Posts Tagged ‘Alan Milbun’

Milburn vs. Milburn: Round II

16/08/2010, 11:45:19 AM

In the second round Andrew Parrington says we should remember the government of talents, but Jonathan Todd counters that we shouldn’t be doing anything to help the Tories.

Remember the government of talents

It’s easy in our system to retreat to tribalism. When your party is on the losing end of an election, you really have lost everything. Compared to America – where the Democrats have a near-super majority (for the moment at least) and the Republicans are still forcing Obama to water down his agenda, our system is unbelievably brutal.

The United States’ political environment isn’t the friendliest at the moment, yet apart from in the fringe tea-party movement; neither Republicans nor Democrats have shown any level of hostility to one of their own members being in government while the party is out of power. In fact, it is the opposite – for a new President to appoint an entire cabinet without at least one member of the opposite party is regarded as a slap in the face. This is a much healthier way of regarding government service. It really doesn’t do Labour any credit to whinge because one of our own gets to advise on an issue they care about.

This isn’t the first time it’s happened either; when Brown assembled his ‘government of all the talents’, Patrick Mercer and then-backbencher John Bercow advised the government on issues which they, themselves , were experienced in. Whether or not Cameron is creating these roles to make trouble for Labour ought to be irrelevant – to the public, and to me, Milburn is putting partisan labels aside to try to influence government policies. And given his recommendations to the government following his commission on social mobility last year, I for one hope he is successful.


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