Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Better Way; a Plan or just a Slogan?

One of the great ignored aspect of the CSR (why, I hear you cry---) was the launch of a new online tool by Labour to help them with their policy making.

At Prime Ministers Question Time, Mr Cameron enjoyed a good win which included a line I think we'll hear again and again - that Labour can't criticise unless they have an alternative plan for the economy. So, what is Mr Miliband's plan? Seeing as the last plan was rejected by the British people at the ballot box, he is pleading with the voters for their ideas. The brilliant www.yourbetterway.com is a way of crowd sourcing the CSR.

Now, it doesn't help that Labour's example of a better way is the awful bland line of "My better way is to make sure that an ordinary family like mine gets treated fairly." Errr ... what? We need to make cuts, even Labour admit that. The argument is about who, where and when. If the Chancellor rose and came out with this sort of line, he'd have been rightly laughed out of the chamber.

Labour want 20% reductions in spending - so the question is, for every coalition cut they oppose, what else would they cut or what tax would they raise to compensate for this?

The stuff written on the website is a list of things people don't like about the CSR. Now, that's fine - the public don't have to come up with the detailed answers themselves, but for Labour to try and spin this website as an crowd-sources alternative CSR is beyond parody. I only read the submissions from in and around Norwich but it seems a lot of people don't like a lot of the cuts. OK then, Labour, what else is it to be? You wanted to make 20% cuts - let's hear them.

Where are they? What cuts are you going to make? What taxes will you raise?

It is easy to list things you oppose - much harder to have a credible economic policy and plan for government. The website is a campaign tool; a slogan; and let's not pretend it's anything more.

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