Thursday, 3 February 2011

A good question?

Douglas Carswell blogs with a heading to one post of: "Too radical? The problem is a lack of real change" from which:

"I don't mean to be difficult, but what radicalism?  From where I'm sitting, the problem is not that the Coalition is failing to be traditionally Tory. Rather it is that ministers are not being radical enough. Yes, the talk is bold, but how much has public policy really altered since May?
Cutting the deficit? Ministers say so, but not the maths. Borrowing is up. Like pretty much every other post-war government, this one seems to be using higher taxes and inflation to solve its debt problems, rather than seriously curb state largesse. 
Political reform? All those interesting ideas, mooted at the height of the expense scandal, including recall and open primaries, seem forgotten. Instead we’re to have a referendum on AV – which was in neither Coalition party’s manifesto.
Bonfire of the quangos? It’s gone out.
Localism? Maybe. But what about the localising the money?
Great Repeal Bill?  Try googling it.
Europe?  This afternoon the government will announce we’re opting into yet another EU proposal on criminal justice.   Plus ca change.  
Welfare reform? Full marks.  But is this a change of policy or an acceleration of the reforms Labour’s James Purnell piloted.   
Defence? We carry on cutting what we need, while spending on ruinous contracts we can ill-afford.
New politics? Same sofa.
Curiously, it is not the constraints of coalition that seem to account for the lack of change.  If anything, the Lib Dems have been bolder advocates of reform than their Conservative allies.  The problem is not about Parliamentary arithmetic or presentation. Rather it is about policy.
Where there ought to be clarity, there is unnecessary muddle. There is much talk about what changes we want to see, but less of an idea of how to make them happen. No surprise that under such circumstances, ministers tend to adopt their departments’ default policy positions.
Not for the first time, I wonder if this administration will be the precursor to the root and branch reforms we need."
My question, posed in the comments, was:
"So Douglas, exactly what is it that ties you to a party with which you appear to disagree so much. Career? Surely not!"
The response is awaited with much anticipation!


James Higham said...

Hope you'll post it.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

I will JH, I will - if he posts my question of course! Whether DC will post an answer is, of course, an entirely different matter!

Tufty said...

The coalition is already failing and nobody is surprised. The EU, the ECHR, the UN and numerous other international ties have pretty well destroyed any possibility of self-government, let alone radical self-government.

To be radical, the coalition would first have to sever of a number of international ties, beginning with the EU. It won’t so it can’t be radical. There was no point electing it really – but of course we didn’t.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

T: Nice comment and very apt! Odd how everything that is wrong with our country boils down to two letters!