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Rene Kinzett

Off to Manchester

September 27th, 2010 by René Kinzett

Am en route to Manchester for my first Labour Conference since 2002. You will remember that was the Conference, in Blackpool, where Tony Blair made his stirring speech readying the nation for the prospect of a second Iraq War.

This Labour Conference will see a new Leader, the first to be elected in an open competition since Tony Blair in 1994, make his attempt to set a new course for a defeated and dysfunctional party.

I do not buy into the whole “Red Ed” stuff and object in the strongest terms to the Daily Mail trying to make something out of the new Labour Leader’s marital status. I also find news of the “cheering” at Tory HQ following the election of Mr Miliband a confirmation of the suspicion that I and a lot of ordinary voters think about the immaturity and blindly partisan nature of many of the people who spend their entire existences submerged in the political mire. Remember guys, “The Thick of It” is a comedy, not a “How To” guide for the political machine.

I do, however, regret the election of Miliband jnr to the position of Labour Leader, not least because I thought Miliband snr would have done a better job. And I mean “better job” as in he would have done a better job of being “Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition” than his younger bro. Many of my fellow Tories will shriek in horror at this and accuse me of rooting for the wrong side. Well, such people should pipe down and remember that the role of Parliament is to check the executive, hold HM Government to account and, on some occasions, to seek to defeat the Government or to make them think again about certain proposals.

It is in the absence of good opposition that Government’s find themselves bringing forward the worst policies and ideas – precisely because they can get away with what the hell they like! When Mrs T was at the height of her powers and Parliamentary Opposition was negligible, she brought forward the Poll Tax. I suppose I ought not to be too down-heartened regarding the lack of opposition from the Opposition Benches, as these days it is more likely going to be the delicate workings of the Coalition Agreement that will provide the necessary checks and balances. Indeed, it was opposition from within the Tory Party that eventually put the ultimate break on Mrs T’s power trip.

Regardless as to whether internal checks or the balance of a good Opposition Party is key to keeping Government on its toes (and thus ensuring better decision-making), the Constitutional role of the Leader of HM Loyal Opposition is still a crucial one and it remains to be seen as to whether Ed Miliband can fulfil the role with as much eloquence, passion and ability as his older brother possesses, as demonstrated at today’s session of conference.

  1. Dayne Powell Dayne Powell says:

    “Remember guys, “The Thick of It” is a comedy, not a “How To” guide for the political machine.” gave me a chuckle great blog post rené, some good perspective.

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