Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parliament - It's Nearly Half Time

If we forget the tribal politics for a second, the first half of any parliament is all rather predictable.  (Thanks to fixed parliaments we can be more confident than normal that it is half time) 

Governments can blame most things that are bad on the mess they inheritted from the other lot, though any success is down to them of course.

Opposition claim all bad things are down to the new governments policies, even if those policies differ little from their own manifesto committments (such as Labour on the NHS or tuition fees) any success is of course the policies they put in place when in government that are finally bearing fruit.

As an example - On Question Time, Yvette Cooper made the mistake of saying already thousands of families were being made homeless by benefit reforms (when the reforms being discussed have not been implemented yet).  To be fair that is a recent example, I am sure politicians of other colours have done the same thing in previous parliaments. 

The second half of a parliament gets a bit more real.  It gets harder for governments to blame the last government, but also it gets harder for the opposition as the public and media start to expect them to spell out there alternatives.  Which of those policies they've opposed will they reverse?  How will they pay for it?  The transition from 'opposition' to 'alternative' is difficult, you need to be in favour of something rather than against things. 

Again it is a recent example, at the Q&A at Labour's conference, Ed Milliband indicated to the Conference Hall, that you couldn't simply reverse all the NHS reforms, you'd have to make the best of them.  At a fringe event on the same day, his Health Spokesman suggested that Labour would tear them all up and start again the minute they were back in power.  There's nothing wrong with that kind of 'in party' discussion now, but they''ll need to work it out over the next year or so.

For party officials 2015 is now on the radar.  Parties are listening.

If you want to talk to the Lib Dems about tax policy here's your chance

click here

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