Is this why a cabinet re-shuffle could be a minefield?
All of those old enough remember it – the speech to the commons by the deputy prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Howe, in November 1990 after he had resigned from Mrs. Thatcher’s cabinet. Click on the picture to watch.
This was probably the most dramatic event that has been seen on TV from the Commons since the cameras were allowed in during the 1980s. For what Howe said that day and the quiet forcefulness of his speech made Mrs. Thatcher’s position untenable. It wasn’t long afterwards that she stepped down after not allowing her name to go forward into the second ballot. The Thatcher days were over.
Fast forward to 2008 and is there a danger that with Labour in the state it is that one of the ministers who gets moved, demoted or sacked in a cabinet re-shuffle could do a Geoffrey Howe?
So far, with the exception of David Miliband’s Guardian article, the cabinet has appeared fairly united, in public at least, about the current situation.
The Labour-leaning blogger, Paul Linford, reckons that Alistair Darling could be a problem. He’s been loyal to Gordon for so long and it wasn’t him that created the tax structure that led to the 10% tax band debacle.
There are, obviously, others but the lesson from the Tories in November 1990 is that anything could happen.Who would have thought then that it would be Sir Geoffrey Howe that finally plunged the dagger in?