The (not so) new generation

So, in the middle of a pre-scheduled post on the Shadow Cabinet and why Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls might not get to be Shadow Chancellor despite the bookies odds, the Shadow Cabinet was actually announced.

 

And it turns out the Chancellor’s job went to Alan Johnson, which came a little out of the blue for a lot of commentators.

 

Team Miliband now looks like this:

 

Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP
Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department Rt Hon Ed Balls MP
Chief Whip Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice (with responsibility for political and constitutional reform) Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Rt Hon John Denham MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon John Healey MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Rt Hon Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Meg Hillier MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Maria Eagle MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mary Creagh MP
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Shaun Woodward MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ann McKechin MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon Peter Hain MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Ivan Lewis MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Shadow Minister for the Olympics Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Lords Chief Whip Lord Bassam of Brighton
Shadow Attorney-General Baroness Scotland
Also attending Shadow Cabinet meetings  
Shadow Minister of State – Cabinet Office Jon Trickett MP

 

The fact that neither Balls nor Cooper got the treasury role doesn’t surprise me too much. As I said before, Miliband had to move to avoid  a Balls/Cooper powerbase to stop a repeat of the Blair-Brown problems. Balls as Chancellor would have created a rift and infighting between him and anyone who didn’t agree with his rather fixed economic positions.

 

Also, given that Ed Miliband was accused of lurching to the left by the media, it’s hardly surprising that he gives prominent roles to MPs from the right-wing of the Labour Party.

 

We can’t afford to have our economic policy dictated to us by one person as we have in the past. Miliband seems to have learned the lessons of our recent past and will look to create an economic policy that the shadow cabinet can all support.

The new leader has also made a very smart move in teaming Johnson with Angela Eagle who seems very switched on and will do very well in her role shadowing Danny Alexander at Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

 

The other thing I note is just how fast some election losers have recovered. John Trickett, Peter Hain and Shaun Woodward all failed to get one of the nineteen spots in the poll but still got seats in the cabinet.

 

Interesting times await as Parliament returns and the spending review gets going.

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