Pre-reshuffle Cameron promised to ‘cut through the dither’ that he said was holding Britain back. Following May, Osborne and now Hunt all being booed at the Paralympics, the cutting of ditherers is debatable however the policy implications are clear. A nice overview of the changes and cabinet as it stands can be found here from the BBC.
Ultimately this has been a shift to the right. Picking of some key changes we can see this.
Chris Grayling replacing Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary is a great example of this – implications for the approach towards the European Courts of Justice are clear. On human rights, Clarke was adamant that any reform would have to respect the European convention, whereas Grayling has previously said he would like to ‘tear up’ the human rights act that codifies that convention. On prisons, Clarke aimed to curb the prison population, during Graylings tenure as shadow home secretary in 2009, he proposed yet another prison-building programme.
Ken Clarke is by no means out of the picture though, as minister without portfolio he undertakes a title previously owned by Mandelson and will undoubtedly make his voice heard especially on economic issues as he has ensured that he will sit on the key cabinet sub-committee on the economy and on the national security council.
The chancellor was keen to move Duncan Smith because he is fighting a public battle to resist Osborne’s plans for a further £10bn in welfare cuts by 2016. Duncan Smith’s success raises the prospect of a renewal of his alliance with Nick Clegg, who provided vital support over the funding of his welfare reforms. The deputy prime minister told the Guardian last week that he would only accept some of the extra welfare cuts in return for a wealth tax.
The appointment of Owen Paterson as environment secretary is surely a sign of the ‘greenest government ever’ being a thing of the past. Sceptical on renewable energy, pro-aviation, pro-hunting and steeped in anti-environment myths his appointment is arguably a ‘declaration of war on the environment’.
Here’s a clip from the Guardian that explores more themes from the re-shuffle.