HOW THINGS CHANGE
I’ve been re-reading the volume of Tony Benn’s diaries that deals with the Wilson-Callaghan Labour Government of 1974-79. The cabinet during these years really did have a stellar line-up, containing such household names as Michael Foot, Denis Healy, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams, Tony Crosland and Roy Hattersley plus Benn and Callaghan themselves. Mind you, given that they went off to form the SDP I suppose the least said about Owen, Williams and Jenkins the better!
Which brings me to a recent description in the “Grimsby Telegraph” of Grimsby MP Lia Nici as “a rising star in the Conservative party”. And my instinctive reaction was to think if that’s the best Johnson can do, his days are certainly numbered.
But there again, the Prime Minister likes to surround himself with yes men and women, getting rid of anyone who might dare to challenge his authority. That though is not the ideal way to run a country, when you won’t the most talented people around you whether they are left or right, in favour of Brexit or not.
Wilson and Callaghan certainly knew that, as did Blair and Brown when they were running the country. Yet the Tories don’t have the same democratic structure and traditions as we do, with Labour ensuring the cabinet is a good balance of able male and female politicians.
Hence no doubt the economic mess we are now in!