Our Ken and beyond

Any body's business any body's guess

Smoke and mirrors? Smoke and mirrors?

Will he won't he, will David Cameron give Ken Clarke (see right) a job? Was this the question on our lips for weeks? Actually no it was not. The upset and impact of Cameron bringing Clarke back has always been hard to judge. For many in the mainstream media Clarke has been used as a space filler, yes these are troubled times so for light relief let's go on and on about our Ken.

When Gordon Brown, the unelected Prime Minister, appointed Peter Mandelson to be the unelected Deputy Prime Minister, Nulabour went hysterical with glee. David Blunkett, as oft disgraced as Mandelson, declared it a 'masterstroke'. So will the appointment of Clarke by Cameron be seen in the same way? Probably not, Clarke may not have had to leave office in a hurry so is clean in that respect but has of late been hopelessly over sold as a 'force for good'; can anyone remember anything about his last time in government? At least with John Major the Cones Hotline springs to mind. The fact is,Clarke was an average Minister but with an overblown persona, that's why he is 'popular' and then only with the media.

When Mandelson returned, by coincidence Nulabour's fortunes began an upswing, hence the hysteria in the Nulabour ranks. The Brown 'bounce' theory was established with Mandelson as the inventor. When the going was easy Brown claimed to have rid the UK of boom and bust but as soon as it got difficult the fault lay elsewhere, it was a 'global recession'. If Nulabour's fortunes continue to fall, watching Mandelson will become very entertaining as he tries to isolate himself from the blame.

The Tories are said to be 13 points ahead in the polls, no doubt Clarke will try to capitalise on this and cash some in for himself, so what happens if the Tories go down in the polls? It's at that point Clarke watching really begins. But of course the full responsibility of it all will rest with Cameron, if he acts decisively he will be strengthened, anything else, doomed.

At the first Prime Minister's Questions of the new year Brown tried to trap Cameron with a reference to Clarke; it is said that Brown is clueless about the credit crisis and in business terms does not know an asset from a liability, well Brown's reference to Clarke should serve as a warning, perhaps Brown is learning. So it's back to Cameron, does he know the difference?