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Friday, August 15, 2008
Telegraph Column: A Trip Through Wonkland
My column in the Telegraph today looks at the influence of think tanks on David Cameron. Read it HERE.
I `mn afraid the biggest willy in Wonka land is a bit of a specialist subject
Meanwhile, Jonathan Isaby points out that George Osborne is to deliver an agenda-setting speech at Demos, once New Labour’s favourite think-tank. The Tory Treasury team and Demos. The two sides have been holding joint seminars on "the post-bureaucratic age", when all Tony Blair's dreams come true and all public services are abolished.
They are also doing work on defining "social value" with the Social Market Foundation, whose director recently left to go and work for John Denham.
So welcome (just in case you hadn't already noticed) to the One-Party State of Britain. Or, rather, of England. The Scots, the Welsh and the Northern Irish still get to live somewhere recognisably British, whereas we are subjected to the whims and fancies of the nutters on the London think-tank circuit.
An English Parliament, alternating between New Labour and the New Tories, would not improve this one iota, no matter where it was located.
The whole United Kingdom, as such wants, needs and deserves publicly funded public services, proper local government, free university tuition, free long-term care for the elderly, and even the free prescriptions of the early Attlee years now enjoyed beyond England, but not in England.
What we need are new parties, ways of voting in favour of sanity or decency instead of whatever is currently fashionable among high-born undergraduates (and I work with undergraduates, some of them quite high-born).
Let's get on with it.
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