Ken Clarke - return or revenge?
Mr Clarke is to replace as Alan Duncan as Business Secretary. Apparently, he 'has accepted that the Tory position on Lisbon, the EPP and the Euro is settled. He won't attempt to change party policy but neither will he change his views.'
The Conservative position on Lisbon, the EPP and the Euro is not remotely settled. There is an entente cordiale between opposing factions, and Mr Clarke will actively oppose from within the Shadow Cabinet giving the British people a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon (he is no fan of democracy even within the Conservative Party). Mr Clarke has always said precisely what he thought on matters relating to the EU, having appeared on platforms with his political opponents to the detriment of the Conservative Party and to the embarassment of the Leader. Indeed, he even favours a coalition with the europhile Liberal Democrats, and has publicly said so. He is a loose cannon, and regularly defies the Party whip with impunity: indeed, his voting record identifies him as a rebel.
This promotion is a reward for disloyalty and rebellion. But while eurosceptics who assert their EU beliefs are permanently exiled from David Cameron's inner circle, europhiles who do not toe the Party line are positively embraced. That Mr Clarke enters the Shadow Cabinet for perpetually defying the Party Whip sets a curious example for all those ambitious young MPs who are encouraged to cease thinking for themselves and to vote as they are instructed.
Cranmer does not wish to say any more.
He is a little despondent.