16 July 2007

A Bias For Inaction

As mentioned last week, I have some posts on small government saved up. To set the scene, several of my favourite political insights are summed up by the following Reagan quote.
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the
government and I'm here to help.'

If uttered by a Labour politician it would certainly send a shudder - Caroline (Supernanny) Flint (honourable mentions to Brown and Blair) being the modern British politician who has, in my opinion, come furthest on the trajectory of taking state "help" to its natural totalitarian conclusion.

It's a most unfortunate paradox that although at the micro level, it is preferable to have political representatives who are both willing and able to serve/act for their electorate, at the macro level preferable to have a political leadership with a natural and confident bias for inaction.

Labour's legislative frenzy (98% of which is done via statutory instrument - i.e. without a full Parliamentary debate) provides evidence that they are an excellent example of a statist government. The Tory's approach to the public services and ideas such as elected police sheriffs and abolition of regional assemblies are initiatives that could reverse the tide. These are appealing ideas, but we need to communicate better with the electorate on how different our approach to governing will be.

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