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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Gordon Brown: 'Political Parties Obsolete'

What's Gordon Brown up to? The Daily Mirror reported that he will introduce proportional represntation. From his own lips, he states that he will bring an end to political parties. It is completely shocking that he is demanding the leadership without revealing what these crucial changes amount to. Gordon Brown is dangerous, very dangerous. Labour MP's must cotton to the threat to their positions, let alone the country and our democracy.


During BBC's Sunday AM, when Andrew Marr was interviewing Gordon Brown, the chancellor had some things to say about constitutional reform. Most interesting is the last bit, about how political parties will become obsolete. It's possible, but not in the 20-50 years Gordo gives it. He was probably so taken up in trying not to say anything that he got a bit confused with what he did say. Anyway, excerpts below:

GORDON BROWN: The Constitutional Reform agenda, when I...

ANDREW MARR: Would you like to see an elected House of Lords?

GORDON BROWN: The House of Lords has certainly got to be accountable. And I think the main other principle is that the House of Commons has got to remain the main legislative body of our country, nothing should take away its power to be seen as the elected body, a principal elected body.

But, yes, we will be discussing election. You know, when I made the Bank of England independent I think what's fascinating about this is we decided to restore confidence in economic policy. The government had to give up power, the executive had to hand away power. So I gave up power, so all this talk about control and everything, we gave up power.

…And I think perhaps politics has been too narrow, sometimes we draw only on party talents and there is a case for looking wider than that as well.

ANDREW MARR: Paint a picture for us, about how a Brown government will feel different. What will be different about it?

GORDON BROWN: Well, I mean, I, my character is one where perhaps people say I don't concentrate enough on my image and everything else. But I want to get down to work. I'm not going to speculate about being Prime Minister or being head of the government.

But I will say that I want to address the challenges of the future in a most inclusive way, with people of all the talents as I've said, perhaps not just in the political party. And I'd want to do it by looking at each and every one of these challenges that we face ahead.

ANDREW MARR: These are things that you might have been able to say as the chancellor in a Tony Blair government. But we're talking about a Gordon Brown government. And what I'm really asking is what's that going... what is the difference, that ordinary people will notice in a Gordon Brown government?

GORDON BROWN: We're dealing with a refreshed government obviously, under a new leader, with new challenges. I see that politics in this country is too narrow, as too much a specialist sport, as too remote from the people of this country, as not involved enough in the communities of our country.

I see political parties as becoming obsolete because they are not networks, in other words they are simply organisations, when what people want are bodies that can link into every part of a community.

And I would see a community approached at this that would be quite different from what we've traditionally thought of politics 50 years ago or 20 years ago. And I would see the constitutional reform that flowed from that as actually being incredibly important also, as to the future of how people saw the way our country is governed.

(hat tip makemyvotecount.org)

3 comments:

deborah said...

William,

Have you looked into the way LSPs (Local Strategic Partnership's) are heading. If LA funding gets channelled directly to these unelected bodies - eg to commission work on Local Area Agreements - it will transfer control away from local councils.
Regional assemblies at the top and LSP's underneath could assume all effective control.
A case could then be made for the one elected representative on the LSP to be directly elected by the local population - mayor-style and ostensibly "linked to every part of the community" possibly outside the normal party system.
Local councillors would remain "as advocates for the community".
Just a (very scary) thought?

tapestry said...

I think the plans to emasculate councillors are well advanced. It's just extraordinary that no one is saying anything. maybe 18 Doughty St will open up the discussion.

deborah said...

I hope so!