Was Thursday another chicken day for Brown

So Peter Hain’s gone. It did have an inevitability to it and we’ll have to see what he does to attempt to clear his name. What I’ve found interesting is the reshuffle that followed. James Purnell to Works and Pensions, Andy Burnham to Culture, Yvette Cooper to the Treasury and Caroline Flint to Housing. On the face of it, jobs for the boys and girls. Literally in some cases.

James Purnell is an interesting choice for Works and Pensions. I can’t find much evidence that he’s had a proper job but that’s not that unusual now is it. On his Sunday morning TV interview, he showed himself to be true new Labour. Platitudes and targets plucked out of the air. Saying the Government would give more freedoms to people claiming disability benefit like choosing the time of their taxi (which is the case now). No real indications about how to achieve these blind aims.
Andy Burnham helped architect the shameless pinching of Tory Policies for the budget which helped Labour so much. Yvette Cooper has put in place the disastrous and useless HIPs just at the wrong moment for the housing market and so has been awarded a promotion for that, and anyone in the Housing department who thought they were rid of an arrogant hectoring woman are out of luck, as she’s been replaced by another.
When the resignation was announced, I wondered would Brown use the opportunity to show he has changed and doesn’t hold grudges. He could have done that and bought Alan Milburn back in to Works and Pensions. At a stroke he would have showed there were no factions in the party, that he welcomed experience in his cabinet of pygmies and he wasn’t as paranoid about his own inadequacy as Prime Minister as everyone believes.
However a leopard never changes its spots, and considering Brown’s character as we know it, it was fanciful to believe he could undertake such a bold move. So the pygmies remain and Milburn and co remain on the outside.

As a side note, have you noticed how Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, Peter Mandelson, Neil Kinnock and co have disappeared from the media completely since chicken Saturday. Talk about fair weather friends.


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