Peter Hoskin

Government by clique?

An important article by Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer, setting out the “clique of four” at the heart of the Tory party – David Cameron, George Osborne, Andy Coulson and Steve Hilton – and the deleterious monopoly they have on decision-making.  This passage outlines the extent of the problem:

“Some shadow cabinet members report that their leader can be good at soliciting the views of colleagues and treating their portfolios with respect. Others complain that they are so frozen out of the inner gang that they have never had the opportunity for a one-to-one discussion with him about their policy areas.”

The claims of the latter shadow cabinet members flag up something Cameron should fix – and sharpish.  Not only will the current set-up foster internal resentment against the Tory leader, but it lessens the chances of the right decisions getting made and could create great vacuums in the party’s thinking.  Indeed, there are worrying signs that those vacuums exist already.  I leave you with a quote from a shadow cabinet member, told to Rawnsley: “If you look at our legislative programme for the first year, it is a blank piece of paper.”

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