Posts Tagged ‘shadow cabinet league’

Shadow Cabinet League: Reshuffle special

25/06/2014, 11:29:54 AM

by Alan Smithee

We are entering reshuffle season. Parliament is full of Labour MPs hoping Ed Miliband won’t put the black spot on them. For some shadow cabinet members, this is the end of the line. For others, they will cling on, their hopes of high office not yet dashed. At Uncut, we are nothing but loyal servants to Dear Leader, so our table may give him a few ideas as to who should be bumped off.

The recess and elections meant that May saw relatively low levels of parliamentary activity.  Sadiq Khan continued his good work. The relative success of the London results has boosted his chances of getting mayoralty nomination (even if his spectacularly poor Express article showed a lack of judgement). Chris Leslie had a busy media month, attempting to combat the Government’s narrative over the recovery and setting out how Labour would build long-termism into the economy. Hilary Benn and his team continue their strong media attacks on the DCLG, exposing the incompetence of Pickles.

Over at Progress conference, Chuka Umunna put in a smooth performance in his Q&A session with Jacqui Smith. This capped off a successful month where he rang rings around the Government over the Pfizer/AstraZeneca issue and bested the BBC’s notoriously tricky interviewer Andrew Neil.

Shad Cab May 2014 JPEG

Just behind Chuka, Caroline Flint and his potential leadership rival Yvette Cooper had contrasting months. Flint and her team had a slow month (aside from the mandatory campaigning). By contrast, Cooper made some good interventions, proactively generating stories over Labour’s policies towards the assets of criminals and exposing the government’s poor record on waiting times for victims of crime. In the media, however, she was understandably overshadowed by Theresa May’s audacious intervention at the Police Federation conference.


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Shadow cabinet league: Sadiq Khan strides ahead

25/04/2014, 10:46:55 AM

by Alan Smithee

Last month for Labour was defined by two events: the Special Conference and the Budget. The former was a triumph for Ed and the latter a disappointment.  This is the story of his leadership – for every positive leap, a stumble follows. It has been much the same for his shadow cabinet colleagues, a month of minor triumph and minor disappointment but not much more.

As he did in the London Marathon, Sadiq Khan strides far ahead of his colleagues.

His speech on prison reform did not please the hang ‘em and flog ‘em brigade but sketched out a liberal-pragmatic path that fits with Khan’s other pronouncements.

March was another solid month for Chris Leslie. His strong performance on rebutting government claims surrounding the budget showed his continued importance to the shadow treasury team.

For Hilary Benn, the month of March was marked by the death of his father. As a result, it seems glib to comment on his shadow cabinet activity, other than to note his rise continues with a step up to third from fifth.

It was a relatively quiet month for Caroline Flint on the media front, counterbalanced by her good usage of written questions. Her questions, as per usual, focussed mainly on energy but she also found time this month to probe on climate change too.

Yvette Cooper impressed last month with a considered speech at Demos on the balance of security and liberty in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Her extra-Parliamentary work underpins her position near the top of the table; she rarely tables questions to ministers.

Rounding off the top six is Rachel Reeves. As in previous months, Reeves has continued to score points against IDS over the trials and tribulations of universal credit. She also struck a good balance between positivity over improving labour market statistics and highlighting the lack of quality jobs and issues with youth unemployment.


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Shadow cabinet league: Khan still top as Benn barges into top ten

21/01/2014, 02:42:44 PM

by Alan Smithee

Early on in a season, a league table often struggles to reflect the true strength of teams. Sometimes teams remain high up in a table due to a superficial good start. However, one cannot tell truly until after a good handful of games have passed. The same is true for Uncut’s shadow cabinet table. However, with December’s results’ in, there are still some useful hints at work rate and the tactics used.

Shad Cab table 1

Within the top five, Sadiq Khan remains at number one, fueled by large numbers of written questions and heavily reactive media activity. His impressive performance has continued to cover a broad policy spectrum and, even if it does not pay major immediate political dues, will leave Khan well set up to manage and modify the penal system. The same formula is used by Chris Leslie, Caroline Flint and Chuka Umunna. Flint has continued to use the energy price freeze pledge and rising bills to hammer the government on the cost of living.   Andy Burnham however has focussed his guns in the media sphere working reactive and proactive to attack the failings of government NHS reforms.


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The shadow cabinet league: Sadiq takes an early lead

04/12/2013, 12:53:58 PM

by Alan Smithee

Rebooting a franchise is always a tricky task; for every Batman Begins, there is a Phantom Menace or Superman Returns. This reboot is rather cheaper and less sexy than your average Hollywood blockbuster, having been calculated on open-source software. As it is the first month back, it is hard to draw major conclusions from such a small data of pool. However, there are data points that bear discussing.

Shadow cabinet work rate table - November 2013

Shadow cabinet work rate table – November 2013

Storming into a surprise lead is Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary. Much of his media comment and written answers that underpinned his high score have been under-the-radar. He has constantly hammered away at the DoJ on prisons, focussing on rising costs and issues with places. His mayoral ambition seems to be drifting, but he has mastered the skills of opposition and could well turn up a political gem with his relentless digging.


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The April shadow cabinet league

12/04/2012, 08:30:36 AM

by Atul Hatwal

It’s become a tedious holiday tradition: MPs tweeting about their various constituency appointments and local campaign meetings, furiously reassuring voters and party members that they are busy at work, despite the long parliamentary recess.

The world really doesn’t need another tweet telling us yet again about a “good reaction on the #Labour doorstep” and for Labour’s shadow cabinet, many (though not all) should just take their break with good grace – they have earned it.

The first three months of this year have seen an unprecedented work rate: over 400 press releases, nearly 1000 written questions and almost 50 speeches from the despatch box.

Compared to last year, at this stage in the parliament, the shadow cabinet’s total score indicates a 54% hike in effort. In every category, the shadow cabinet has done more and worked harder.

While doubts will persist on the effectiveness of the party’s overall strategy, and Bradford West might be a prologue to greater disappointments in the May elections, it is hard to criticise the work ethic of many at Labour’s top table.

Since the last league in early February there has been a minor shuffling of the pack with three shadow cabinet members posting notable performances: Caroline Flint, Chuka Umunna and Andy Burnham.


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