Peter Bingle: The era of the Notting Hill Boys has come to a bloody end

Written by Peter Bingle on 15 July 2016 in Opinion

The likes of Cameron and Osborne have been replaced by older and more serious political players.

After the most brutal reshuffle in living memory one thing is now certain. This is a radically different government in terms of both personality and feel.

Our new PM has demonstrated that she is tough as old boots,  politically astute and determined to park her tanks on the Labour Party's lawns. The era of the Notting Hill Boys has come to a very bloody end. They have been wiped out. There will be very few tears.

It is amazing how the Cameron and Osborne duopoly already seems a distant memory. The boys have been replaced by older and more serious political players. They now seem to have had very little substance. 

I am reminded of the likes of Keith Joseph, Francis Pym, Jim Prior and Willie Whitelaw.  They were serious players. The new government has gravitas and panache. It is also much more traditionally right wing. A radically different government without the inconvenience of a general election.

Mrs May has used two criteria in her appointments. Merit and balance. Under the old regime there was far too much tokenism and very little regard for the feelings of Tory activists and voters. Too many ministers were hopeless and bereft of any obvious signs of ability. This fault has been rectified. The new Cabinet has been appointed on the basis of merit.

Mrs May has also deftly balanced Brexit and Remain supporters. As she has now stated on more than one occasion : "Brexit means Brexit!" Perhaps Amber Rudd will now allow Boris to drive her home after a party!

The appointments have been astute and in some instances inspired. At last Damian Green's rare talents have been recognised. The same applies to Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and Justine Greening. Hammond will be a traditional right wing Chancellor rather than a Darling-lite trimmer. Even Andrea Leadsom and her supporters will be happy with her new job. I wonder how long she will survive. I think she is bonkers.

In terms of today's losers it is hard to disagree with the PM. Nobody will shed a tear over Michael Gove or George Osborne. The same applies to the hapless Nicky Morgan. Nobody knows who Oliver Letwin is and Theresa Villiers has a radio face. I am reminded of Ko-Ko's famous patter song in The Mikado. He is right. None of them will be missed!

Politics is a cruel business and rightly so. The stakes are very high. Ministers have huge power. It follows that only the best should survive. The new government is immeasurably stronger than its predecessor.

My Labour MP friends are distraught and hitting the bottle. Corbyn, Eagle and Smith are political pygmies compared to the senior members of the new government. Voters are not fools. They recognise serious politicians and they recognise jokers. There is no longer a talent bank on the Labour benches. There is also no political courage or conviction. Most of them are spineless castrati ...

I hoped very much that Theresa May would use this special moment when her power is at its greatest to be totally brutal. She hasn't disappointed. For all the cheers during and after David Cameron's bravura last PMQs the painful truth is that he was destroyed by hubris. He was a political chancer who rolled the dice once too often. He never wanted an EU referendum and promised it never believing it would ever happen. History will not be kind about him.

So what fun. Momentous change. The Tory Party rather like Dr Who has transformed itself into a very different government. Serious, right-wing and competent. The Labour Party is a joke and the Lib Dems are irrelevant. I suspect we are looking at a twenty year Tory hegemony. Wonderful ...



Picture by: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images.



About the author

Peter Bingle is a lobbyist and former Conservative councillor.

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