From the TaxPayers’ Alliance comes the news that the Tories are planning… to be absolutely no different from Labour:
Well, it’s the second day of the unofficial 2010 election campaign and already it appears that the Conservatives have pledged to create a new quango. In a speech today to the Oxford Farming Conference, Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herbert is pledging to create a “Supermarket Ombudsman”. Sigh. So much for a “bonfire of the quangos”.
Yes, that’s right: the Conservatives have pledged to create government oversight of the retail food supply. This is in addition to the NHS policy announced earlier this week, in which they pledged to create more government oversight of health allocation:
To make sure the NHS is funded on the basis of clinical need, not political expediency, we will create an independent NHS board to allocate resources to different parts of the country and make access to the NHS more equal. (Page 8)
So we have another new quango, explicitly designed to remove the people’s control of how the biggest budget in British Government is spent. Of course, when you want to make democracy sound like a bad thing you call it “political expediency”, rather than “accountability” as it was termed earlier in the very same document.
It seems that despite all the speechifying about the post-bureaucratic age, the Conservatives are yet to shake the temptation to slam everything into a quango and then wash their hands of responsibility. Not exactly change we can believe in.
Too right. ‘Change we can believe in’, British-style, appears to be the same as it was Obama-style: more of the same, really, but dressed up in attractive language.
Meanwhile, the discerning voter begins to feel rather like Sally from Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat: weary of the identical Thing One and Thing Two, and desperate to rein in their nonsense before they destroy the whole house.
UPDATE: And hey look, I agree with Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy!
But let’s assume we want these decisions to be more accountable. A good idea in theory right? But what’s this?
With less political interference in the NHS, we will turn the Department of Health into a Department of Public Health so that the prevention of illness gets the attention from government it needs.
Less political interference? But I thought that was more ‘accountable’ surely?
Can we file this under the Steve Hilton award for ‘Progressive Gobbledegook’?
Truly, Camerhoon is a uniter, not a divider.