Cabinet Reshuffle 2021: A Merry-Go-Round of Mediocrity
Image description: Boris Johnson holds a Cabinet meeting
It must be difficult being Boris Johnson. For our would-be World King, a Cabinet reshuffle is a delicate balance. The Prime Minister has to traverse a narrow tight rope: he must not promote anyone too talented that could make him look bad in comparison, but he must also remove those who are so incompetent that he is caught in the crossfire. Fortunately for him, the former are in short supply whilst the latter are in abundance.
This reshuffle is less of an opportunity for reform and innovation, and instead essentially a bin day for Downing Street’s most useless ministers. There is no vision behind Johnson’s new Cabinet, instead merely a grab bag of fresh faced sycophants who have yet to have the opportunity to humiliate themselves and this country. Despite the Tories constantly banging on about a mystical meritocracy, Johnson operates the complete opposite. This is a Cabinet governed by bullshitocracy, where talent is perceived as threatening whilst comfortable amateurism is rewarded.
“This reshuffle is less of an opportunity for reform and innovation, and instead essentially a bin day for Downing Street’s most useless ministers…”
Raab has been replaced by Liz Truss who as Trade Secretary spent the last two years as the cheerleader of ‘Global Britain’. In 2016, Truss was a fervent Remainer, tweeting during the referendum that the Leave campaign ‘…cannot name one country we would get a better trade deal with if we left the EU’. Fortunately for Truss, principles are for the birds in Johnson’s government, and Conservative Party members have memories worse than goldfish. By wrapping herself in the Union Jack and replicating trade deals that Britain already had in the EU, Truss has captured the hearts and minds of Tory faithful. Truss is the perfect ambassador for Brexit Britain, wallpapering over this country’s decline through slogans, memes, and viral tweets. Social media is the driving force for this Cabinet reshuffle; it is not about the minister’s achievements but their online appearance that is the key.
“Fortunately for Truss, principles are for the birds in Johnson’s government, and Conservative Party members have memories worse than goldfish.”
As a student, the future seems particularly bleak. University students have always been at the back of the queue throughout the pandemic. Only a week ago, Williamson gave a speech attacking universities for ‘cancelling national heroes’ instead of focussing on the lives of students and teachers. This government has never taken the concerns of students seriously throughout the pandemic; villainizing them as ‘snowflakes’ in the culture war. The new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi does not provide much hope either, referring to meaningless soundbites in his opening speech like ‘levelling up’ instead of providing substantial answers.
The Conservatives have been in power for eleven years; they leave behind a legacy of corruption, incompetence, botched reforms and U-turns. And yet they keep winning. Keir Starmer’s Labour repeatedly and miserably fails to cut through. Starmer’s supposedly important policy speech at the TUC on Tuesday was overshadowed by a Twitter fight between Chris Whitty and Nicki Minaj – the Tories simply dominate the news agenda with ease. This reshuffle proves that they are not trying anymore, and they know they don’t have to. It would take an economic miracle for Labour to win the next election. The next decade is the Tories to lose, try as they might.