Cabinet creation is an arcane process. The rapid shuffling of seats and the bottoms sitting on them in the 24 hours following a prime minister’s visit to the Queen is a uniquely British activity. The finished product rarely resembles the prototype.
Previous experience with the issues is no requirement for high office. Late on the Friday afternoon immediately after the 2001 election, Jack Straw was already being briefed by environment officials when he learned he was to become foreign secretary because the Americans objected to Robin Cook.