Pesky Libdems

They’re not happy. The Tory Right are on manoeuvres. And the Lib Dems are in their sights. It seems that the grumbling and the finger-pointing are getting, well, a bit more pointed.

In yesterday’s Express Paul O’Flynn’s column argues: “not only is the Lib Dem presence in the Government damaging the country, it is now also doing potentially lethal damage to Conservative electoral prospects”. He goes so far as to conclude that it is time to end it all: “[t]he coalition is damaging Britain and damaging the Tories too. As the political leader of both, David Cameron cannot evade his responsibility for this any longer. He should bring it to an end”.

But perhaps the clearest statement of the Right Wing case against the Lib Dems was presented on Thursday in the Daily Telegraph by Liam Fox under the heading The Libdems are blocking Britain’s recovery. [Read more...]

Steve Hilton, blues skies thinking and the resurgent deregulatory impulse

Steve Hilton has attracted flak across the old and new media following the FT’s revelations about his suggestions for stimulating economic growth. The proposals that hit the headlines included the abolition of maternity leave, labour market policies that contravened European law and the suspension of all consumer rights. Many have criticised the proposals for a range of offences including apparently overlooking the rule of law. Others have defended the utility of blue skies thinking when seeking ways to deal with the challenges that face us.

Personally I’m not averse to blue skies thinking. But the idea that off the wall thinking is central to the role of a strategy director is curious. One would have thought strategy should entail something rather more concrete and grounded, at some point in the process at least. And as someone more disposed to bottom up decision making and a Parliamentary party that is charged with representing the collective will of its members, I’m not so keen on the idea that one unelected, unaccountable and largely anonymous individual should have such influence over policy in the first place.

But the main thing that strikes me about these revelations is that they are not very “Blue Skies” at all. [Read more...]