We now know Cameron’s Cabinet, it’s difficult to see how it would have been any different had the Tories won an outright majority.

Nick Clegg as deputy leader is on a hiding to nothing, set-up as the stand-in for difficult PMQTs and a seat at the cabinet table but precious little else. Deputy leader has always been something of a ceremonial role, no specific responsibility for anything as such, had Cameron not needed the Lib-Dems it is likely William Hague would have been deputy leader in addition to the Foreign Secretary post he will still be filling. And of course Clegg may be seen as a bit of an oik being from Westminster school rather than Eton but a safe pair of hands nonetheless. So no concessions by the Tories there.

William Hague as Foreign Secretary is a classic old Tory little England stance, whilst there were efforts to play it down before the election so as not to get caught up in the usual pro- and anti-Europe debate it was made clear whilst the coalition horsetrading was going on that the Tories had settled on a hardline stance toward Europe that is in direct contrast to the usual Lib-Dem way of seeing things. Add to this the Tory refusal to condemn their extremely right-wing, racist, homophobic and mysogenistic partners in their EU block one wonders how the Lib-Dems can possibly support any policies to come out of this area. So no concessions by the Tories there either.

George Osborne as Chancellor – this is the one that could perhaps have been key, according to reception after the Chancellor debates and public perception at large Vince Cable is regarded as the most competent for the job whilst Osborne was seen as a sufficient liability that he was forced to take a very backseat role in the last few days before the election itself. Unsurprisingly though it is Big Business friendly Osborne who will head up the treasury. So here in an area one might have held out a dim hope of concessions by the Tories there were none.

Teresa May – Home Secretary, a typical Tory women of the Teresa Gorman/Edwina Curry/etc etc type mould, she has been in the Tory hierarchy for some years and will definitely not be a reformist in the Home Office. She once referred to the Tories as being the “nasty party”, she was right, they still are. I cannot see any way of reconciling what she is likely to do in her brief to that which the Lib-Dems claim to stand for.

Liam Fox as Defence Secretary – Well the defence contractors in their old school ties and the MoD must be licking their lips now, for there will not be the sort of cuts the Liberals had wanted with Fox in charge, a man who came out and said he would have preferred a minority government than a coalition. Trident will be renewed and other funding increased as Fox has constantly attacked Labour for spending too little on defence (ironic when one looks at the costs of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan). Quite clearly no concessions for the Lib-Dems here.

Ken Clarke – Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for justice. I confess I thought the Lord Chancellor position had been abolished so this was a new one on me, Ken Clarke may seem like a Tory wet but that’s only because he’s pro-Europe and he’s only pro-Europe in so far as it benefits business, this is a man responsible for removing the maintenance grant for Higher Education students and having helped continue Nigel Lawson’s policies to favour the rich over the poor whilst Chancellor in the last Tory government. His appointment will be seen as a concession perhaps to the Lib-Dems because of his views on Europe which clash with the leadership stance but he is not in a position to influence that and on justice he will be decidedly sanguine about liberal policies, a clear wolf in sheep’s clothing .

Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary, Lansley served as both a private secretary to Norman Tebbit and and Shadow Health Secretary under the right-wing cabinet of Michael Howard so this is no moderniser, the man charged with showing the country that the NHS has meaning for the Tories, ie the man who will oversee its gradual privatisation, this is not a shock though, it is a process begun under the last Tory government and continued under Labour. Yet again it is becomming difficult to see where any concessions to the Lib-Dems might come in here.

Michael Gove as Education Secretary, well since I might struggle to find an education secretary over the last number of years that hasn’t been a right-wing butcher one might presume that nothing has really changed. One would presume correctly it hasn’t, at least certainly not for the better, Gove is a Cameron right-wing right-hand man, a former Murdoch journalist, policy think tank advisor and speech writer he is part of the inner cadre. He may be seen as the one most favourable to the Lib-Dems but only because he claimed to be prepared to give up his seat in the cabinet to facilitate a coalition agreement, this makes his appointment rather than a Lib-Dem to the position all the more surprising.

So those are the big jobs done, the main offices of state and there’s a bit of an absence of the coalition partners here is there not? Not a sniff of a portfolio for the Lib-Dems, all of the offices firmly in the hands of the old guard, a few the same old guard the country seemed so desperate to get rid of 13 years ago. Is it nice to have them back? Not if you’ve a brain or any political integrity.

Now we’ll come to the second-tier of jobs perhaps there’ll be something for the Lib-Dems lurking in here.

Work & Pensions Iain Duncan Smith – Oh Christ, you are joking, “the quiet man,” the man who defies satire because the jokes make themselves up, now trying to model himself as a more caring sharing Tory, gets let loose on the jobless – heaven help us all and our parents and our children in their gap years. Expect to see tazers compulsorily introduced to Back to Work interviews, the state pension to be abolished for anyone who doesn’t have their own county seat and the disabled set to work on chain gangs.

But lo, what is this, the lesser spotted Liberal Democrat cabinet member, well this is one for the log book. – Business Secretary – Vince Cable – a-ha so that’s where they bundled Vince then, a poisoned chalice position. One has to take the hat off a little to the Tories on this one because it is a quite superb piece of doubleplay. On the one hand it makes it look as if they’ve entrusted something tangible to Cable and the Lib-Dems, but what they give with one hand they clearly see as being potentially taken away by the country on the other one must bear in mind that the Tories cuts are likely by Cable’s own forecasts to seriously endanger the economic recovery not to mention the current market malaise that may see the lack of confidence in the Greek economy stretch to those other economies seen as having “overstretched” and precipitate another banking disaster. So Osborne needs a fall-guy, a man who is expendable who can act as a teflon shield to keep Osborne from getting his hands dirty and that man is definitely Vince Cable. What better way to ensure a potentially catastrophically incompetent chancellor doesn’t get found out than by putting someone with a little savvy doing all the work and taking the blame should it all go wrong.

Of course if Cable figures out how to wheedle his way out of it there’s always the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws, a man seen as being sufficiently conservative that George Osborne once invited him to join the Tories. A former investment banker it’s difficult to see how Laws would be seen as being anything other than ‘one of them’ in Tory cabinet circles. Not only that but now when Osborne fucks up the first time and someone has to fall on their sword he’ll still have another Lib-Dem pawn to use for the next time.

Energy And Climate Secretary – Chris Huhne – ooh look a named job, in an area the Tories really don’t give a shit about, despite what they might try to tell you. If you want an example of it, look no further than the cynical media play a couple of years ago that filmed David Cameron cycling to the House of Commons and made little mention of the large car that was following him bringing his smart shoes and paperwork. The Tories have learnt about image manipulation now and they are becoming more slick at it as time goes on, in a country with a right-wing media hegemony it is rare to find any dissenting voice. At the end of the day to be able to tackle issues to do with energy supply and provision and climate problems with any efficiency one has to have the support of other departments such as transport in particular and here Huhne will be very much isolated. In effect what the Tories have done is put a Lib-Dem MP in another area that could present media problems down the line ie announcing the building of new nuclear power stations which is a political banana skin waiting to happen, and one which until very recently the Lib Dems didn’t even agree with. Besides which Chris Huhne went to Westminster like Nick Clegg so he must be perceived by the Etonites as “a good egg if a also bit of an oik!”

Scottish Secretary – Danny Alexander – Not that there’s any real surprise here, the Tories have scant legitimacy for governing Scotland as they only have 1 MP from a Scottish seat in Parliament and that’s an increase on what they had before so sending a Lib-Dem up to explain to the Scots why Tory policies are being foisted onto them seems again a sensible move from a Tory perspective. This must have been concocted in a “What about the picts north of Hadrian’s Wall, don’t we have to send someone up there to keep them in line?” “Hmm yes, why not send one of the Lib-Dems then we can all stay in Surrey.”

In conclusion what I see is the main jobs and therefore the last line of decision-making in the hands of old school old guard Tory Ministers, a cabinet that will easily have the ability to out-vote any Lib-Dem dissent, and Lib-Dems in jobs that in truth would be prickly ones for Tories to take, whilst the cushy ones, the lucrative business-facing ones will undoubtedly be reserved for safe Tory hands. How Clegg has been persuaded to accept this from his “Kingmaker” position is beyond me, one might like to hope that he has exacted some seriously hefty concessions on electoral reform but since this is something the Tries not only would not be able to tolerate but not able to get through their own party I somewhat doubt it. I think what will happen is the Tories will get the Queen’s speech through and the first budget and then call another General Election knowing that Labour will not have galvanised the support to come close to challenging them and the Lib-Dem support will have had a wedge driven through it. This would allow them to claim they had won a mandate for a manifesto that did not include electoral reform and that the “people have spoken” It is interesting that the people who make merely one cross next to a name can be seen to be saying so much and yet those who might actually say something on their ballot paper have their words of wisdom discarded as spoilt ballots.

Or perhaps Cameron will be so happy with his new allies having filled the shit jobs that he won’t even see the need for a new election, I doubt it, this is the avaricious power thirsty mob that is the Conservative party. Expect to be asked to vote again, and then told what it is you have said.

Song Of The Day ~ Model Morning – Without You I’m Nothing

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