Downing Street has been a tidal wave of news this week. And there is no way of over-exaggerating that the news is big. For the One Nation Conservatives among you, I can imagine — as I did — that you jumped in disbelief at the appointment of David Cameron and perhaps felt that something was at last about to change. Of course, to anyone outside of this little bubble, his reappearance may seem insignificant. For those on the left, it may look like the Tories are simply rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic as they prepare to paddle towards election defeat. And for those who are further to the right, you just might be picking up those pitchforks in protest of the Conservatives’ meanderings towards the centre. But let’s put all this aside for a minute, and consider soberly what the reshuffle could mean for the party, and whether it will make any difference to the outcome.

Braverman’s Ignominous Legacy

A YouGov poll reveals that 74 per cent of people are familiar with Suella Braverman, making her the 19th most popular Tory politician. And yet, her name is now forever steeped in controversy. From dreaming of a plane stuffed with immigrants flying to Rwanda to claiming that our Southern coast is being invaded, she has never shied away from making headlines. It is no surprise that Braverman was sacked this week after having published an article attacking the police which was not cleared by Number 10. Her replacement, rather shockingly, is the former foreign secretary; a man who was very passionate about his role in foreign affairs. James Cleverly is seen amongst most moderates as a steadier pair of hands, though some have claimed that he is taking one for the team by stepping away from his beloved department.

If you have been anywhere near the news during the reshuffle, you will know that Cleverly’s appointment is not the main event. Rather, it is David Cameron’s re-entry into politics as Foreign Secretary that is causing everyone’s head to spin.

A Man Who Needs Few Introductions

David Cameron is someone who needs little to no introduction. With a 100 per cent recognisability rating according to YouGov polls, most people have heard of him or about him. But even the most inside of insider journalists could not have guessed that the former Prime Minister would be appointed as foreign secretary.

Cameron’s return could prove significant for the future of the Conservative Party. For one thing, both he and Hunt are echoes of a previous, more compassionate Conservative government. Cleverly, though supportive of Liz Truss, has proved to be a stable addition to the team. He may not be as One Nation as many moderate Conservatives would like, but he is serious about not making controversial or polarising headlines. However, the silver lining on this cloud could be just that. It may be time to accept that this government does not seek to inhabit the moderate centre ground. Indeed, upon his appointment, James Cleverly reiterated the party line on stopping small boats.

A Return to Grown-up Politics?

Those who remember the Cameron-Hunt years will undoubtedly recall the unpopular austerity measures that led to the narrowing of government spending. Perhaps, this flashy reshuffle is merely a front to exercise a similar policy but with a more polished outlook for the press. Still, one cannot help but hope that this new team may mark a period of immense change to the party line.

For instance, could the previous anti-woke rhetoric be resigned to the past? The appointment of Ester McVey as Minister without Portfolio signifies that the culture wars may be taking a backseat as we inch closer to the election.

Whatever one may think of Cameron, the new team arguably signals a more grown-up approach to politics and a cabinet that is finally willing to play offence. Time will reveal if these hopes have been premature, but for now, let’s sit tight and closely observe the new players in action.

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