Showing posts from April, 2010

The Presidential election

Posted on This is My Truth on 24 April Its been creeping up on us for years but this election marks the turning point when Britain adopted a Presidential system. The TV debates have formalised the trend towards focusing a party's election campaign on their leader. From now onwards when choosing a leader parties will be judging candidates even more so on their 'character' and ability to perform on camera. Inevitable perhaps, but today's proposal by David Cameron goes too far. The Conservatives are proposing to change the law to ensure that if the governing party changes their leader they'll be forced to hold a general election within six months of the new Prime Minister taking office. Far from shifting power back to Parliament from the Executive - as Mr Cameron has been insisting he would d0 - this move would concentrate even more power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Surely in a Parliamentary system Prime Ministers emerge from the body of MPs. Political parti

A good election to lose?

Posted on This is My Truth on 20 April The historian Norman Stone has set the hare running with a piece in tonight’s Evening Standard . The High Tory thinks Cameron’s Conservative Party is so limp, or ‘Dianafied’ as he puts it, that he would rather keep them in Opposition and let a new Lib-Lab coalition take the responsibility for the ‘quite bad’ storm that is about to hit us. ‘Cobblers’ cries Iain Dale in return: If the Tories lose this election to a Lib/Lab coalition, the first thing a new government would do is to introduce PR. Not just AV, but full STV. Clegg would demand it and Brown would have to agree. And if that happened the British people can look forward to a semi permanent left of centre government. Similarly I’ve heard the view expressed on the left that David Cameron’s policy of cutting the number of MPs by 10% would result in redrawn constituency boundaries that would favour the Tories and rule out a Labour Government for a generation. After the 1992 General Election an

The issue that won't be discussed in the campaign

Posted on This is My Truth on 7 April 2010 AA's figures from last week showed average petrol pump prices at 118p a litre, with diesel at 118p. The Daily Mail reports they look set to overtake the previous record high of 119p due to a combination of a weak pound and rising fuel duty. And that's before the economy grows. If the economy is going to pick up demand for oil will rise and prices will rise further still (which may well push the economy back into recession). After having denied there was a long term problem about the availability of cheap oil the Government appear to be coming round to the view that there may be trouble ahead. The Government's former chief scientist, Sir David King, now says the world's oil reserves have been exaggerated by up to a third. After being one of the chief critics of so called 'peak oil theory' Sir David is now warning of shortages and price spikes within years. He's not alone Richard Branson and Ian Marchant, chief e

Keeping up with the Jones'

Posted on This is My Truth on April 3rd Carwyn and Ieuan that is. It is hard to track their current thinking on when to hold a referendum, though my sense is that the option of this coming October is looking increasingly unlikely. But, of course, it ‘all depends’. One of the factors in the mix is how the arguments will play post-election. And it’ll all come out in the wash-up. As Westminster business managers decide which legislation lives or dies in the final days of this Parliament the fate of the Housing Legislative Competence Order is unlikely to grab headlines. But it will provide the backdrop to a key test of wills that will be closely followed by the Jones’ for signs of how the devolution debate might play out. Only legislation with the support of both main parties will reach the statute book this week and the conservatives are threatening to exercise their veto if this threat to Margaret Thatcher’s legacy stands. It is by now a familiar argument. The LCO would give the