Sunday, June 01, 2008

Latest in terms of politics....

The government appear to stagger on from one day to the next. Yet I think much of what is going on has very little to do with them either positively or negatively - and is there anything in the ory programme that offers anything greatly different let alone a solution? With regard to fuel taxation, they have been all but silent - yet any reduction would certainly make a mockery of all that 'vote blue, go green' stuff we kept hearing so much of last year.

And on that topic, I find it impossible to feel an ounce of sympathy for the hauliers. Selfishness could be their middle name. More should be transported by rail in any case, but the arrogance of this band of petty-minded bullies knows no bounds. Any attempts at blockades - arrest them and confiscate their lorries, selling them at a cut price rate to Eastern European competitors if necessary. That should annoy them! They should have no special deal - although the time for road pricing really is well overdue.

The latest appears to be a report saying that recidivism with regard to youth crime is still as high as ever. Given that the strategy appears to be to use institutional punishment as the basis for dealing with the issues - universities of crime producing fitter criminals who learn lots of tricks whilst inside - who is in the least surprised? About time the Government abandoned populism and looked towards countries whose policies actually work - and prison isn't the centrepiece.

What I find hard to understand are those who think that we are still in 1996: who fail to realise that the new voters opting for labour in 97 never voted for them again. 2001 and 2005 were characterised by abstention, and many of those who didn't bother to vote were Tories who have now returned to the fold after a flutter with Labour in 97. Yet there are still those who think that all the government have to do is make lots more right wing noises and the voters will return.

I have my doubts as to whether the next election is retrievable - but as someone who did genuinely welcome New Labour in the late 90's, it appears obvious to me that new times need a different approach.
The biggest two groups of voters who Labour are pissing off at the moment are the core voters who feel utterly abandoned by a party which doesn't appear to be Labour any more. The second are middle-class professionals who are ideologically committed to the left-of-centre but are exasperated by a combination of target-driven lunacy in the public sector, and the government's insistence in progressing issues such as the 42 day limit for interviewing suspects. Those issues win no added votes - but lose many to the LD's and the Greens.
The Labour party should be ensuring that its policies are aimed at those two groups as a priority, not spending its time chasing after voters in the south-east who are certainly not coming back in time for the next election.


Chris said...

I wonder if British politics has entered a cycle in which a particular party is elected over and over again until it burns out and voters switch sides. It would take a government of real integrity and guts to press ahead with decent legislation rather than feeble attempts at wooing the electorate with pointless, short-term nonsense which will only irritate voters.

The 42 days detention proposal.... shheeeshh... that could make Thatcher look nice!

Merseymike said...

Yes, I'd agree.

The problem is that it means elections are never competitive - its like we switch from one party with a big majority to another, and then back again.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Personalities matter, and this leader was formed as a staff member considerer of policies and also liked playing politics. On the latter, he has burnt his own fingers by his 5 minute tricks against the opposition, on the former a leader has to make quick decisions and know both how to delegate and how to dance around problems. He can't.