Damn it we need some discipline!
20 April, 2008
Frankly I’m appalled at the behaviour of Labour’s recent whingers, whiners and the proverbial brigade. Anyone would think that they were part of the opposition rather than supporters of the government or perhaps they have developed an irrational hatred of Labour councillors and want to be them loose their seats not to mention Ken.
What we need is greater discipline not less. I don’t remember reading in any election handbook how government supporters slagging off the government just before elections helps return the said government at the polls. Now is when Labour needs more support not less. Rupa Huq is offering up her sister tush for the cause. Now that’s commitment.
Still it is no use turning a deaf ear. Even a super loyalist like Akehurst reckons we need to act. So here’s 5 things I think the government should be doing.
1) The government should reverse the 10p tax rate abolition. This should be done now rather than in a years time. Yes it would be difficult (but not impossible) to achieve but it would be the right thing to do. Sure I accept their are good technical reasons to press on but politicians have to deal with the political reality. Increasing tax rates for the poor is not what the Labour government should be doing and taxing people more and giving it back to them in tax credits just creates work for administrators rather than social justice which should be the yardstick by which we operate. When ministers in interviews go on about the great many things Labour have done for the low paid over the last ten years they are right but it also means they know as well the government’s best political idea is not taxing 5 million + of our core voters more just before elections.
2) Straight after the local elections we should have a reshuffle. I don’t think it’s right to name names (not every one wants to do a Wiseman) but if I was doing it it would be pretty brutal. Blood should be reaching up the walls and not confined to the carpet. PPS’s who can’t even resign properly should be the start rather than the end.
3) Parliament should be much more powerful in scrutinizing government. It’s no good having a hissy fit after something has gone through the scrutiny process. Select committees should have substantial staffs and this should also apply to standing standing committees. These staffs should be called the Dunwoody brigade and they should scare the hell out of the people they call to account. Ministers who haven’t thought through the effects of legislation should be cleaning the brown stuff off their smalls rather than thinking they can wing it. Detention for 42 days would be a great idea if it was applied to ministers having their bills scrutinized in parliament.
4) I believe more equal societies are better than the alternative of social division and stunted opportunity. The super rich have done really well over the last decade. They can afford to make a greater contribution so that the rest of us (ie the other 99%) get to keep more of our earnings and the government can tackle the evil that is poverty. We should also let the electorate know this is what we stand for before polling day. Ministers with bland cliches saying they want everyone to get rich will not cut it. Inequality matters.
5) We should press ahead with welfare reforms. Indeed it should be full steam ahead. The DWP doesn’t do a very good job at all in getting people back into work and any socialist worth their salt has to recognise that worklessness is an evil that we need to be unremittingly hard upon. I see no chapter in the Handbook of Social Justice about creating an underclass in receipt of state handouts. If charities and the private sector can do better at getting people into employment then it is imperative they be given the chance. Though there is one important line that I would draw in that I would bar religious groups because as we can see from the education sector they give preferential treatment to their own followers in the provision of services which is totally unacceptable.