Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Most Influential Ministers Outside the Cabinet for the Right and Wrong Reasons

Conservative Home has asked those signed up to their sight to say who are the most influential ministers outside the cabinet and the reasons why. For me this is an important exercise as many of these ministers will be the political stars of the future and therefore it is important to keep them on the radar. Additionally whilst the secretaries of state are the public face for the policy most of the detail of the policy comes from the junior ministers and without there support the policies can quickly lose their momentum and be consigned to the dustbin. I have therefore put who I see as the most influential Cabinet Ministers. Some are these are for positive reasons and the others are for wholly negative reasons. Incidentally these are only concentrating on Conservative Ministers and not the Liberal Democrat Ministers.

Those who are influential for positive reasons are:

Chris Grayling working with Iain Duncan smith for finally taking on the mantle of welfare reform and running with it. Oh and showing it is not just the left who care about the poor, and actually it is the right through their beliefs in wealth creation who have the best solutions for helping people out of poverty, whereas the left would just leave people in the poverty trap. Iain Duncan smith's plans are innovative and his simplification of the benefit system will lead to a situation where no longer will it pay to be out of work. Without someone as committed as Chris Grayling behind him, the welfare reform team would not have the drive it needs. Chris Grayling showed when he was the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions that he was committed to welfare reform.Now in government he is working closely with Iain Duncan Smith to put this into action.

Anne Milton, the Health minister, I completely disagree with her on smoking, where she is one of the most fiercest tobacco control advocates. However I like her plain speaking saying simply that the doctors should call fat people fat. It was a nice change from the politically correct language of New Labour and long may straight talking continue.

Mike Penning for applying the death nail to the dreaded speed cameras. No longer are we stuck with a government which seems to have a pathological hatred of motorists. His actions also proved that often Speed Cameras were just there as revenue raisers to take money off the hard pressed taxpayer and had no effect on safety whatsoever.

Grant Shapps through suggesting that council houses shouldn't be for life. He grasps the nettle that council houses for life damage aspiration and encourage fecklessness and idleness. In general I have been impressed by Grant Shapps who is pushing the localist agenda strongly. I believe he will be a rising star.

Nick Herbert for making policeman accountable to the public through the creation of elected police commissioners. This was a brave step in the face of concerted opposition from chief police officers. Hopefully it will rebuild the trust which has been lost between the police and the public.

Then there are those who have been influential for all the wrong reasons:

David Liddington the Europe Minister has shown himself to be a committed europhile. This is shown in the government's drift towards further European integration when David Liddington became a cheerleader for the European External Action Service, which in my view is a European Diplomatic corps that will undermine British Diplomacy and lead to the end of a independent British foreign policy. David Liddington along with William Hague seems to have no problem with this and has been actively pushing it.

Crispin Blunt for his terrible work as part of the justice team. Whilst I do in general support Ken Clarke's ideas on prison reform I draw the line at Crispin Blunt's cheer leading for prison parties. Not only was this a terrible PR gaffe showing a profound lack of judgement, it also run roughshod over the sensible view that prisoners should not be rewarded.