Being objective, this is what I would do if I were David Cameron.
DC needs to up his game in terms of appearing to be more hard working and giving the impression that he is up to the top job intellectually, and on a day-to-day level in terms of how he deals with people. He seems bad tempered, ill and ease and is finding it hard to sell the lie of deficit reduction and the fact that the Euro is going belly up and we are going to have to get more involved whether we like it or not.
Osborne out and replace him with Hague: Gideon has failed miserably to communicate what he is doing and why he is doing it. The Bungled Budget with its mass of U turns and lack of credibility has done the Tories massive damage. One thing we could never accuse the Thatcher Government with was incompetence. We may have loathed the direction she took the country, but she set her course and stuck to it. Above all she weighed up what was deliverable before setting out her programme. She had a knack of knowing what would appeal to the middle ground, something which Blair picked up on. Once she lost her common touch with the poll tax Maggie was out. DC needs to man up. He may be tied politically to Osborne, and be a genuine friend of the Chancellor, but if Gideon remains in post he will drag DC to defeat at the polls. Getting rid now may do him some short-term damage but three years down the line that maybe forgotten. Hague can rid the Posh Boy charge, and he will be able to change course as Osborne has dug himself a hole he can’t get out of without huge loss of face to himself and DC. And let’s face it Osborne is no Gordon Brown in terms of damaging the PM from the Back Benches.
Clegg to the Foreign Office. DC needs to build capital in Europe, as without doubt the balloon is about to go up regarding Greece. The FCO will appeal to Clegg’s self-importance whilst giving the impression of reaching out to the other leaders. In addition it would get him out of DC’s hair on a day-to-day basis.
IDS to Education, Gove to DWP. IDS is a consensus type of guy and this is sorely needed at Education where Gove has behaved like a bull in a china shop. I hate what the Tories are doing regarding Welfare, but if DC is serious, send in Gove who will bring a certain ruthlessness to the role. From a Tory point of view you need a mean minded bruiser at the DWP to ram through brutal and uncaring policies. Gove fits the bill just fine on all fronts.
Ken Clarke to Health. As a Samaritan prison worker I want Ken to stay at Justice due to his pragmatism, and his understanding that prisons aren’t there for the purpose of politicians looking hard (Blunkett, Howard), but Lansley has made such a total mess of health that the Tories need competence in this role above anything else.
It will be interesting to see whether DC has what it takes to make hard decisions which may upset people he has history with, but if he doesn’t I am even more confident that we will win in 2015.