While the musical chairs on the Titanic are in full swing, the Government ship appears to be sinking. By the time Prime Minister Brown has finished his reshuffle, the Government is going to look weaker than before. It would seem his appointments have more to do with back-room deals than what is in the interest of the Country.
By the way, do you remember Brown’s promise to strengthen Parliament? So what is one of his first actions as Premier? To replace Jack Straw who was regarded as an excellent Leader of the House of Commons and was trying to strengthen the powers of Parliament against the Executive with Harriet Harman.
Strengthening parliament …
with Harriet Harman?
Now Ms Harman now known as ‘Three-Hats-Harman’ has to split her time between the highly partisan jobs of being Labour Party Chairman and Deputy Leader and that of being a strong and independent representative of the interests of the House of Commons. These are irreconcilable and show Brown’s total contempt for Parliament.
Everybody seems to be repeating the mantra ‘we must be on the centre ground otherwise we’re doomed’, so I thought I’d better look it up in the dictionary but there is no dictionary entry for centre ground. It is one of those phrases that has no meaning or substance.
Thatcher – The Common Ground
Margaret Thatcher had it right when she said the Conservative Party must occupy the common ground. This is what the Conservative Party needs to strive for. The common ground is what most people beleive on any particular issue. It doesn’t matter whether its on the left or right of the political agenda.
Now the dictionary will tell you that common ground is a set of shared beliefs and interest; a foundation for mutual understanding.
So the fight against global warming which might be on the left of the political spectrum is on the common ground because most people support it. Similarly, pulling power back from the European Union and re-establishing sovereignty is on the right but is clearly on the common ground because a large proportion of the British people believe in it.
Using this barometer I thought it might be interesting to list where the Party should be if it is to capture the common ground. I suggest the common ground requires:
A strong stance against uncontrolled immigration
A very tough line against criminals
Support for our brave men and women of the armed forces
Freedom for our doctors and nurses to use their own clinical judgement
Support for local democracy rather than state control
Lower taxation both locally and centrally
A smaller state with more personal responsibility
The common ground should be the cornerstone of Conservative policy. Listening to the People and delivering what they want.
Peter Bone is MP for Wellingborough