Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 1 October 2006

How Labour goes about the business of governemnt

David Cameron sums up, succinctly, Labour's nine disastrous years of government:

"Think of any issue - not just crime - and then think of Labour's response. This Government's way of doing things - the old way of doing things - is so familiar, and so depressing. Ministers hold a summit. They announce an eye-catching initiative. A five-year plan. Gordon Brown generously finds the money for it. The money gets a headline, but no-one knows what to do with it. So they create a unit in the Cabinet Office. A task force is set up. Regional co-ordinators are appointed. Gordon Brown sets them targets - after all, it is his money. Pilot schemes are launched. The pilot schemes are rolled out across the country. They are evaluated. Then revised, re-organised and re-launched. And then finally, once the reality dawns that the only people to benefit are the lawyers, accountants and consultants of Labour's quango army ... with a pathetic whimper - but no hint of an apology - the whole thing is just abandoned. We've seen too much of this in the past nine years. Headline after headline but absolutely no follow-through. It is a story of ignorance, incompetence, arrogance. A story of wasted billions - and disappointed millions. Somewhere out there, there is a place where Blair and Brown will never go. It's dark. It's depressing. It's haunted by the failures of nine years of centralisation, gimmick and spin. It is the graveyard of initiatives, where you'll find the e-University that died a death, the drugs czar that came and went ... the Individual Learning Accounts that collapsed in fraud and waste, the tax credits that were paid and reclaimed ... the Connexions service that flopped, the Strategic Health Authorities that were dropped ... the marching of yobs to the hole in the wall; the night courts that never happened at all. And still they keep coming, those hubristic monuments to big government, the living dead that walk the well-trodden path from Downing Street and the Treasury to New Labour's graveyard of initiatives. The NHS computer: delayed, disorganised, a £20 billion shambles.
Forced police mergers: the direct opposite of the community policing we need.
And then the perfect example. ID cards. When a half-way competent government would be protecting our security by controlling our borders ... these Labour ministers are pressing ahead with their vast white elephant, their plastic poll tax, twenty Millennium Domes rolled into one giant catastrophe in the making."

Not particularly 'sexy', but it lays out clearly just the kind of 'Hell on earth' we poor souls in Britain have been enduring since 1997.

Another section of the speech which made me prick up my ears and think, yes, maybe he is really changing the Conservative Party, specially because it was followed by a hearty round of applause:

"But that is not the end of the story. It is just the start. We need parents to bring up their children with the right values. We need schools to be places of discipline and order. We need to stand up for civilised values in public places. We need to design crime out of the housing estates of the future.
We've got to stop selling alcohol to children. We need the music industry to understand that profiting from violent and homophobic words and images is morally wrong and socially unacceptable. But more than this, we need people, families, ommunities, businesses to step up to the plate and understand that it's not just about stopping the bad things ... it's about actively doing the good things."

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