The Blue Collar Brigade
David Cameron appoints his new leadership team as the Conservatives look to move quickly on legislation
After a shock election victory David Cameron has spent the last few days appointing key members of his team. The media has focused on Cameron’s claim that the new appointments represent a blue collar Conservative party, with more working class, state educated MPs appointed to key positions than ever before. This narrative allows Cameron to stick to his pre-election assertion that the Conservatives are now the natural party of working people and ‘strivers’, a word long neglected but which seems to be making a rapid comeback.
Whether the new appointments signal a different approach to Tory policy is unlikely however. Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle was notable for the number of Ministers who remained in their previous positions, including Chancellor, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Defense Secretary. Indeed George Osborne’s power over the party seems to have been strengthened, with a number of allies promoted to key posts.
It is likely that the new government will move quickly to set-out its legislative agenda, taking advantage of the current (though likely short) honeymoon period and a Labour party in disarray. Already there is speculation that Cameron will seek to bring forward an EU referendum to 2016, a year ahead of previous plans. The Conservatives will also accelerate plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and implement boundary changes. Added to a likely confrontation with the BBC over the corporation’s license fee and wrangling with the SNP over the Smith Commission and the new parliament looks set to be explosive.