Friday, June 05, 2009

Have I found the answer the politics?

Well, perhaps not but I do find the idea of a cross-party cabinet interesting - I first came across it in Richard Reeves's CiF blog.
Political decision-making is far too much to do with government and far too little to do with parliament and its associated structures. This is partly because of parliamentarians' adversarial attitude to those sitting on different benches (back v front as well as right v left). It's all party drivel, oops, I mean driven.
But a cross-party cabinet would mean that all those who voted for the party that isn't in power should feel less excluded from government decisions and the elements of cabinet that reflect the views of the opposition party would be able to contribute at an earlier stage, which would hopefully mean a move away from the ridiculous situation we have of shadow ministers objecting to everything that springs forth from the mouths of their illuminated counterparts, even if the government has adopted an opposition policy.
Of course, there would be a danger of the minority represented in a cross-party cabinet just leaking information about revolts, arguments etc., but that could be avoided if the post was at the discretion of the government, or if the shadow cabinet also had a government representative.
Ultimately, I think we need to move away from the three-party structure. All the major parties mean something different at local, national and European levels - they don't exist as monolithic entities now.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Airplot - i am an owner
I've signed up to protest against a third runway at Heathrow. The thing I find really daft about it is that the government claims it can cut UK emissions and have a third runway. It can't and the money would be much better invested in our railways, adding more cycle carriages for example.

Greenpeace is alas a little bit like New Labour in 1997 in the way it uses 'celebrities' to try to generate support and media coverage for its campaigns. While celebrities are always open to accusations of hypocrisy, with their carbon-intensive lifestyles, it's hard not to like Richard Briers.

Click here for more info on the campaign against the third runway.