Just imagine if the Cabinet meeting took place at the British Legion, Swindon, the Town Hall, Grimsby, or the Victoria Community Centre in Crewe. There is no good reason why not.Should it? In some ways she is just parroting what David Cameron has already done. The Shadow Cabinet regularly meets outside London. Sceptics will ask why she is suggesting this and say that it's just a PR stunt. Alternatively, she may be onto something. Discuss.
Imagine if the meeting was preceded by sessions with Cabinet ministers meeting local people, listening to their concerns, engaging in discussion, local schools getting involved. Interviews for local newspapers and community radio. And no doubt it would have a direct impact on the decisions made.
Last summer, I introduced the idea of cabinet ministers getting back to the floor by spending some time in workplaces, away from the media, doing a real job. I ended up at Tesco's for three days, stacking shelves and on the tills. I won't tell you which one of my colleagues got to be a train driver for the day.
This should become the norm.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Cabinet Meetings Outside London: PR Stunt or Good Idea?
Hazel Blears made a speech this morning in which she seriously suggested that the Cabinet should hold Cabinet meetings in town halls around the country. In a speech to the Social Market Foundation, she said...