Thursday, June 01, 2006
Hazel not really on the Wavelength
Hazel, hopes to 'tap into' the well springs of activism in local communities where often women have taken the initiative, but when such activity often occurs in reaction to government failure I'm not sure this attempt to wean back the women who have flooded behind the old Etonian will prove all that successful. She wonders if Labour really means business about being in government: do we merely 'take over from tired Tories' or do we have a "governing gene" in our DNA'? Political geneticists might be more likely to isolate such an elusive item if Labour ministers had not displayed such incompetence in recent months. It is very difficult to defend our party when the ground under our feet is freely eroded by gaffes galore at the likes of the Home Office, Defra, Health Department, and, most recently, the Treasury over tax credits.
The business of ministers is surely to oversee civil servants to ensure they do their jobs properly and to sort things out when they fail. Previous Labour ministers, in the eras of Attlee and Wilson managed it, so why are the current lot not succeeding? The competence of civil servants has been questioned in many parts of the media, and perhaps this has something to do with the shortcomings, but whatever happened to the vaunted 'Rolls Royce' administrative machine about which retired ministers speak and write with awe and gratitude? And, whilst on this subject, where are the representatives of this fabled behemoth, both serving and retired, to defend its activities and traduced honour? Strangely, so far from them, I have observed a big fat nothing.
Until we start employing some people in Labour HQ who know something about real life then this self delsusion will continue.
Wilson's ministers were of course far more qualified and competent than the "current lot". The debacle now, in the Home Office and elsewhere, is therefore unsurprising.
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