The new Labour Shadow Cabinet has been announced and I'm a little perturbed, not by the fact that former postman and trade unionist, Alan Johnson has been made Shadow Chancellor or that Ed Balls has been given home affairs but by the reappearance of Sadiq Khan as Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Justice Minister.
Given Mr Khan's less than favourable record one might ask how on earth the man would have been placed anywhere near our rather tatty-looking justice system but stranger things have happened under Labour in the past and will do so again in the future, I'm quite sure and the strong Trades Union influence on this shadow team won't be lost on the media as time passes.
Former Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary and New Labour midfielder, Jack Straw, took a personal 'pop' at the Shadow Cabinet election system:
“… if you are in the shadow cabinet it is elected, I, from a position of complete neutrality, said to my colleagues, I survived and prospered under this system for ten years, but I just tell you, it is barking mad, for arithmetical reasons as well, it is a daft system, and what it means is that of the eighteen or nineteen people in shadow cabinet, probably a dozen capable of being in the Cabinet, half a dozen are not and if and when we have a Labour government some of those who thought this is a meal ticket in to the proper Cabinet will be sorely disappointed.”
In our class-obsessed society, it's revealed that half the Shadow Cabinet went to Oxbridge and 40% of them were privately educated. The Tories also point out that all of Ed Miliband’s “new generation” Shadow Cabinet members were on the government payroll when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister. Eighteen were ministers Mary Creagh was a Government whip. Of the top ten Shadow Cabinet members, not one of them chose Ed Miliband as their first choice in the leadership election.
Strangely enough all of this 'politicking' reminds me of an iconic scene from Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' which suggest that while time passes, politics changes very little!