Reid's Clever Departure

You have to hand it to John Reid. He knows when to get out. He has never hung around long enough in any of his ministerial offices to deal with the consequences of his decisions. Now, as the outgoing Home Secretary, he is once again leaving someone else to clear up his mess. Having organised the complete restructuring of his department and its splitting into two, a nightmare task if ever there was one, he can happily watch a successor come a cropper over the details while he picks up his directorships and makes money on the speaking circuit. His departure is being seen as heralding a Blairite exodus, but did anyone really think that Gordon Brown was somehow not going to wield a pretty hefty axe in the direction of his cabinet opponents (i.e. anyone who has not salvishly followed G. Brown)? For all the personnel changes likely to accrue from a change of premiership, we await in anticipation any indication that there will be actual political changes as well.

In France, meanwhile, they have swapped one right-wing president for another, but they look as if they really will experience dynamic political change. He may be a divisive figure in his own country, but as the new French president goes for a rest to determine his future government, he carries with him a lustre of dynamism and change that is missing from his future British counterpart.


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