Friday, 28 May 2010

Who Will Fire David Laws?

Shaping up as a half-decent, expensively-educated, millionaire Chief Treasury Secretary though he might have been, I'm awfully sorry, but David Laws' political arse is grass. He can't argue the case for public spending cuts when he, apparently, has been pretty happy to sponge off the state on behalf of his partner for the longest time.

So the only question to me is: who will fire him? His party leader, Clegg, or his boss, the Prime Minister?

My view? Cameron must pull the trigger immediately because what Laws did particularly is just the sort of troughing, fiddling, pocket-lining, venal rule-bending Cameron has been condemning in principle and often for over a year. He fought the election on that platform, for heaven's sake!

Frankly, Laws fired himself the moment he chose not to reveal any of this as being a potential problem to his boss before he was appointed (I do not for one moment believe he didn't realise or didn't understand the rules - in fact it's surely hard to believe that of a double first Cambridge economist - and it won't wash regardless, even if he sticks to that lame line).

But who to replace him? Well, how about John Redwood? I think it's high time Cameron picked someone like him for the cabinet anyway. Besides, he's much smarter and more experienced even than Laws in many ways, and genuinely believes and can explain the Friedmanite solution to Labour's debt crisis that we now so desperately need. He'd also be a handy bulwark against the economic mixed brew that is Saint Vince and his presence would vastly help to shore up the Tory back benches. A win-win scenario potentially, then, both for the party and, in my humble, for the country.

Oh, and sucks to the bloody Lib Dums. They can either suck it up and stay in government, or they can destroy this blessed coalition in a fit of indefensible pique.

I just can't wait to see how Deputy Nick decides to handle this one.


  1. He should be gone now. Not tomorrow; tonight.

    This theft is inexcusable.

  2. Yes, he has to go, it was a clear break of the expenses rules and the chief secretary to the treasury has to be whiter than white on that front. As to his reasons and whether it was motivated by financial gain or merely his desire to keep his sexuality hidden I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt as apparently even close friends and colleagues were unaware he was gay but still, he has no choice but to go.

    And that is the crying shame of it, for he was turning into an excellent Chief secretary. I'm sure Others like myself were smiling when we heard about the pot plant budget story at the treasury yesterday. He seemed to get it.

    I think you're right D, Redwood would be the best replacement. As tempting as it would be to move Hammond back, he's got another brief to focus on now and should be left to work on that. Yes, the libdems won't like Redwood joining the Treasury team, yes they will lose a seat at the cabinet but it was their man (their star man as well) that broke the rules and they'll have to suck it up. John Redwood's an expert on government spending and like Laws sees how spending restraint can be achieved in clear unambiguous terms.

    The irony is that probably the only thing that made Laws join the libdems instead of the conservatives in the first place was his hidden homosexuality, as he would probably have found the conservatives of old not such a welcoming place. Still, I don't think Cameron will have to make the call (and he is the one who must decide), I think Laws is honourable enough to walk.

  3. why do our ministers commit FRAUD and seem to above the law and get away with it.

  4. Tris: sad but true - and now he has gone.

    UB: agree with you about Laws' career decisions, though I would add that I if it indeed true that he was somehow embarrassed about his sexuality in this day and age, ironically that in itself when it (and he) came out would never have cost him his job whether he was a Tory or not. Though I do feel sorry for him, it was the troughing that was unforgivable - and it was the bullet that did for him. I think Dave pulled the trigger, ruthlessly and with all appropriate speed.

    That, at least, has really impressed me and has only served to increase his authority. Clegg, in contrast, although I don't know all the facts, looks diminished in that he now clearly knows precisely who is in charge. Moreover, it's also clear that his party is well and truly locked in to this coalition, whether they like it or not.

    I suspect with the left of the Libdems, the answer will be 'not'. Expect a few defections to Labour from them over the coming months (possibly weeks). This could signal a major realignment in UK politics, and the end of the third party as a discrete entity.

    Whatever happens, this resignation is more significant than I'd previously reckoned in terms of its potential wider implications. Fascinating, really.


Any thoughts?