'˜Chumocracy' out as May has her way

Rarely before in Britain has such an outpouring of political blood generated such widespread excitement as Theresa May's merciless culling of the David Cameron 'chumocracy' in the Cabinet.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 7:23 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:09 pm
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

May wielded her scythe ruthlessly, but with precision, in destroying the political careers of people, many of whom must have thought they had plenty of political life ahead of them.

The Old Etonian tag has almost disappeared from the front-bench line-up – only Boris Johnson 
remains – while comprehensive school-educated Cabinet ministers appears to have been a deliberate policy.

But I cannot for the life of me 
understand why having been to Eton should now be a stigma, while a comprehensive background should be a virtue. Why not just pick the best people, irrespective of whether their parents chose to pay for their schooling or not?

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However, most of those who got the boot probably deserved it.

I, for one, could never see the point of Oliver Letwin, who has been correctly described as “politically witless”, except possibly as a run-around messenger boy for David Cameron. In short, a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Lord Feldman, too, the party chairman, seems to have got the job because he played tennis with Cameron.

Some have said that consigning ex-chancellor George Osborne to the back-benches was a dangerous move because they feared he might foment trouble for her. But I am sure Osborne is grown-up enough to realise that this would be a senseless thing to do.

Even so, his sacking was a pretty bold move by the new Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, as May hit the ground running and the Tories moved easily and swiftly into their new administration, the Labour leadership contest trudges along with the speed of a broken-backed old carthorse.

Everybody seems to be saying things, but the process shows no sign of moving forward.

I will put my head above the parapet and predict that if ever this thing got moving and it came to the crunch, Jeremy Corbyn might still be reigning supreme. We shall see.