In tomorrow’s Spectator, an anonymous former minister recounts their experiences of David Cameron’s reshuffle. They describe the walk in to see the Prime Minister – through the back entrance where the cameras cannot see ministers arrive – and the way the Prime Minister tries to placate them by explaining that there are ‘303 someone elses’ that he needs to keep happy. You can read the full copy below, or in the magazine from tomorrow:
Divorce is something I have yet to experience personally but Dave’s reshuffle has set me up nicely for any future threat to my own nuptial bliss. Out of the blue comes the call. It’s Dave’s office. ‘We need to talk — can you come over?’ And better I come round the back way to 10 Downing St, apparently, because there’s workmen all over the place at the front. And thus the bell tolls: on reshuffle day, winners are invited through the front door to smile for the cameras. The victims are roughed up around the back.
Tentatively, I turn up at Dave’s office. His flunkies, who usually don’t give you the time of day on your rare visits to the No. 10 bunker, are eerily fawning. Dave bounces out of his sofa, the air permeated with an uncharacteristic whiff of contrition. Something is definitely up. ‘Thanks for coming. Look there’s something I really need to tell you and I’m afraid it’s not good news.’ ‘What on earth is it?’ I simper.
What follows was horribly like what one’s wife might say before booting you out. It went something like this: ‘You have done a fantastic job. You have led a fantastic reform programme. I have no complaints about anything, you’ve done nothing wrong.’ The political equivalent of ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’
I respond in the manner of jilted husbands down the ages.