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Cabinet - Shuffling the unelected


Andrew Adonis, junior schools minister, has been moved from his Education brief to Transport. Adonis is an example of the Labour habit of bringing cronies into government without the tiresome need to be elected, by simply giving them a peerage.

Adonis, while knowing nothing about education, became a highly influential player in the drive to outsource and privatise state education assets, most notably in the academies programme. He will be unlamented by teachers nationwide, who however should not assume this means the end of academies.

Now Peter Mandelson, Blair’s old friend who had to resign his cabinet post twice in disgrace and went off to the EU to make a lot of money and preach the dogma of the “free” market, is back as a minister using the same peerage route. He will be Baron Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool, and be completely unaccountable either to Parliament or to the people.