» Thursday, November 3, 2005

The Cabinet

Asked if the Prime Minister had underlined the fact that the Labour party had been elected on a series of manifesto pledges on service reform, and he was expected to deliver, the PMOS said he did not want to get involved in Party matters. It was implicit in what the Prime Minister had said to Cabinet that the Prime Minister believed he was elected on a certain platform, and it was the duty of the Government to deliver not only the investment in public services, but also deal with issues such as terrorism.

Put to the PMOS that on the subject of "times being tough", how far did that analysis reach today, yesterday, this week, the PMOS said that as the Prime Minister’s speeches had made clear, he had been aware for some time that what he was proposing on education, or on other matters, was a radical programme. Therefore, the Prime Minister expected loud and controversial debates on these matters, but equally, he believed that was what the Government was elected to do was to take on these tough issues and decisions. The Prime Minister did not pretend that he was on an easy wicket.

Asked why in light of the row on smoking and other matters, anyone should believe the Cabinet was pursuing a radical agenda, the PMOS said that nobody at the time said the Education White Paper was anything other than radical. The PMOS said that it was quite right that tough decisions such as the Terror Bill should be debated, and tested, but it was equally correct that we addressed the hard questions of the needs as defined by the police.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news


  1. One of the many problems with the sad sacks who constitute the "lobby" and are kindly permitted to question the PMOS is that they never contest the outrageous fraudulence of the so-called "mandate". One of the many shortcomings of the UK’s "democratic" system is that political parties put forward a manifesto at elections and, if elected, constantly reiterate the absurd claim that every single proposal in it, including deeply unpopular ones like "reforms" of public services that shovel money into the pockets of private firms, has the support of the electorate. Everyone knows that this is pure fantasy, but isn’t it odd that the lobby journalists happily collude with it? Could it be because the kinds of journalists the government is prepared to invite to these briefings are precisely the ones who can be relied on not to rock the boat by raising really awkward, fundamental questions about the fraudulent way the UK political system operates?

    Comment by Michael McCarthy — 3 Nov 2005 on 7:09 pm | Link
  2. Absolutely right. Not only that but they form a little club, dining, lunching holiaying to-gether, even, though he’s not quite in "the Lobby", the ghastly Simon Hoggart of the the Labour Guardian the LAbour BBC sharing with the wretched Blunkett the bed of the Labour facility Kimberly Quinn. What a grim thought. Here in Scotland the laughable prime minister jumpin Jack Maconnell holidays with the Queen of Scotland, Kirsty Wark at her palace in Majorca and then at election time she holds him to account on behalf of the viewers. If you think things are bad with the London lobby, and they are, the gang of jumped-up councillors, bent solicitors and municipal thugs who constitute the scottish parliament are virtually worshipped by the groupies of the scottish press, the only thing approaching scrutiny appears in the correspondence pages of the papers and even that is a kind of licensed foolery, they will print nothing critical of themselves and nothing that would impede their "access" to the the thieves and brutes at Holyrood. Journalism, especially political journalism, is the new priesthood mediating on our behalf with the gods. NotBoatRocking is the new orthodoxy everywhere: Don’t rock the boat and hope for early retirement with an enhanced pension. Depressing isn’t it.

    Comment by john the revelator — 4 Nov 2005 on 9:58 am | Link
  3. Much currently proposed legislation has arisen from policy decisions not actually mentioned in the ‘manifesto’ e.g. locking people up for 90 days, yet more ‘initiatives’ etc.

    Is the PMOS saying that the Government should stick to the manifesto or not do so?

    Maybe the manifesto is just a series of pious hopes and aspirations. If so, then it’s no more credible than any other ‘New Labour’ utterances.

    This is just the same old ‘make it up as you go along’ rubbish.

    Comment by Chuck Unsworth — 4 Nov 2005 on 12:01 pm | Link

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