Word of The Week: Shuffle

I was deeply disappointed – though hardly surprised – to see that Michael Gove wasn’t re-shuffled in the Political game of Happy Families. Mr Bun the Baker, Mr Field the Farmer and Mr Gove the … Gaffer? The Game Player? The Garbageman? Considering his grip on power and rumours of his being Leader-in-Waiting – one can only hope in a party in Opposition – I suppose we couldn’t expect anything more!

Anyway, complaining about Gove and the Omnishambles which his time in the Department For Education has become was not the point if this blog post. It would feel more at home elsewhere!

No. What I wondered was the aptness of the term “shuffle” itself.

It’s connotations conjure up two images: one of a weak an enfeebled old man in carpet slippers bowed over a walking stick; and a card shark in a a dimly lit backstreet gambling den. Neither of which – I don’t think – Messrs Cameron, Clegg or Milliband intended.

It is such an odd word to use for the purpose!

By definition, it suggests that the selection of ministers is random, like shuffling cards. Looking at some ministers and appointments (Norman Baker to the Home Office?) one might be tempted to agree: where are ministers being given the experience of the areas they now govern? How can you go from the Northern Ireland Office to Work and Pensions without years of training?

For a complete list of those moved, raised and shifted, The Spectator has a good list here.

Milliband’s shuffle has been more of a cull of Blairites!

Cameron’s was an attempt to rebrand the party as anything other than white, posh and male!

Anything except shuffling! Perhaps more “shoving” (which might be an etymological origin of the word “shuffle”)?

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