Is Ruth Kelly going to be the next Margaret Beckett?

ruth The reason I ask is because I remember MargaretBeckett seeing Ruth Kelly sitting on the front benches looking very smug as Tony Blair made his final speech as Prime Minister last Wednesday. She must have known that her political future was safe – despite her unremarkable achievements so far as Secretary of State for Education and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Minister for Women and Equality.

As the new Transport Secretary, I do not hold my breath that she will solve the problems of our gridlocked roads and overcrowded trains.

She seems to have the same kind of luck as Margaret Beckett, who sailed from one ministerial position to another, obviously knowing how to keep her nose clean and keeping in with the right people, without excelling in any particular area.

Having been top of Brown’s list for the heave-ho, I would not be surprised if Beckett decided the time was now right for her to retire and become a free-spirited caravan cruiser.

Let’s hope, for her sake, she doesn’t come across too many angry farmers who  remember too well her extraordinary gross incompetence over the single payments scheme which could cost the taxpayers a £300 million fine.

Not the sort of record that a Chancellor would find impressive. At least he had the guts to do something about it.


  1. If Ruth Kelly is the answer then someone is asking the wrong question.

  2. The single payments scheme is also indireclty responsible for the excessive flooding. To pay the fine the flood defences budget was cut in half. Clever eh?

    I think you are right Ellee. Look what happened last time we had a total incompetent at Transport- Stephen Byers!

  3. Sorry to be so favourable to Gordon Brown, but until he drops a serious clanger – I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    After all, are Cameron and old conservatives
    1) Opposed to occupation of Iraq (I think not)
    2) Opposed to nuclear power & Trident (not)
    3) Opposed to expansion of Stansted (nope)
    4) Opposed to more lanes on motorways and more roads for more jags and more four-by-fours (uh?)

    You’ve still to find labour’s achilles heals, which is increasingly difficult, after all new labour are conservatives in disguise

    Wolves in sheep’s clothing – ring a bell?

  4. I’m afraid you are right.
    Margaret Beckett fluttered around never in a post long enough to makeany significant contribution to anything in Blair’s carousel cabinets.

    Maybe Gordon Brown who has so steadfastly and judiciously (patiently) held on to the Exchequer job for so long, realises the ‘stability’ and benefits of keeping ministers in their cabinet posts for more than a whim.

    Mind you I would probably send Ruth Kelly with Margaret Beckett on a caravan cruise. What can she possibly have to say or know about transport. I suspect she is the weakest link (and expendable) whenever something goes wrong with Transport (pray not another train disaster) and the conservatives have enough ammunition to bag their first Brownite labour cabinet head.

  5. Hmmm. Not sure about Ms Kelly. But I have to admit that I thought the MP for Pontefract, Castleford & Gnottingley made a good account of herself in Question Time last week. One to watch, I’d say…

  6. Funny you should say that, Ellee, as I thought la Kelly was looking smug too. Just what has this woman ever achieved?

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