There is more than the faintest whiff of the scapegoat about Peter Lilley's sacking. He may be more the victim than the perpetrator of the "ditching Thatcherism" farce. But it is difficult to feel entirely sympathetic towards a man who for so long relished scapegoating single mothers.
More cheerfully, we have the promotion of the class of '97, an impressive intake given its modest size. Theresa May, at education, and Andrew Lansley, in charge of policy renewal, should be measured, reasonable and televisual.
A more frightening announcement is Ann Widdecombe's move, to shadow Jack Straw. We cannot but wince at the prospect of these two competing to strike more and more illiberal attitudes. Simply inexplicable are the promotion of Angela Browning, a lacklustre former minister to the Trade and Industry portfolio, and the retention of the absentee Northern Ireland spokesman Andrew Mackay.
Some fresh faces, then, but still a relatively undistinguished bunch. The Tories' most impressive talents - Clarke, Heseltine, Portillo - remain outside Mr Hague's team. Mr Hague's Tory Party is not a broad church. And, until it becomes one again, it will remain in the shadows.Reuse content