.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ducking responsibility

The phenomenon described in this Guardian article of Government Ministers campaigning against their own policies is not new to Wales.

Here we have Labour Ministers opposing their own party's policy of housing stock transfer, fighting against school reorganisations that the Education Minister has virtually ordered Councils to implement and then condemning those same Councils for not tackling surplus places, and campaigning against NHS cuts, reorganisation and hospital closures that have been brought on by their own policy of restructuring the health service.

And it is not just lowly Ministers who do it, the First Minister has played the same game with regards to school reorganisation in Cardiff and then claimed that he and his Ministers have two completely separate roles as a government minister and as local politician. The hypocrisy continues unbounded.

It is a peculiar view of collective responsibility that must surely have been rumbled by the electorate.
Not at all like Lib Dem candidates, who are urged to 'be shameless' in their campaigning...
No, not really. Don't pretend that the other parties do not act shamelessly, because they do. The particular advice you refer to was withdrawn years ago but if anything reflects the way many politicians behave.
Didn't Rene Kinzett, Peter May and Keith Morgan (all Swansea Lib Dem councillors at the time) do something similar over a school merger?
They did take sides in a consultation but they were not Cabinet Members and therefore were not in breach of collective responsibility.
But didn't you once send an e-mail to Kinzett, which was reproduced in the Western Mail, saying " You have collective responsibility like everybody else, maybe it is time you grew up and accepted that fact. If you are not able to then leave the Administration."

Looks like he took your advice.
Yes I did. Whether he has taken my advice is still not clear.

However, different levels of collective responsibility apply to Executive members than to backbench councillors. My problem was that Rene was breaching both. This post is about the the inability of Labour Cabinet members to take responsibility for their own Government. If they want to operate as they are now then they should resign.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?