Saturday, March 31, 2007

 

Come on Ken, You Can do Better than This!

I've always rather liked Kenneth Clarke as a Conservative who approximates to membership of the human race; a couple of years ago, I backed him to become Tory leader. I was wrong, of course but the tradition he represented, and which had been submerged for so long by the Tebbitt tendency, emerged triumphant in the end.

Mind you, I have to confess to being a little disappointed with his recent democracy task force report. I had rather thought it was going to range far and wide and offer some solutions to the problem of the yawning credibility between rulers and ruled which uderlies the low turnout figures and the pervading current culture of cynicism. Instead he has focused on an absurdly easy Blair-bashing target: And End to Sofa Government. The report asserts:

"the combination of an over-powerful premiership and the dominance of news management within policy-making have been very damaging to both effective and accountable government".

To counter all this, he calls for a return to more traditional Cabinet practices with papers circulated within time limits which allow proper consideration. Also he wants and end to 'autocratic government'. Presumably he is also in favour of motherhood, apple pie and pictures of puppies in baskets. Apparently this is an 'interim' report but it suggests his task force has been spending its time quaffing the huge amounts of food and drink required to end up looking like old Ken.

Speaking personally, I'd like to read something of the brighter Conservatives' views on issues like political apathy, the West Lothian Question and the possible independence for Scotland, not to mention the proper UK relationship with the EU. Come on Ken, you can do better than this!

Comments:
Do you think it's possible that Ken wanted to look at the WLQ and other wider constitutional issues, but was warned off by Cameron?
 
Paul
Anything is possible, of course, but this is an 'interim' rteport so maybe he'll get onto more meaty topics in part II...
 
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