Tuesday, 26 April 2011

What's the big idea #1

Whilst all the parties are claiming that their manifestos are full of big ideas, it’s not that easy to work out what the substance is behind the rhetoric in which they are cloaked.
In the case of the Lib Dems, it seems to be that they will cut government waste.  It’s not just what appears in their daily wastewatch exercise, on which I’ve commented before; it’s also a clear theme of their manifesto.  In section after section of their manifesto, ‘cutting waste’ appears, in one form or another, as one of their key proposed actions.
Well, I’m all for cutting out waste, but what’s rather less clear is how they will actually achieve that worthy aim.  One man’s waste is another’s essential service; and it is clear that in at least some instances, their idea of cutting waste is actually about not doing certain things any longer.  It’s not so long ago that they were arguing, for instance, that free prescriptions were a ‘waste’.  It’s a valid stance to take, but it isn’t quite what most people would assume that ‘cutting waste’ means.
Clearly, they believe, or at least want us to believe, that a Lib Dem government would lose fewer blackberries and build cheaper dormouse bridges.  But how?  It’s hard to escape the conclusion that what they are really saying boils down to little more than a simple claim that they will conduct more audits and manage (or perhaps micro-manage) the Government of Wales better than anyone else.  No surprise that it needs to be wrapped in several layers of rhetoric, really.


Boncath said...

Let us be thankfull for small mercies
At home we are currently having a six month survey of the local dormouse population a very rare species indeed but as I pointed out to the researchers before they began their nights vigil at least they are edible and unlike during the cuts of Mrs Thatcher's Conservative Government the poor may be able to eat meat
Please do not point out that there are two bridges into South Wales from England as I am sure that this will give them a real problem

John Dixon said...


I think you'll find that the ones being surveyed locally aren't as edible as that - it's the related larger non-native species which is edible.