The Spectator

The portfolio of all the talents

The portfolio of all the talents
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Much has been said, and rightly, about the battle of the titans over schools and children’s policy which will now ensue between Ed Balls and Michael Gove, elevated to the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet respectively in the past week. Ed, as well as being Gordon’s right-hand man, is an impressive act himself with a serious intellect and a greater sense of humour than has yet been realised. He will need it against Michael, who was a star of my years at Oxford, and has remained at the top of whatever game he has chosen since then: he is also right about the war on terror, which comforts those of us who detect a pragmatist, dullard drift in Tory foreign policy. He has what it takes to lead the party in due course. To add to the brew of competing talent, David Laws has been appointed by Sir Menzies Campbell as their Lib Dem counterpart. It was no accident that Mr Laws was the Lib Dem that the Tories tried to poach: he will be a formidable player in this top-flight tournament. The Ed’n’Mike’n’Dave Show. What a prospect.