Getting the reshuffle right
While grassroots delegates are focused on today's speech, MPs are already more exercised about the possible ministerial reshuffle. This is understandable and not unreasonable given their careers and salary levels depend on it.
There is already quite a bit of paranoia about "nights of the long knives" in the bars here in Manchester so my advice to the PM would be as follows:
A) get it over with. The longer that a reshuffle is delayed, the more tense things will get, the more fear of imminent demotion will fuel leadership plotting and the more debilitating it will be to the machinery of government: ministers expecting a P45 don't focus on effective decision-making, and aren't treated with respect by their civil servants. I wouldn't leave it any later than the week after next.
B) Don't do anything rash in terms of the key former Blairites. John Hutton, Hazel Blears and James Purnell are amongst the most effective ministers at a departmental level and the most articulate and proactive advocates for the government in the media. Who cares whether they are in your personal fan club. Keep them in place or promote them - if you don't they will have nothing to lose by moving against you..
C) The brightest and best of the layer immediately outside the Cabinet are former Blairites too. Promote some or all of Jim Murphy, Liam Byrne, Pat McFadden and Caroline Flint to show you are an equal opps boss who is interested in nurturing talent rather than balancing factions.
D) There are already too few veterans and big beasts in the Cabinet. Look after Geoff Hoon and Alistair Darling because experience and gravitas is a key part of the frontbench mix and there's not enough of it there.