LDV Weekend Meme: fantasy liberal cabinet

Okay, so here’s a parlour game full of fun and frolics for all the family – name your top Lib Dem (or predecessor parties) MPs, living or dead, to fill your dream liberal cabinet. Here’s the tougher criterion: your choices must also be team players, capable of hanging together rather than separately, rather than simply brilliantly egotistical individuals (hence my exclusion of Winston Churchill, for example). Feel free to suggest their perfect cabinet positions.

My attempt is below. I’ve doubtless missed out some obvious choices, and misplaced some I’ve chosen. But, still, I can’t help feeling my fantasy liberal cabinet would do a better job than the current one … or the next one, for that matter.

Henry Campbell-Bannerman – Prime Minister
Vincent Cable – Chancellor of the Exchequer
Nick Clegg – Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Roy Jenkins – Home Secretary
Menzies Campbell – Justice
William Beveridge – Work & Pensions
David Lloyd George – Health
Jo Grimond – Education
Chris Huhne – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
David Steel – Energy and Climate Change
Archibald Sinclair – Transport
Paddy Ashdown – Defence
Shirley Williams – International Development
David Penhaligon – Communities and Local Government
Charles Kennedy – Constitutional Affairs
Jeremy Thorpe – Culture, Media and Sport
David Laws – Chief Secretary to the Treasury

As is customary with the LDV Weekend memes, I’m tagging all Lib Dem bloggers – but especially those who appeared in the most recent Golden Dozen: Mark Littlewood, Stephen Glenn, Mark Valladares, Helen Duffett, Jonathan Wallace, ‘Grumpy Old Liberal’, Andy Darley, ‘Costigan Quist’, Jennie Rigg, Millennium Elephant and David Matthewman.

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This entry was posted in LDV meme.


  • You’ve missed out Business and whatever else accompanies it this week. 😛

  • Herbert Brown 28th Jun '09 - 5:27pm

    Gladstone seems to be missing. Northern Ireland, perhaps?

  • Surely Asquith and Harcourt deserve top jobs – the exchequer and home office, say?

  • What about Mark Oaten?

  • Secretary of State for extreme Sports????

  • “Must be team players”

    Lloyd George ??????

    And where’s Henry Du Pre Labouchere?

  • Andrew Duffield 28th Jun '09 - 10:56pm

    Where’s Winston?

  • Serious lack of females, you’ve got right there…

  • ian roebuck 29th Jun '09 - 1:18am

    to put David Laws above John Maynard Keynes is certainly in the realms of fantasy, without meaning any denigration of our current incumbent.

    And Conrad Russell is a must, even without a defined portfolio, if necessary

  • Sorry, I think you’d have to have Paddy as PM – someone would need to control the egos in the cabinet and who better?!

    I’d go for Ming at Defence, Jo Grimond at the Scottish Office, and I’d create a new Cabinet level Secretary of State for Europe with CK there.

  • Conrad Russell as work and pensions spokesman

  • secretary I mean!

  • Here’s my stab at it though there are too many people for too few places.

    Prime Minister – H.H Asquith

    Leader of the House of Commons – Shirley Williams

    Chancellor of the Exchequer – John Maynard Keynes

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Vince Cable

    Secretary of State for Health – David Lloyd George

    Secretary of State for Education – Nick Clegg

    Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Menzies Campbell

    Secretary of State for the Home Department – William Beveridge.

    Secretary of State for Defence – Paddy Ashdown

    Secretary of State for Transport – Archibald Sinclair

    Secretary of State for Equality – Lady Violet Bonham Carter/Millicent Garrett Fawcett

    Secretary of State for Business – Richard Cobden

    Secretary of State for Justice
    Lord President of the Council – John Stuart Mill

    Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs – Roy Jenkins

    Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Jo Swinson

    Secretary of State for International Development – Susan Kramer

    Secretary of State for Human Rights – Jeremy Thorpe

    Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – Julia GOldsworthy

    Secretary of State for Children – Veronica Linklater

    Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – David Steel

    Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Conrad Russell, 5th Earl Russell

    Secretary of State for Devolution – William Gladstone

    Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Clement Freud

    Secretary of State for Europe – Charles Kennedy

    Leader of the House of Lords – Baroness Rosalind Scott

    Minister Without Portfolio – Jo Grimond

    European Commisioner – Winston Churchill

    Minister for the New Technology – Tim Berners-Lee

  • If this is an ideal cabinet, can we have Universities back please, taking it back from Mandelson’s uber-department?

  • richard underhill. 25th Aug '20 - 5:38pm

    Today is an historic day!!! at Southampton
    All the photographers have fled to file their reports.
    600 first class wickets!! Only three (all spinners) have done more
    Well done Jimmy!!!
    Caught Root bowled Anderson, continually improving
    who will be next??? Stuart Broad? Jofra Arcxher? (Let’s do it again BETTER!!!)

  • richard underhill. 25th Aug '20 - 5:42pm

    who will be the player of the season?
    For me, Kent’s Crawley” playing for England.

  • richard underhill. 25th Aug '20 - 5:48pm

    Please see his memoirs, Roy Jenkins did not want to be Home Secretary twice.
    He has already had his dream job as President of the EU Commission.

  • richard underhill. 25th Aug '20 - 5:54pm

    Leave out Asquith, we must support Votes for Women and then do more more to make the system more democratic. Shirley Williams for PM and Housing.
    Vote for STV.

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