A Treasury duo of Alistair Darling and Yvette Cooper seems rather low-watt in these troubled economic times; it appears that Brown will only appoint those who have been with him on the long march to power to his old department. Yvette Cooper, like most of Brown’s closest allies, is a poor media performer—Iain Martin has some particularly astute points on Cooper’s shortcomings--in a brief where she is going to be on TV and radio a lot over the next few months.
If Labour is going to win the next election they have to get their A team on the field. This limited reshuffle suggests that Brown hasn’t grasped this. Indeed, the Tories are the only one of the three main parties who are fielding their strongest possible line up at the moment with several of the Lib Dems biggest beasts sitting things out at the moment.