist.

    #38 Agree with the lack of scrutiny.

    This amity can't last !

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 39.

    37.Chris London
    all other regions have had to deal with the same reductions
    Have all the other regions dealt with it. Has the region of England dealt with it
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/maryriddell/100223605/george-osborne-kills-off-the-nhs-ring-fence/

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 38.

    ... Boxer, Big-C as you call him might take all the brickbats, its true that it might be unfair, its also true that the decisions of his administration are based on good analysis, but the fact is we will never know because there is no scrutiny, or very little, both Plaid and Lib Dem's have let down the electorate of Wales ...

    ... for how much longer ?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 37.

    18.Boxer_the_Horse
    Did you deliberately misunderstand the point. I am not talking about the cost of running ICU, HDU Etc. I was talking about like for like operations which by their own admission cost more than double in the NHS than they do in the private sector AND the public run sectors in other EU countries. So why does a new hip cost over £12k in the UK and £6.5k in the french equivalent?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 36.

    34.Boxer_the_Horse
    It should also be remembered that it has been his administration that has been dipping their hand into the NHS till along with it's mismanagement that has caused the current situation. It should also be remembered that all other regions have had to deal with the same reductions. WAG appear unable to plan and or deliver a budget for they have got so used to going cap in hand.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 35.

    ... the AM's, the opposition parties, have reneged on their duty to the electorate by failing to scrutinise the workings of our administration in Cardiff Bay.

    e.g. one item listed in the budget is

    "Develop and implement climate change, emission prevention, and fuel poverty policy, communications, legislation and regulation"

    At £23 million, is this a devolved responsibility ?
    .

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 34.

    "remind Carwyn that all devolved spending in Wales is decided at Cardiff Bay"
    For balance, let's remember that the finance available to the greal leader is decided by Westminster. So he takes the flak for cuts imposed from elsewhere. If he ring-fences the NHS, then local government services suffer. If he doesn't, you queue for admission to A&E.
    Either way, Big-C takes the brickbats.

 

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