Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clarke dares Brown to "steal" Tory democracy proposals

The democracy task force set up by David Cameron and chaired by Kenneth Clarke is apparently set to report that there should be root-and-branch of the ministerial code and the way in which Government operates to take Britain away from the "sofa politics" that has been created under the current President Prime Minister.

In an interview with the Independent he also said that he hoped Gordon Brown would "steal" the idea so that the next election can have all-party agreement on the matter.

However, he went on to describe Brown as "the ultimate autocrat," and that "[i]f you think Blair is a control freak, wait until you see Brown", so his hope is obviously quite thin that Brown will steal the plans.

The plans include an end to the Royal Prerogative on declaring war, along with taking the control of the ministerial code of conduct out of the supervision of the Prime Minister and instead handing it over to a committee of MPs who could publicly criticise the PM if rules were breached.

The Indy has more details about the proposal here most of which seem pretty much common sense. The most significant move is the proposal to halve the number of special advisers in the different department in an attempt to de-politicise the Civil Service.

Clarke decision to effectively dare Brown into accepting the proposals and stealing them is an effective move. After all, if he rejects them all he will be effectively showing his contempt for democratising a broken system and so give even more weight to view that he's a complete control freak.


Chris Paul said...

When I was a young man I played the silver ball, from Soho up to Rusholme I must have played them all ... but I also learned something about ideas and inventions in Genius Blogger 101.

That is that wonderful ideas and inventions are independently arrived at in different places and at different times. The wheel was actually reinvented over and over with no connection. And writing. And currency. And standing on head. And all before Google Patent was even a twinkle in Mr and Mrs Google's eye.

If these ground breaking Tory plans have any merit they will have almost certainly already been thought of. In fact I would place a bet on Clarke fancying (or knowing) that his oppos ARE planning something similar and so he's put it in HIS homework to make himself look smart. But that's called Tory plagiarism and Tory cheating.

The Lib Dems are forever at it. And locally everyone does it. What better time to call for a road to be resurfaced than a week before the announcement?

You will no doubt remember the Morning Post line and the effect that its leakage had on the future of the six counties? I'd hate to think a good plan could be cancelled through Clarke's jazzmanship, or a bad plan - as The Morning Post line - crystallised to haunt three or four generations of Irish folk of all faiths and none.

dizzy said...

Errr that's lovely Chris but what relevance does it have to the politics of it all? At what point did I say that the plans were "ground breaking"? Oh look, I didn't, but then that's what you do all the time, you come here, post a copmment claiming I said something I didn't then sod off, and, just sometimes, you repeat it on your blog and I am forced to come over and point out that you're talking bollocks and about what I blogged.

Chris Paul said...

You're always welcome to come over and comment Dizzy, you know that.

The politics as I see it is this:

1. Ken Clarke is a wise old owl, well liked across the political spectrum, the politician's politician;

2. I am suggesting that he may be doing a bit of ADVANCE plagiarism viz. there's something in his water, or found on a SpAd's xerox, or in the zeitgeist that says XY and Z;

3. Mr Clarke thinks: "I'll announce XY and Z first and challenge them to steal it" (hee hee);

4. Rather like parties do in Town Hall politics as illustration of road re-suracing;

5. If I'm right this can go two ways:
(a) Govt presses on with "Ken's" idea but jeers at him and honestly says "we've had it for years/months/weeks" and if possible proves that; or
(b) Tragically a good idea is wasted as the Govt is deflected from it

6. I think Ken is clever and political enough to do this. Blimey, if some of our local councillors manage it, never mind the Lib Dems, then Ken surely is up to an old trick? I'm only sorry I've not explained it clearly enough for you. Sorry.

The Morning Post line is a rather dramatic example of where a wrongly leaked/speculated report stymies a better one. But if it had been a good one, they might have stuck to their guns.

So I'm saying Clarke is announcing what he knows the Govt has planned and claiming credit for it. Which is plagiarism in advance for my money.

We'll see how the story runs.

Best w

Chris P