Sunday, March 18, 2007

Francis Maude Should Be Left to Get on With his Job

A great thing about the last fifteen months has been the absence of constant newspaper speculation about who's up and who's down in the Shadow Cabinet and who might be moved where in a reshuffle. Quite clearly David Cameron will reshuffle his team when the new Labour leader takes over. He'll judge who's best at shadowing the different Ministers in Labour's team.
The only person who has really been a victim of speculation is Francis Maude. There's a diary piece in The Observer today speculating that he will be replaced by either Chris Grayling, George Osborne or Andrew Mackay.

I've had my differences with Francis but if I was David Cameron I would think long and hard before moving him. He's bounced back well from the failure of the 21st Century Party project and has instituted some much needed reforms in the wider Party. He is a good lightning rod too. The Party's finances are in good shape, the move to Millbank has been smooth and he's organised a successful Spring Forum. We've had far too many 'eighteen month' Party Chairmen over the years. Maybe it's about time that this one was left to get on with his job, without constantly looking over his shoulder to see who is wielding a knife.

28 comments:

Praguetory said...

Yes. Francis has done sterling work and has grown into the role.

Anonymous said...

Grayling and Osborne would be wasted in the job and Mackay I suspect is too busy.
Maude is trusted by members and should remain.

achilles said...

Francis is one of the few in the team who has real gravitas. George Osborne looks as if he has just left Prep school. (sorry George!)

og said...

I don't agree that Maude is trusted by members at all. It would be foolish to trust the conservativemoan monthly surveys, given that it is a forum for dissent rather support (on balance), but nevertheless Maude's figures are uniformly terrible there.

You could just about call Maude a Heathite Tory; but more likely a social democrat, quite heavy on the social(ism). Sooner he goes the better, replaced by someone with tact who will keep the centre and right of the party comfortable. This is a job for a competent technocrat, no great media exposure needed. Whittingdale could do it well.

Dave Bartlett said...

Just listened to Mr Maude being interviewed on The World this Weekend AMAZINGLY hostile interviewer. Weird.

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Hear Hear.

Francis Maude is a superb Chairman and is doing a superb job.

Anonymous said...

Francis Maude lives a stones throw away from me, I would support him wholeheartedly. He is not afraid of going into the lions den either. When I was made redundant a few years ago, I worked an XMas as a postman, and he came in and went round and taked to lots of people, not many of whom would be considered as natural Tories. Good on you Francis, Keep up the good work.

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

Sorry Iain, anonymous just posted was from Maggie Thatcher Fan. I hit wthe wrong button!!

Ben Redsell said...

I am afraid I still haven't forgiven Francis for the 21st Century Party fiasco - based on a document almost entirely copied from the Labour party document of the same name!

The trouble is he convinced me that he genuinely believes that Associations will share agents with the marginal seats, not that we should be massively training a generation of professional staff. He is wrong and storing up trouble for the future. Marginal seats need agents, maybe even centrally salaried ones. This helps them more than any other thing that CCHQ can do for them. Francis has failed to bring about any significant improvement in the organisation IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but we actually need a hard working chairman who is on top of the job and can get things done on time as we prepare for the general election.

wonderfulforhisage said...

One has to suspect the judgment of anybody (other than David Blunkett) who could wear a tie like the one in your photo.

Snedds said...

Hahahahahaha

*breathes*

Hahahahahaha

Why the hell should Muade or anyone else be 'left to get on with the job.' Specualtion is all that the Tories seem to have, and speculating over the political futures of Labour politicians seems to be the highlight of yours and many other's days. I presume with this logic Iain, you will stop blogging to allow all politicians to get on with their jobs?

Peter said...

Everyone should be allowed to get on with their job if they are doing a good job - Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Cleaners, Teachers the list is endless.... and yes even Politicians but not Bureaurats!!!

Sarah Michaels said...

The bottom line is that he is not competent and this is a critical job in advance of a critical general election. He has to go.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Maude has to go.

Not Osborne though. Being party chairman means you have to actually run something. After Francis, we are going to need someone with some proven managerial competence/experience/skills.

Benedict White said...

Iain, I have to agree with you as well. I also do not agree with everything he says, but you can always find differences between people of the same party!

Bob from Bognor said...

Neither Osborne nor Grayling have made a success of their current portfolios. Both are poor media communicators. Grayling seems to have to have little or no policies at all. The Party Chairmanship should not be a reward for failure.

If Maude has to be moved on, my suggestion would be Michael Gove. However, I have a nasty feeling that it would either John Maples or Andrew Mackay who have "form" on candidate selection.

Anonymous said...

Gove would be ideal.A real mans man!

Anonymous said...

Maples is a non starter and the suggestion of permatan is just sadistic.

Anonymous said...

The crucial factor is one of competance - and in this regard he does appear to me to excel. He is fully aware of the need to train agents etc and is under no illusions about the state of the infrastructure of the party in certain parts of the country. Indeed was highlighting these problems years ago.

I don't give much weight to the story in the Observor. If you were an insider with this sort of information why would you leak it to the Pendennis column.

Desperate Dan said...

I get the impression that Maude plotted against Willian Hague when Maude wanted to impose his favourite Michael Portillo on the party. And then his next bout of plotting resulted in the accidental election of IDS. He appears to believe that he knows best and that his views on the running and direction of the party are more important than those of the leader or anyone else. He cannot be relied upon not to continue his plotting if it suits his ambitions. His arrogance alone should rule him out of continuing as chairman but he shouldn't be removed until someone is found who is the creme de la creme of party chairmen. There's no point in replacing him by just anyone.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the Observer's Pendennis piece:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/7days/story/0,,2036641,00.html

Anonymous said...

Dan your spot on-Portaloo was his "man" and it failed.
On the tube this morning some wag offered up the thought to the whole carriage that Dave's policies were a bit like his non-policies-ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Anonymous said...

PS-for non-policies-read "PARTING"

Anonymous said...

Achilles said:

George Osborne looks as though he has just left prep school.

Achilles, Osborne is an astoundingly clever Shadow Chancellor, with the sort of far reaching breadth of perception that makes Brown look Neandethal by comparison. His problem is that he doesn't communicate this well and is too intellectual for the public, so his light hides under its bushel. Read some of his speeches. It's just unfortunate that his position is being micro managed by the spin doctor in chief. And that's reason enough for not making him party Chair, the position needs someone able to stand up to spin doctor mind games.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

For bushel read DOME!

James Hardman said...

He can't even get to meetings on time. We need someone who is organized.

Desperate Dan said...

Anonymous 11.15...I agree that George Osborne is a good man. When he's on one of the BBC's Slap a Politician Down programmes - Today, Newsnight - he doesn't respond well to the badly brought up ill manners of their presenters. But when he's talking to someone like Simon Mayo who seems interested in finding out, on behalf of listeners, what Osborne has to say and what he thinks, he's very likeable and well able to express his eminently sensible views on the economy.
An ability to appear on tv without looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights is not necessarily a good thing in a politician - as the egomaniacs Alan Duncan and John Bercow demonstrate with tedious regularity.