Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/03/blears_off/

Blears is latest to scurry away from Brown's Cabinet

Whitehall to replace government with Facebook group?

By Joe Fay

Posted in Government, 3rd June 2009 11:06 GMT

The UK edged closer to having to set up a rota to run the country this morning as another Cabinet minister bolted from Gordon Brown's beleaguered government.

Hazel Blears's resignation as Communities Secretary this morning came hard on the heels of Jacqui Smith's resignation as Home Secretary and, tragically, the revelation that Tom Watson has quit his post as minister for digital engagement. Children's Minister Beverly Hughes also flew the coop this week. This all before the increasingly sad sack PM even had a chance to impose his own reshuffle on the Cabinet.

So, for the time being, we have no-one in effective charge of the government's strategies on ID cards, IMP, smart meters or, crucially, ensuring that Whitehall is up to speed with Twitter and the importance of turning their PCs off at the end of the day.

Blears said she wants to return to the cut and thrust of grassroots, on-the-street politics. On the street is where many of her colleagues are likely to be in the near future.

Her exit came hours after she was accused of leaking Smith's intended departure next week. Smith was expected to go after a string of embarrassing revelations regarding her expenses, including her unwitting claim for pornographic films watched by her husband.

Watson said his ministerial career was interfering with his family life. Which must be true, as the poor man has not even had time to update his blog since last week.

The rash of departures will make it even harder for Gordon Brown to engineer a serious Cabinet reshuffle, seen as essential if is to have any hope of staging a convincing recovery from what it is expected to be a disastrous Labour showing in the European and local elections happening tomorrow.

What, you didn't know there was an election tomorrow?

It hardly matters, as the way things are going, no-one in their right mind is going to want to enter Parliament, never mind Brussels or their local council.

Given that the economy appears to be regaining its footing even as the government alternates between checking its old expense claims and stabbing itself in the back, it seems inevitable that Westminster will be scrapped in favour of an online forum. The money saved on MPs expenses will be used to extend 100Mpbs broadband to every corner of the British Isles to ensure full participation. Instead of a PM and Cabinet, citizens will draw lots for stints as moderator in chief. ®