political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It's Spelled O-P-P-O-S-I-T-I-O-N
So the Tories are backing the government's plans for the Post Office and Jack Straw's decision to block publication of the Iraq war cabinet minutes. It's probably just as well I have been too busy today to do much blogging.
The backing for the Post Office plans can be simply explained by a perusal of the list of Labour characters against it. If those lot don't like it, it's probably a natural Tory policy.
As for the minutes, I don't like it, but Cameron can't let the precedent be set, as it would be bound to be constantly used against him should he become PM.
It's not spelt O-P-P-O-S-I-T-I-O-N-T-O-E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
[Word veriification: imong. Do I mong?]
I hadn't heard about the Royal Mail but Grieve's backing for Jack Straw just left me speechless.
For Straw to claim that releasing the minutes would jeopardise democracy in the cabinet is just so much bollocks.
Releasing them would have seriously embarrassed the Government/Labour Party and we'd have seen the truth about the justification for the invasion and the rubbishy sexed up dossiers.
I recall Mr Dale stomping around a few weeks back demanding that we all support the government's dreadful policy on Heathrow expansion, so forgive me if I'm not too impressed with his piety today.
I'm glad they are backing the partial privatisation of Royal Mail. We all know that competition dosen't exist with government monopolies, so there is no incentive to maximise the efficiency of a business, hence the precarious state of Royal Mail's finances.
However, I am ashamed the a Conservative Party Shadow Secretary of State can condone the witholding of Cabinet minutes during the time in the rup up to the Iraq war. It is shameful, arrogant and hubristic, and it stinks of the political class working together to protect their own interests
Why stop there? Let's televise cabinet.
I must say I'm pleasantly surprised by the lack of opportunism.
How in heavans name supporting Jack Straw on this move square with the call for an Iraq inquiry?
The Conservatives have just rewound the clock back to 2003 by doing this.
They had positioned themselves well by calling for an inquiry even though the majority of their MPs voted for war - on the basis they believed intelligence they now question.
By doing this they have missed the golden opportunity of giving greater prominence to an issue which was fundamental to showing that Labour could not be trusted.
The issue of trust is fundamental to removing Labour and this is a fundamental error by the Conservatives. And for what gain?
Since Iain tells us that Call Me Dave reads this, let's see if I can provoke a response out of him.
What was it you said about promoting open and transparent government, Mr Cameron? Or does that not apply when it might embarrass your party?
I wondered why You hadn't mentioned it! Frankly I'm incandescent, with Cameron.
This is unforgiveable by Grieve. What planet is the man on?
Why wasn't William Hague commenting on this instead an underling with an apparent lack of any understanding of the party's position and the public's feelings?
If Hague was involved in his other job to let Grieve make this call then Cameron must now put his foot down about second jobs.
If that is the case Hague has shown a complete lack of commitment his brief and Grieve has shown a complete lack of any understang of politics.
Both shoulkd go if that is the case.
I am quite literally seething at Grieve's utter, utter stupidity. He does nothing to break those stereotypes about Tim Nice but Dim Tories.
Oh. So Tory or Labour won't be expecting my vote then? Oh, well. What other options are there, I wonder?
Does anyone see any hope for this country? Because l sure as hell dont.
The citizens are treated by the parties like mushrooms. Actually worse than mushrooms... atleast they get looked after.
l've had it with this country. l'll come back when the revolution starts!
With front bench strategies like this it becomes ever more difficult to convince doubters that we are not blue Labour. How has this decision not to press for the Cabinet minutes served the public interest?
We do not just need to provide
we also need to demonstrate we have
Apologies in advance for a little thread hijacking, but here, for Mrs Dales self appointed rolled into one Shami Chakrabarti and Trevor Phillips mannequin, and skolar of the American presidential scene Canvas, we have Reason TV's salute to noted moron turned stimulus czar Joe Biden.
I recommend that readers take a look at EU Referendum to see why the politicos appear in lockstep on the Royal Mail part privatisation.
EU Referendum is only partly correct. UK mail is already the most open to competition in Europe. Tony Blair decided we should go early, in 2007.The other countries decided to go late, 2011.
They have also seen our folly and put barriers in place to stop their own mail service disintegration.
That's the reason for the losses at Royal Mail, but doesn't explain this new Privatisation plan, which is not only unnecessary but the strategy of a moron.
Both main parties at 'it'. You wonder why people look elsewhere, anywhere else even, BNP maybe. Surely they are no worse than the present bunch of shits.
Mr Quango MP is indeed correct, competition forced upon us by the EU is the problem Royal Mail face.
Competition is usually a good thing, it forces uncompetitive businesses to evolve or die, and ensures the best price for consumers.
Not here though. The playing field is not level due to the nature of the business. We have always had problems with the Postal union, but the competition route was throwing the baby out with the bathwater, because it rendered R.M. totally unable to compete.
Universal postal services cannot compete with the cherry picking that goes on currently. Enforce universality on those other businesses and they will fail overnight. The government's mistake was to alow this, but can it be legally unpicked?
The government is right on both counts, the Conservatives are therefore right to support them, and Vince Cable is a right count (euphemistically speaking.)
While we’re at it, can we please nationalise the railways? The privatisation has been a complete D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R and now it looks like several of the rail companies will soon go bust.
They deliver a worse service than BR. They cost more in public subsidy than BR did. We suffer the worst and most expensive and least modernised railway system in western Europe.
Enough with this Tory mess. Bring back BR.
Thatsnews 12.49 am
Quite. So who is there who is honest, pro-British people, strongly inclined to fairness for the English, and doesn't believe in dragging us into the undemocratic EU which has undermined our whole economy and never done one single thing to benefit us?
You know, the thought of the 'hissy fit' that will be thrown by the BBC, Labour front bench, and mixed bag of Tory and Liberal political elite', with the news that the BNP have won some MEPs in June, is just too delicious to pass by without consideration!! They all deserve the biggest kicking ever, and should be gratful we are stll prepared to do it through the democratic process, rather than physically!!!!
There was never a greater sense of politicians living in one cosy world and the people existing in another, where wholly different value systems seem to exist. If Cameron's elected, he'll presumably be happy to invite Straw and Mandelson to join his government, since they seem to be doing so much that the 'Opposition' approves. Not that the Tory Party is on strong ground with the Iraq war, since their determination to support rather than oppose the government began with that ill-considered venture.
Before condemning Grieve I'd rather like to hear his explanation for supporting Straw given the calls for an inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq invasion.
Actually I'd like to hear Cameron's explanation for allowing Grieve to announce support for Straw. Interesting test of credibility, isn't it? A failure to make a statement opens up a gap in his social morality presentation.
I'd also like to hear the Conservative stance on FOI. I suspect that it is OK for others to be transparent but...
Ken Clarke should have said why stop at 30%. Why not 100% sell off of Royal Mail?
While I agree that it is not automatic opposition "to everything", there should be much more and more visible opposition to SOME THINGS.
As it stands, while I am conservative, I feel disenfranchised, as there is no one speaking for me.
At the very least, Cameron's "one-word answer" when asked to describe Gordon Brown should be used on every opportunity. It would chime with many people.
Lord Mandleson's policy on XYZ "is WRONG".
Balls' attempts to do ABC to LEAs "is WRONG".
As a "don't know" when it comes to how I will vote, my mind is being slowly made up for me - it won't be Nulab or Libdem, but now the Tories have put themselves out of the running.
Pity Screaming Lord Sutch isn't still around.
Can we please stop C-A-P-I-T-A-L-I-Z-I-N-G-A-N-D-H-Y-P-H-E-N-A-T-I-N-G words now ... thank you.
What have you started, Iain ?
I really do think that a vote for the Conservatives is just going to bring us more of the same. I remeber David Davis praising Dominic Grieve for his dedication to civil liberties, FOI etc. I even sent him a donation to his campaign at the time which has turned out to be a complete waste of money. It seems that every day brings another example of the pointlessness of all the main three parties.
The whole lot of them really do deserve to be kicked out of office. My next donation is heading for the BNP.
Paul Waugh, in his excellent blog as an interesting view on why these minutes have been blocked!
If anyone read Robin Cook's memoirs he made the point that Gordon Brown made "an outspoken attack on France. "the message that must go out from this Cabinet is that we pin the blame on France for its isolated refusal to agree in the Security Council" Also
Clare Short's diary of the cabinet meeting says. "Gordon Brown spoke animatedly about what France was saying - no to everything. Jack Straw was also anti-France".
So is it only to save the Broon's face?
Re Minutes: Where are the Privy Councillors?
They should have a look and if they did and agreed, what does that tell you?
30 years? Well, maybe we should have a rule that all members of the cabinet of that day must not be cremated, so even if they die we can dig them up again and hang them should the information prove that justified.
May I point out, completely cynically, that to publish Cabinet minutes would lower the value of political memoirs.
Probably not foremost in their minds, but probably in their publishers'.
Man in a Shed has an excellent defence of Straw's position. Much as I loath this Government I agree with Straw and MiaS.
Mias's main argument is that disclosure of Cabinet minutes would lead to grandstanding in cabinet and government by clique. Read his post (under the heading of 'Jack's Right') here:
I'm with the Party on Cabinet minutes.
Publishing minutes of Cabinet discussions is an absolute no. It would completely undermine the concept of collective responsibility.
Straw was absolutely right to stop this now using the provisions of the FoI Act to prevent it beong appealled and running on for ever.
I disagree over Post Offices.
I think we should tell the EU to FO and re-nationalise all the bits of Royal Mail that were sold off and commercialised before and that we should restore the monopoly to more items of post.
The quid pro quo would have to be the end of the final salary pension scheme for all staff with existing benefits commuted to lump sums for them to invest in a defined contribution scheme of their choosing.
The two issues are completely different. Opposition to partial privatisation of the Post Office is legitimate on the basis that this can hardly be a good time to be selling. We won't get the proper value.
On the other hand, publishing cabinet minutes would provide a short term laugh (maybe) and a long period of regret. The very basis of cabinet government relies on ministers being able to give their views honestly and then fall in behind collective responsibility. Knowledge of likely publication would frustrate this process. Arguably what we need is more cabinet dissent and better examination of the merits of proposed policies, not les.
Calm down dear ....
I can well understand Tories not supporting the opening up of cabinet minutes until 30 years (they hope to be in govt one day) - although it seems labour did release minutes of the cabinet to do with 'black' Wednesday - purely to embarrass the tories.
They brought in the FoI act so the real charge is one of hypocrisy.
Royal Mail - The best way to get labour MPs to rebel and split labour is to support the measure so rebels know they will not in the end be defeating the govt.
Again the real charge is hypocrisy since Brown ruined pensions and the underfunded pension scheme is being used as an excuse.
It may have been mentioned elsewhere but the news is reporting that sadly David Camerons disabled son Ivan died overnight. Very tragic - I hope those labour opportunists who twisted the truth and claimed he was using his 'family' for politics ar suitable sickened.
This post says everything about why I'd never join a political party.
It would be hard for the Tories to oppose a major privatisation, but supporting Straw's veto of the FoI request is disgraceful and unforgiveable.
Any disaffected Labour voter thinking of defecting to the Tories must now realize that the Tories are no better.
God only knows what the Tories are thinking......makes me sick to think that our only hope is this shower which calls themselves the "opposition"....who is going to speak for us who is going to fight for us to get rid of Brown and his clique
The people wanting to know why Grieve made the response not Hague are missing the blindingly obvious point that Grieve is Jack Straw's shadow, not Hague. It is a Lord Chancellor issue not a Foreign Secretary issue.
The government is right about the detrimental effects of releasing cabinet discussions, it's just a shame they didn't think about this in greater depth when bringing in their stupid legislation. Doing it by decree after the freedom of information legislation is in place stinks.
As for the post office, the tory line should be that while it does not go far enough, we will support it as a step in the right direction. Supporting it is both principled, and also helps foment difficulties between Labour and the unions.
Day by day the Tories lose support. Whilst facing the worst Government know to man we have an equally dire Opposition. Who can blame the punters voting for BNP? If the two main party's blend as one I won't vote for either.
Privatising the useless and dishonest Royal Mail is a good idea. I have had terrible trouble with stuff disappearing on the way to me and without fail the Royal Mail could care less.
Let's face it chaps... if the Conservatives came out against the part (only part mind) privatisation of the Post Office wouldn't it look just a little bit.. (what's the word here).... cynical?
I mean, what would be the reaction of Joe public when he saw that the Tories were opposing such an obviously sensible move?
Yes it's all very well saying that Labour is split on this, let's watch them wriggle, and the idea of that is attractive.
On the other hand though, everybody knows that the GPO is a Union-run shambles that needs a private company with balls to sort out.
The obvious thing to do is for the Conservative Party to be publicly supportive of the privatisation, with maybe a one-line whip.
And Cameron should say, "it's up to the Government, with its built-in majority, to pass the necessary measures. We can be broadly supportive of this measure, but the Government is not entitled to rely on our votes to get its legislation through the House."
Then whether the legislation passes or fails the Gov't is embarrassed, and the Conservatives are not helping them out of a hole.
Iain, you should learn how to spell.
It's spelled E-U-R-O-P-E-A-N U-N-I-O-N.
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