Tag Archives: cabinet reshuffle

Is Parliament’s Slimiest, Nastiest MP Now In Charge of Housing?

Just one of David Cameron's houses

Just one of David Cameron’s houses

In an move which will appall all those struggling to find a place to live, Cameron appears to have scrapped the role of Housing Minister in yesterday’s reshuffle.

Whilst there has been no formal announcement yet from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Mark Prisk was sacked from the job yesterday and has not yet been replaced.  This is despite the looming housing crisis with housebuilding at record low levels and every measure of homelessness rising.  Editor of Conservative Home, Paul Goodman, last night claimed that non-entity Kris Hopkins will have responsibility for housing.  Hopkins was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary at the DCLG yesterday, but that is a less senior role than the Minister of State he replaced.

In an astonishing turn of events Inside Housing are reporting that one of Hopkin’s colleagues, Nadine Dorries, said on twitter last night: “Very sad to see Kris Hopkins promoted. One of parliaments slimiest, nastiest MPs. Really. Awful. Decision.”

Hopkins was elected MP for Keighley in 2010 and his most prominent moment so far has been his claim in Parliament that “gangs of Muslim men were going around raping white kids” – which is the kind of thing likely to get you promoted in a Tory Party that’s desperately trying to save it’s skin by lurching to the right.

According to Inside Housing, it is still not fully clear who will take responsibility for housing with a spokesperson for the DCLG admitting they they hadn’t yet worked out who was doing what yet and people should ‘watch this space’.

Whether the Housing Minister’s role has been scrapped completely, or handed to an inexperienced shambles like Hopkins, it is clear the Prime Minister no longer thinks that housing is a priority .  Why would he, he has at least four homes.  Worrying about where to live is such a low priority for David Cameron that in 2009 he even managed to forget how many houses he and his wife own.

He now seems to have forgotten  – or just doesn’t care – that for many people in the UK, even renting just one home is fast becoming something they can’t afford.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Who the fuck is Mark Hoban?

Mark Hoban, the non-entity brought in to take over from bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling at the DWP, is likely to prove a disastrous appointment as Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms start to crumble.

Mark Hoban is the archetypal Tory nobody, a boring middle aged man with a background in accountancy and who’s only significant political achievement is getting elected in a safe Tory seat.  Hoban will leave his post as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and may well have been appointed as Cameron and Osborne’s mole as the DWP descends into increasing chaos.

Hoban does have some dubious links to the banking sector and previously worked for accountancy firm Price Waterhouse, but still doesn’t even manage to have a decent financial scandal to his name – well apart from him accepting a donation of services worth £150,ooo from Oliver Wyman Ltd, whose partner Davide Taliente was later given a role on the committee overseeing the break up of the FSA.  But even that’s quite boring.   Even his name is boring.

His voting record is equally dull, having rarely rebelled against the Government on anything, except for his ruthless opposition to LGBT rights.  Hoban has voted against every piece of LGBT equality legislation, including Civil Partnerships, since he entered Parliament.

Whilst Iain Duncan Smith will welcome some help from an accountant to cook the books, Hoban will be of little or no use when the shit hits the fan.  Welfare reform is shaping up to be an unmitigated disaster and the last thing the quiet man needed was another grey man at the DWP.

Anyone, who can find anything at all remotely interesting about Mark Hoban please get in touch.

UPDATE:  Disabled People Against Cuts have some information on Esther McVeigh, the new Minister for Disabled people: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/09/more-about-esther-mcveigh-new-minister-for-disabled-people/

ANOTHER UPDATE: latest from google is that Hoban can’t even run a fucking website:

A Lying Bastard at the Justice Department is Cameron’s Worst Joke Yet

The Chris Grayling comedy show lives on!

Bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling has been promoted to bungling Secretary of State for Justice in today’s cabinet reshuffle, replacing Ken Clarke who has been demoted to minister who’s lost his portfolio.

Grayling will be relieved to be out of the DWP, where he was little more than a whipping boy for Iain Duncan Smith’s ludicrous and unworkable benefit bashing schemes.  But the promotion of a compulsive liar like Grayling to head the Justice Department is a risky strategy for a Government that’s as out of ideas as they are out of touch.

Grayling is unlikely to fair well when his lies are scrutinised by judges and barristers rather than benefit claimants.  Whilst his appointment represents a dark day for human rights, he is likely to prove the perfect example of what can happen when a fool is promoted above their level of competence.

Grayling may not feature as highly on this blog any longer which is a shame because he’s such a knob.  Tory spiv Grant Shapps, and Maria Killer Miller are also out of the picture, meaning new ministers for both disabled people and housing are on the cards.  It has yet to be announced who will replace them.

It is the news that Cameron pleaded with Iain Duncan Smith to leave his role as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at the DWP which is most revealing.  IDS is now effectively squatting the DWP, without the support of the Prime Minister.  Whilst Grayling has dodged the upcoming Universal Credit car crash, Cameron remains firmly dazzled by the headlights.  He had his chance to end what could be a Tory Government destroying shambles and he bottled it.

Universal Credit is the new benefit regime dreamed up by Iain Duncan Smith on the back of an envelope after watching an episode of Shameless.  Millions of people are to be transferred to multi-billion pound new ‘big brother’ database.  All those currently claiming any benefit, including Child Benefit, could be bundled onto the computer system which is currently behind schedule and over budget.

This computer system, which underpins the new benefit, is set to be the most complex IT database ever built in history, anywhere.    Even, if by some miracle, it works, the plans are riddled with holes, and in some cases appear unworkable.

Changes planned to Council Tax Benefit as part of the new regime will leave Councils chasing benefit claimants through the courts for trivial amounts of money or facing huge budget shortfalls – a situation comparable to the Poll Tax.  The benefit caps, to be introduced next year, will plunge tens, if not hundreds of families into homelessness.  The ruthless assessment regime for sick and disabled claimants carried out by Atos is developing into a national scandal and almost the exact same system is about to be inflicted on over 2 million people claiming Disability Living Allowance.

Private sector poverty pimps running back to work schemes are struggling to find enough workfare placements with ever more charities and companies pulling out of forced labour.   Yet IDS keeps announcing endless new workfare schemes.  And the £5 billion Work Programme, designed to help the long term unemployed, appears to be doing quite the opposite. 

All of these problems could have disappeared had Cameron had the courage to sack Iain Duncan Smith.  Yet so scared is he of the Tory right he has chickened out, run away and left Iain Duncan Smith to die another day.  The far right of the Tory Party love Iain Duncan Smith who plunged the party into bitter splits and helped make them unelectable for a decade.  He may well do the same again, to the delight of some back benchers who would far rather be drinking gin and whinging about the communists in Government than doing any real work themselves.

The human curse that is Iain Duncan Smith may yet be the downfall of this toff Government.  The problem is he seems intent on dragging most of the rest of the country down with him.