The ambiguous messages coming out of the government on the NHS have the potential to be highly damaging. Happily munching my cereal yesterday morning, the Today programme introduced a discussion with the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, and I confess my initial reaction was, oh no, ‘here we go again’. But, while there was the compulsory dose of ministerial squirming, I actually came away reasonably optimistic that the reforms in the NHS weren’t going to be rolled back after all. Even the reverse?!
The following is taken from a post that I wrote last month, it is even more pertinent since Gordon Brown's speech:
Gordon Brown has promised intensive action and tougher enforcement of the law in areas with a gang violence problem. He also promised to crack down on the sale of alcohol to under-18's and that he would put more police on the streets. Well it's about time, but are these just more of Labour's empty gestures? reacting to the newly announced Conservative policy.
Just wondering why the sudden and eager adoption of conservative principles by Gordon Brown and New Labour is not being described in the media as a ‘lurch’ to the right. Or is that language only reserved for the Conservative Party?
My Two Cents...on an early election (Part 94)
It’s often said that a week is a long time in politics. It may be that 24 hours is a long time in politics too. Yesterday the overwhelming perception was that an early election is a certainty with Gordon Brown riding high with an eleven point lead in the polls. Today the ground is shifting. David Cameron is apparently preparing to focus on traditional Tory areas such as tax, marriage and crime and to make it clear that he is the heir to Margaret Thatcher, not Gordon Brown.
Brown to decide by Sunday on snap poll
Gordon Brown will decide whether or not to call an election this weekend, The Guardian reports today. His aides, apparently, now think he is more likely to go for it than not. An announcement on October the ninth and an election on the first of November is the favoured option.
Certain? Ten days ago I suggested the 28th of October or the 8th of November for the General Election. It's now the 8th. Gordon still has probably not decided but he is becoming trapped into a corner where his silence leaves him little choice. Parliament will resume the week after next. Enough time for a few big speeches, especially one on
Election drum beat
Consider for just for a moment the word "tosh". It's pithy, it's rounded, it's expressive. In short it's a splendid word. I fear though that my affection for it may have got me into a spot of bother. Readers with long memories may recall that a couple of months ago I deployed it to describe talk of an early election. I sense that, by now - with the sound of the election drum beat filling your ears - you may just be coming to understand my problem.
New Tory assertiveness and local by-election results may sow new seeds of doubt in Brown's mind
Last night's by-election results may produce further ammunition to those Labour 'greybeards' who are urging Gordon Brown to be cautious about an autumn General Election. We listed other risk factors on Monday.
Can the Conservatives win the 2007 General Election?
I'm going to try to set out why I think that in the up-coming General Election, the Conservatives can greatly reduce Labour's Majority or even at a push, win. For a start there's the "Brown Bounce". If you look at the Mori Poll data below it can be seen that only as far back as March this year, the Conservatives had an 8% lead. In fact it wasn't until three months ago that Labour edged in front.
The end of the affair?
Labour 07: The Murdoch press are trying hard to discredit Labour, a risky strategy with a possible election win in the offing.
Conservative Future Candidates in Bitchiness Shocker
It seems that although there is still no sign on the horizon of an official date for the next Conservative Future elections, it hasn't stopped the early starts of electioneering beginning between the ever ambitious youngsters of the party. Conservative Future elections are always a fun affair. I'm so looking forward to not running in the next set as it gives me this excellent opportunity to observe the silly mayhem from a safe distance.
Ending sex slavery is not a Home Office target
Let’s hope Home Secretary Jacqui Smith reads the report in today’s Times about sex slavery in Cambridgeshire. Women are said to be traded in auctions for between £500 and £3,000. They are then virtual prisoners in rented houses. An investigation by The Times has revealed how immigration from
Tories retreat to core values
The Daily Telegraph reports today that David Cameron is to abandon his brave new world and retreat instead to the sort of core values on tax, marriage and crime that have failed his predecessors, Michael Howard and William Hague.