I take an interest in Lib Dem politics- and never more so that now. In general, I'm interested in what impact the election of Nick Clegg as leader will have on my party's chances of forming a Government at Westminster after the next election. And I'm also interested in what my own MP in Montgomeryshire is up to - not least because I'll be trying to oust him at the next election. Well, I watched tonight's BBC Wales news at 6.30 and the reshuffle wasn't covered at all! Not much impact there. So I picked it up on the web.
First challenge was what to do with Chris Huhne, who almost pipped him for the leadership. He's got the high profile role as Home Affairs spokesman - but he will have to work hard for space on what has become David Davis territory. I suppose Huhne will be pleased with this. Ed Davey has been given Foreign Affairs and 'twinkletoes' Vince Cable will carry on destroying Gordon Brown's legacy as Chancellor. Two other aspects of this reshuffle that catches my eye is the sort of roving 'European' role which has been given to Charles Kennedy - which should be a good slot from which to go for the Party Presidency when it comes up (He'll be a shoe-in if he wants it). Secondly, the sheer size of the team - up from 23 to 30. A plumed hat for everyone! I was pleased to see that the 'countryside' spokesman, Tim Farrow has been included as a sort of add on to the team.
My MP in Montgomeryshire, Lembit Opik has been moved to 'Housing'. I could be wrong but this looks something of a demotion to me. He was doing 'Business' (which he described as 'a huge promotion and what he really wanted' when Ming last reshuffled) plus 'Northern Ireland'. So he's lost Business, Wales and Northern Ireland - and he's got Housing. I've no doubt that a press release has already gone out describing this as 'a huge promotion and what he really wanted' !! Still, housing is an important subject in Montgomeryshire - even if its been devolved to the Assembly and is not much to do with Westminster. Which it is why it seems such a strange appointment. The Lib Dem's 'Housing' Spokesman represents a constituency where he has little or no say in housing matters. Its a job to know what to make of this.