Friday, May 05, 2006

Every cloud has a silver lining…

OK, the British local elections were terrible for Labour, Tories did reasonably and the BNP doubled its councilors (20 to 44). So my wishes did not come true... But I am still hopeful about one thing: this is the time to lay a solid ground for the future (and a fourth national election victory!!?).

And Blair has already reshuffled his cabinet, and I see some good signs. For the first time, the Labour government now has a woman in the important position as foreign secretary (Margaret Beckett, picture). The positions as chief whip and Labour party chairman will also be held by women (Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears respectively). And one of my personal favorites, Douglas Alexander (seen as a Brownite), is up-graded to the position as transport secretary. Moreover, Alan Johnson (became education secretary, Blairite, former trade unionist) is supposed to be a rising star.

But the most important discussion is of course the nitty-gritty policy future of the Labour government. It is more important to focus on reform, the third term etc, than when Brown will replace you know who...

As a first step in my own thinking, I will read this document as soon as I can.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jon Worth said...

Don't get carried away by the promotion of Margaret Beckett. It's excellent to have a woman as Foreign Minister, but that's about the only good thing about that appointment. Beckett is quite dull, is not good at communicating, and does not have the best reputation. I think - sadly - it had to be her as there was no-one else.

The rise of Douglas Alexander, and also David Miliband to be Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, are two pieces of excellent news. Alan Johnson is undoubtedly good, but his move is only a small promotion as he was at the Department of Trade and Industry before.

5/5/06 23:24  
Anonymous Henrik Gustafsson said...

Just a short comment on Beckett as the new foreign secretary. She has been involved a lot in the international negotiations in the frame of the UN climate convention.

I think it is a good expirience for her as a new foreign secretary. Especially as the international climate change negotiations will be even important in the forthcomming years if we want a "post-Kyoto-treaty". If Hillary will be elected to the White House I think that we got something....

Also a bit dissapointed that the British government probably will decide to get some new nuclear plants. The british coast is a very suitable place for windmills.

8/5/06 20:04  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Jon and Henrik: a theory for you -> Beckett was removed as Sec of the Environment since Blair wants to build nuclear plants, something that Beckett really is againt....?

10/5/06 08:27  
Blogger Pickles said...

Another theory is that he wanted Milliband on the environment brief to

1. Counter Cameron's attempt to use the envorinment as a touchstone issue with the young progressive middle classes. He's got faith in Milliband to articulate a modern etc agenda here.

2. If the environment is going to be Cameron's big thing (did you see the daft shots of him in Norway with the Huskies?!) then having Miliband there will put him up against Cameron a lot - and Blair may have been calculating that this would show him in a better light than when Brown was up against him. Thus giving Miliband a chance as a dark horse in a leadership contest.

Theory 1. has more credibility in my eyes.

12/5/06 03:40  

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