My initial thoughts on the shadow cabinet

I’ve been at my parents’ house this weekend and went to two wonderful gigs (for more see the upcoming Musical Mondays). As usual, a brief break from blogging has meant I’ve now got lots of new blog posts I want to write.

For now, I’ll give my initial thoughts on Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet (as promised, we will be doing a thorough postmortem of the leadership election now all the posts are filled).

The appointments are a bit naff to be honest, aren’t they? They all seem to be more about strategy rather than who is actually best for the position, as Seph Brown has said. Alan Johnson is a David-ite and a good communicator, but isn’t necessarily the best candidate for shadow chancellor. He has said that his first act will be to buy a basic primer on economics. You can bet that will be quoted by the Tories every time he tries to attack their economic policy. The Shadow Chancellor position should go to someone who actually knows stuff about economics – which means either Ed Balls, or preferably Yvette Cooper, seeing as she topped the MPs’ poll. Instead, both the latter two have been put in positions where their talents won’t be of best use.

Also, Andy Burnham in charge of the general election campaign? The man who led the worst leadership campaign, if you discount Diane Abbot, and who seems to think that Labour lost the last election because they didn’t spend enough time bashing immigrants. I thought Ed Miliband didn’t want to outflank the coalition from the right on this issue? And as for appointing Phil Woolas as a junior minister, well, words cannot describe the irritation I feel, so I won’t bother.

I’ll doubtless post on this a little more in the weeks ahead. For now (I want to post this before midnight) I want to finish by saying that these appointments are those of someone trying to be too clever by half. There’s a lot of square pegs in round holes. Ed Miliband, see me after class. You can do better.

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