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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Getting Britain working (or not)

The Conservatives held a Get Britain Working" day yesterday in which their Shadow Cabinet toured Britain meeting businesses and workers. According to the Conservative Party, the away-day is to allow "David Cameron and the Shadow Cabinet" to hold forums which "will be attended by local business owners, business organisation representatives, relevant voluntary organisations, local people, Conservative councillors and Conservative Parliamentary candidates."

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that one Shadow Minister was missing, drawing attention once more to the alleged lack of commitment by senior Tories, who prefer to keep lucrative part time jobs rather than spend all their time holding the government to account.

Step forward Tory Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duncan who has chosen instead to attend the 53rd Anglo-Swiss Parliamentary Ski Week in Davos in Switzerland. How this will impact on David Cameron's reshuffle we have yet to see but rumours are rife that former Channcellor of the Exchequer, Ken Clarke is being lined up for Mr. Duncan's job.
Well done Alan Duncan for getting his priorities right. Instead of engaging in a meaningless publicity stunt he shows a far more mature approach to politics which should be applauded. I thought that this week's article by Peter Preston in the Guardian in which he contrasted the frentic approach to politics by modern politicians with that of Asquith and others a hundred years ago should be required reading by any aspiring politician. He pointed out that Asquith would virtually disappear for a month each year. I've always been more impressed by the fact that in the weeks leading up to the outbreak of World War 1 he managed to read so many books with at least half of them in either Greek or Latin. Too many modern politicians to use Denis Healey's phrase don't have a 'hinterland'.Issuing press statements every five minutes which no one including journalists read and seeing politics as an an all consuming activity doesn't necessarily lead to good policy decisions as the past 25 years proves.
Is sacked Welsh blogger Christopher Glamorganshire's tribunal next week?
The Telegraph is a must read paper these days, there an interesting line on your friend Lembit by the boss!
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