Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The rise of political gobbledygook

There were some good elements in David Miliband's speech last night. Most particularly, he articulated the need for Labour to marry radical liberalism and social democracy, he emphasised the importance of the party articulating a strongly pro-European line in its next manifesto, and there was an interesting discussion of the reforms that the Greek Socialists have undertaken: broadening membership, open primaries, and action to promote a better balance of gender representation.

However, some of it is utter gobbledygook. Let's leave aside the peculiar assertion that the digital switch-over is a radical policy fusing the best of social democracy and radical liberalism (explain please?) No, let's look at one passage which for the life of me I cannot comprehend. Like a fiendishly difficult modernist text, I recognise all the words can't see behind them to the true meaning. Can you help me out?
"Or local government in England, where funding has been raised and some powers devolved, including the creation of a general power of economic and social well being which the Tories now say is their panacea, but the shift in the balance of power from Whitehall to Town Hall has not yet happened, and the convening power of local government over the whole range of local services not been achieved."
What is he talking about? Is there an annotated or York notes version of the speech anywhere?

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