10 December 2007

Gordon: Saying one thing, doing another

Yesterday, Gordon Brown announced that Basra is to be handed over to Iraqi control within two weeks. On the surface this is good news (provided the time is right and this is not just a politically expedient decision).

The problem I have is that this seems to be another example of Gordon Brown making public pronouncements on important issues, the sort of thing he promised would be first announced in Parliament. I am sure a number of questions need to be asked about this to make sure the timing genuinely is right; the place for those questions is surely in Parliament and the announcement should have first been made there.

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28 February 2007

The Big 20/20 Conversation revisited again

I have just been watching the launch of the 20/20 Vision website by Charles Clarke and Alan Milburn. This is the worst example of Spin that we have seen for months.

This is an attempt to hijack the grassroots of the Labour Party; it is the beginning of a leadership bid by Alan Milburn.

What disturbed me most about the tone of the press launch is that it seemed to be focused on what is best for the Labour Party, it had very little about what is right for the Country. It seems to be an unofficial relaunch of the over-hyped and underachieving "Big Conversation."

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14 February 2007

MPs should hang their heads in shame

Tony Blair should be disgusted with himself this morning. All those Cabinet Ministers who have spent the last 10 years positioning themselves and twisting the agenda to benefit their own personal futures should look at today's UNICEF report in total self-disgust.

But today's report is not just a damning verdict on the Government and New Labour, even though they should shoulder the majority of the blame for creating a culture where the state eats money, creating jobs for Civil Servants, generating a politically-correct, bureaucratic monstrosity that does little to benefit the people that need it most, yet where the state justifies its actions through a culture of deceit, employing people to eat up more money finding the best ways of deceiving the general public into thinking they are actually getting something from the increasing amounts of money they are throwing at the state.

In truth it is our political system at the top that counts. Politicians and political parties at the National level are obsessed with power and obsessed with doing whatever it takes to create their own personal power. All, once again, at the expense of the people that need it most.

Today's report should be a wake up call for all politicians, to realise that politics is about improving society not personal bank balances and power bases. If there is any justice, this report would be the impetus for New Labour to ditch Blair, Brown et al, rather than waiting for the result of current investigations into possible dodgy practices.

But, despite the strongest evidence yet that the Labour Party in power has, once again, failed the people it claims to represent, its elected MPs will be content to stagger along, lacking the confidence and the guts to do what they know needs to be done.

David Cameron should wake up this morning and vow to reinvigorate his pledge to restore power to a local level and to vow to get rid of our money eating bureaucracies and pass the money into services that deliver for the people in the areas that most matter to the people.


15 January 2007

Crime Spin

Given the Home Office's recent record, the Government's record on spin and what we see every day on our streets, it will come as no surprise to anyone that New Labour's successes on Law and Order are being seriously called into question.

Unfortunately despite pouring money into Law and Order, we are not seeing any improvements. That might be because more and more of that money is being spent on bureaucracy. This means more Civil Servants to complicate management structures and more jobs that don't solve Law and Order problems, but which do create additional burdens for those that do.

Another sector of the Civil Service that needs a cull and a "Front Line First" policy.

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18 December 2006

Does Downing Street Think It is Above the Law?

There are two issues at the moment that are really asking questions of the Downing Street machine.

The first is the decision to call off the investigation into alleged paying of bribes by BAe Systems, which was done for public interest reasons. It is totally wrong for politicians of any sort to interfere in legal processes in this way, but Tony Blair seems to consider it a minor issue. On the surface this seems to have been done to pacify the Saudi Government, but it could easily be suggested that the decision was as much about pacifying BAe Systems who have, in the past, made noises about pulling out of all UK defence work because of the difficulties with delivering projects to time and budget.

The second is the allegation that is doing the rounds this morning that documents have gone missing and that they are not co-operating fully with the Loans for Peerages investigation.

At the heart of both of these issues is Lord Goldsmith. He has agreed with Blair about calling off the BAe Systems investigation and will still potentially have the final say over whether Blair is prosecuted over Cash for Peerages. This adds ammunition to the argument that Goldsmith should have no say on the latter.

In the past the accusations about the Spin Machine were about the way it was manipulating the political system. Now there is a strong suggestion that, on more than one issue, they are manipulating the law. Another nail in the coffin of British politics?

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