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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Six rules of strategic reshuffle

William Hague provides some rare insight into the backdoor dealings of a parliamentary system in his critique of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's recent Shadow Cabinet reshuffle:
The first rule, for a leader whose authority is anything short of total, is that it should come as a complete surprise, preferably a bolt from the bluest of skies. This is to prevent your colleagues from seeking to negotiate or combining to frustrate you. The date should be concealed even from some of the leader’s closest aides, with fake or easily cancelled engagements in the diary.

The second rule is that if any test of strength develops between you the leader and a subordinate, you have to win. If a colleague is immovable don’t try to move them. But once you say they’re moving, they have to go, whatever the cost. This is true even if it brings you down, because otherwise your weakness will make future shuffles impossible and bring you down anyway. In other words, you either pretend to be happy with Hilary Benn or you move him, but you certainly don’t show unhappiness and fail to move him.

The third rule is never to explain in public why you have dismissed any individual. Politicians don’t like being sacked, but on the whole they get over it. They still have hope for the future, and can sometimes be brought back with some gratitude on their part.

The fourth rule is that your new appointments should accentuate the divisions among your enemies. Promote some people from a different wing of the party who are proving technically able, so that they then have a vested interest in your success. Corbyn benefits enormously from Labour’s moderates being divided between those willing to serve with him and those who are sitting things out. But a shuffle is a chance to make their divisions worse, not push them together.

Here we have to come to the fifth rule, which takes us away from the politics of personalities to how policy on major issues is made. This rule states that a reshuffle, while not breaking any of the first four rules, should make it easier for a party to unite in the future on an issue it finds difficult.

The sixth rule states that, however much you’ve messed up with rules two to five, never forget the first rule. A leader without the capacity to surprise is without the power of tactical initiative.
Politics is a very dirty and intrinsically dishonest business. I'm glad I decided to stay out of it, although sometimes I wonder how things might have turned out if I'd gone with the program and aimed at Congress.

Regardless, Hague's comments are a fascinating glimpse into a world we seldom see.

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29 Comments:

Blogger Paul Widdecombe January 13, 2016 8:25 AM  

The Six rules of an SJW cabinet reshuffle:

1) Preen, strut, bit of Virtue signalling blood in the water to get the feeding frenzy started
2) Throw your most trusted allies under the bus
3) Virtue signal about the agonising decisions you have to make, as publicly as possible, about how terrible you feel, how terrible they were, how terrible everything except TheCause(tm) is.
4) New appointment should be based upon how violently they hate your enemies. If they create divisions that your enemies can exploit then that will...
5) Unite you as a group in your eternal quest for virtue signalling. Against your allies, against your enemies, against yourselves. It is the only policy that matters to SJW's, after all.
6) No matter how much you mess up on 2-5, never forget: Virtue Signal!!!

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 January 13, 2016 8:27 AM  

But ALWAYS leave your target a venue of retreat.....
"Ms. (x) unexpectedly decided to step away from the rigors of the job, and spend more time with her family..."
CaptDMO

Blogger exfarmkid January 13, 2016 8:28 AM  

Seriously? You would have been targeted worse than Michelle Bachmann. Would you really have wanted to do that?

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 January 13, 2016 8:41 AM  

..... I am really trying to picture you as a Congressman, VD. It's... an interesting picture.

I'm guessing the only districts where you could consistently be yourself would be in the Deep South or parts of the Rust Belt (religion, immigration, etc.), but you could "tone it down" and be a constant thorn in the side of Leftists in many places.

Anonymous Alexander January 13, 2016 8:41 AM  

Why he would *want* it is one thing is his business.

But it's not like Vox abandoned his dreams of Congress in order to live a quiet, non-confrontational life absent any sort of adversarial political opponents. And if nothing else, The Donald ought to have taught all of us by now that past the pomp and ceremony, the establishment are a bunch of clowns to be stumped and trumped.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet January 13, 2016 8:49 AM  

I honestly think you'd make a good representative. You're one of the few men that when talking to, you get the impression you can talk pretty openly with mutual respect... Even when you have more power than the other person.

Also... That mohawk.

Blogger VD January 13, 2016 8:59 AM  

Seriously? You would have been targeted worse than Michelle Bachmann. Would you really have wanted to do that?

I didn't want to do that. Psykosonik had just been signed and I'd already seen KSTP go after my father in a ridiculously unfair way. When the possibility was broached by some fairly serious players, I made it clear that I was not interested. But it's an interesting thought.

Anonymous Ryan January 13, 2016 9:05 AM  

Ahhh...I can picture the interview with Megan Kelly....

"So, is I true you believe women should not have the vote?"

Yes.

And isn't it true that you stated that African Americans have lower IQ's than whites, on average?

Yes.

And did you suggest WTC 7 was brought down by demo experts?

Yes.

Did you suggest that Sandy Hook was a false flag event?

Yes.

And did you once say women ruin everything?

Yes.

And did you once suggest the moon landing photos were taken on earth?

Yes.

Thank you for your time. (smiles like only Megan can smile)

Blogger Nick S January 13, 2016 9:20 AM  

...I wonder how things might have turned out if I'd gone with the program...

I can't even...these mental contortions are causing cognitive dissonance...please, stop.

Anonymous KoranBurningFaggot January 13, 2016 9:25 AM  

sometimes I wonder how things might have turned out if I'd gone with the program and aimed at Congress

I will always remember that black congresswoman busted for taking an illegal bribe of a multi million dollar house in DC, playing the race card and saying there was a worse rule breaker than her that gets away with it because he is white, the congressman with a cot in his office that sleeps there. Not only do firemen sleep on the job site but so do Doctors and other healthcare workers down to EMTS, but she clearly thought he was committing a worse crime than herself.

...I wonder how things might have turned out if I'd gone with the program...

Do you mean passing loyalty tests or being obscure like Ron Paul? Some people think Bruce Jenner cross dressing is a point deer/make horse loyalty test.

Blogger YIH January 13, 2016 9:26 AM  

@4. White Knight Leo #0368:
..... I am really trying to picture you as a Congressman, VD. It's... an interesting picture.

That it is.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 13, 2016 9:28 AM  

Culture upstream of politics

Blogger exfarmkid January 13, 2016 9:30 AM  

"But it's an interesting thought."

Yes, it is. And you would have been fabulous entertainment.

Blogger Krul January 13, 2016 9:31 AM  

@11 "... an interesting picture."

WTF? Is that an Atari Jaguar poster on the wall?

Blogger Dave January 13, 2016 9:35 AM  

Hmmmm...Teddy Beale vs. Al Franken

"I'm the goodest, I'm the smartest, and doggone it, people will like me"

Blogger exfarmkid January 13, 2016 9:43 AM  

[Hmmmm...Teddy Beale vs. Al Franken

"I'm the goodest, I'm the smartest, and doggone it, people will like me"]

Well, you certainly figured out Al Franken's approach....

Blogger Jourdan January 13, 2016 10:01 AM  

Vox, you would have hated it here, it's even worse up close than it is at a distance.

On point, Hague was a decent leader, much better than Cameron.

Blogger Jeff Wood January 13, 2016 10:19 AM  

"On point, Hague was a decent leader, much better than Cameron."

An excellent Second in Command, I should have thought, but your comparison with the rat Cameron is precisely true.

Blogger Jourdan January 13, 2016 10:30 AM  

You may be right, Jeff, I'm operating at a distance, but I have gathered the distinct impression from over here that both Hague and Duncan-Smith were much better leaders than the current common view holds.

At least the Conservatives have been at least somewhat effective. Over here, the Republican "rebuttal" to the State of the Union Speech was given by an Indian woman mostly known by Americans for having sold her state's war-fighting tradition in about 8 seconds flat when presented with the opportunity, and who used the time to call for open, massive immigration for "anyone willing to work hard."

And they have no clue why Trump is winning.

Anonymous Leonidas January 13, 2016 10:31 AM  

I can see it, frankly. One thing many people forget about these politicians... most of them really are idiots. If you have the rhetorical skills (which Vox certainly does) and the connections (which he's hinted at above that he did, and his life story tends to back that up), it's not hard to beat a lot of them - especially at the level of Congressman, which is frankly a relatively low level office. It only looks that way because they're running against other idiots.

OpenID denektenorsk January 13, 2016 10:35 AM  

I'm sure many of the readership are familiar with it but for those who are not "The 48 Laws of Power" is a good read.

Anonymous KoranBurningFaggot January 13, 2016 10:55 AM  

Well, you certainly figured out Al Franken's approach....

I thought it was to get the dead and everyone in prison to vote for you unlawfully?

, much better than Cameron.

Reminds me of the joke about defending douchebags from association with Cameron because they do the job people pay them to do.

Blogger The Other Robot January 13, 2016 11:22 AM  

Many things are dirty it seems.

Eg, is Amazon evil for censoring the book on Sandy Hoax?

Anonymous Ain January 13, 2016 11:45 AM  

Maybe Vox could have been leader of the Native American Caucus.

Blogger Were-Puppy January 13, 2016 11:47 AM  

@2 bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996

But ALWAYS leave your target a venue of retreat.....
"Ms. (x) unexpectedly decided to step away from the rigors of the job, and spend more time with her family..."
CaptDMO
---

I like when they say:
So and So has decided to explore new opportunities

Blogger Stilicho January 13, 2016 2:27 PM  

I, for one, would pay good money to see you closing each speech on the House floor with the phrase "honest injun"...

Blogger Jourdan January 13, 2016 2:55 PM  

Let me give you just a little taste of what daily life in our Congress is like. This just came over the system seeking co-sponsors:

Please join me in sending a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch regarding the recent raids targeting Central American families. As the Washington Post reported over the weekend, administration officials have confirmed that these raids will continue, despite widespread opposition from advocacy groups and Members of Congress. As Members of Congress who are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the women and children who are caught up in these raids, we must stand up and tell the administration that these actions are unacceptable.
The below letter is meant to complement the letter that was led by Reps. Lofgren, Gutierrez, and Roybal-Allard. It reiterates concerns about due process and the danger that DHS may be returning vulnerable families to persecution, torture, or even death. In addition, this letter raises a new concern—that these raids may be in violation of the Rehabilitation Act.
It has come to our attention that a substantial proportion of the Central American parents and children who have sought refuge in the U.S. are suffering from severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety, and depression. Consequently, it is likely that many of the Central American refugee families targeted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raids are disabled, as that term is defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under the American Disabilities Act, PTSD and other trauma-related conditions are considered disabilities. We are therefore concerned that raids and removal proceedings, both of which are federal programs, are not taking the disabilities of women and children into account.

Blogger weka January 13, 2016 3:35 PM  

Since most of you are not living in the British Commonwealth, you do not understand Question Time. The Opposition can ask anything, and usually do so with little warning. In the UK, there is ZERO warning: the published question is what is in the PM's diary, and the meat is in the supplemental questions. Which can be on anything. And MUST BE ANSWWERED HONESTLY: the speaker can (and has) throw the PM out of the chamber.

In Australia and NZ the supplementaries have to relate to the main question. But they can be directed at any minister.

In our system, there would have been questions about Benghazi one day after it happened. None of your politicians in the USA could survive being a minister in a Parliament: you are all far too polite. The British system is brutally confrontational.

Blogger Halifax Donair January 14, 2016 7:49 PM  

fake or easily cancelled engagements in the diary.

The Canadian federal justice department was fond of using post-it notes to frustrate transparency. A little harder with electronic diaries, though.

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