Richard North, 15/07/2014  

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Not just the sacking of Owen Paterson, the best Environment Secretary in a generation, but the whole reshuffle. It shrieks of a PR stunt, calculated solely as a measure to attract support of a section of the electorate - tokenism at its very worst.  It has been done so badly, and is so transparent, that it cannot possibly succeed in its aim, while seriously disenchanting many potential supporters.

However, things are not all bad. We now have an ex-Cabinet Minister seriously committed to "Brexit", who is now free to speak his mind and is raring to go. Unwittingly, Mr Cameron may have done us all a favour.

As to Paterson's replacement, we learn that Notting Hill set Liz Truss, the childcare "expert", is to take over. First elected in 2010, to say she is totally unprepared for high office is something of an understatement.

A more egregious insult to the farming community would be hard to imagine. A woman with an urban background, she gets agriculture with the intimate acquaintance of only one Field. Her inside knowledge of farming, it is said, is limited to the organic yoghurt she buys at her local Waitrose. For the public in general, Cameron is barking mad if he thinks this fatuous tokenism is going to impress.

However, there may a certain irony in the Truss appointment. Said of her in the Mail, "She's clearly a career politician who's going places. But she won't be here (South West Norfolk), she'll be in Westminster every chance she gets. She's not going to want to slosh around in wellies talking to farmers. She's got her eye on the prize".

Of the near departed, the legacy media have coined the phrase "pale, male & stale", leading the Times to attempt a contrast, coming up with "fresh & feminine" - the sanitary towel government. This is a Cabinet where what you have between your legs counts for more than what you have between your ears. Cameron has turned feminism into a sick joke.


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