Ever since the General election the Conservatives have attempted to brand Labour as the party which is known for wasteful expenditure. Similarly they have sought to represent their own party and the coalition government more generally as a highly efficient operation which is not wasting public money. This has been one of the central tenets of the public discourse about politics and the economy for more than two years and the Conservative approach to this matter has found a widespread echo in the media.
But the truth is that this widely accepted representation of public expenditure and the relative position of each of the political parties was almost wholly incorrect.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today claimed that the Government has reduced the number of quangos, or non-government public bodies.
Responding to the claims, Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said:
“This so-called clampdown is not what it seems. The true picture of David Cameron’s government is of a failed economic plan which has delivered a double-dip recession and £150 billion more borrowing than they planned.
Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, responding to the Government’s claim to be cutting the cost of government said:
“For all their talk of savings, this Tory-led Government’s failures are costing this country dear. David Cameron and George Osborne have delivered a double-dip recession made in Downing Street, and they are already having to borrow £150 billion more than they planned over the Parliament – the cost of their failed economic plan.
Below is a copy of my speech at ResPublica’s event on the importance of social mobility in public service procurement.
“I want to start by thanking both ResPublica and Chris White MP not only for hosting the event here but also inviting me to speak on such an important matter. If I may so, it is typical of the socially responsible ethic promoted by ResPublica and Philip Blond to raise these valuable issues.
Deprived of their social and ideological anchor, the Tories may never win again.
The great British middle class has changed. Its characteristics, outlook, values and relationships with the rest of society are very different to how they were. Take just one measure: the educational background of people in middle class occupations. In 1945, only 17,000 people graduated from university. Last year, there were 330,000 graduates
The sociology of this change is not yet fully understood, and the political consequences even less so. But we can already see the broad political ramifications of this development. For the Conservative Party, it’s clear that the old traditional true blue values simply don’t have traction any more.
I have written to the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards to ask him to investigate whether Lord Fink has breadhed the House of Lords Code of Conduct. My letter to Mr Kernaghan is reproduced below:Read More…
The Government today announced their Civil Service Reform White Paper to Parliament. In my role as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, I responded for Labour and the full text of my speech is below:
“I thank the Minister for his courtesy in providing me with an advance copy of the plan, and for taking some time to explain his thinking.
Just this week I was contacted by a constituent who has set up a successful and viable small enterprise, working hard to achieve this over the past five years.
Despite this innovation and the potential growth such an enterprise could deliver, finding the capital needed to invest has proved virtually impossible due to the barriers and complete disregard the Tory-led Government has shown towards small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Tory-led government is unpopular, out of touch and presiding over a Downing Street-created double dip recession. You would have thought that they would exercise a degree of caution and perhaps pause to reflect before blundering on.
Yet the Tories continue to drive policies that the electorate clearly disagree with. The truth is that they are more concerned with holding the Parliamentary Party together than actually listening to the people.
The 1922 Committee elections have given us a glimpse into the real turmoil the Tories are in. Behind the blunders and incompetence of an increasingly unpopular government, a civil war is waging on the Tory benches.
On one side are Cameron and Osborne. Desperate to influence the outcome of the elections and take control of the 1922 Committee, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have backed the modernising 301 Group slate. On the another side are the core Tory traditionalists, who are enraged to see the Prime Minster attempting yet again – he tried to effectively abolish the Committee in 2010 – to infiltrate the committee and keep it in line with the frontbench. And lastly, the “anti-factionalist” side which see all the infighting in the party as dangerous and feel that Cameron needs to clamour for unity at all costs.