Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Cameron's reforms: a charter for insiders

My latest column is now live at LabourList. I argue, that while there is merit in many of the reforms proposed by David Cameron in yesterday's Guardian, ultimately they amount to a charter in favour of insiders- those with power- over outsiders. A couple of quotes:
Mr Cameron’s piece is headlined: “We need a massive, radical redistribution of power.” How does it measure up to such grandiose claims? Actually, what he’s proposing is a redistribution of power. It’s just that power will more often be re-distributed to those with rather than without. It is, in many ways, a charter for insiders against outsiders.
Redistribution needs to be about opportunity and outcomes, not just voice. If you don’t look at all three things together then it can go terribly wrong. There is a strong suspicion that will be the case with much of what David Cameron is proposing. Stephan Shakespeare reminds us of Mr Cameron’s ‘strong interest in opinion polls.’ That much is clear in his reform programme. It has the feel of a hastily assembled bunch of crowd-pleasing ideas, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s something for everyone - myself included.

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