I have been in the centre of British politics for 20 years. The parties have moved right and left but I have stayed my ground, voting for the party that occupied the centre, strong on the economy with social responsibility when we could afford it. The principle is the same at an individual level, looking after yourself first enables you to look after others; anything else is not sustainable.
Crowded in the Political Centre
With all three parties in England pretty close of official policy, and all three centralist in nature, then it comes down to issues of ‘trust’ and ‘personality’. Gordon Brown looks uncomfortable as prime minister, David Cameron will say anything to get elected and has a very lightweight second in command in George Osbourne, and Liberal Democrats leadership is promising but unproven. My vote is up for grab in the 2010 election.
Anyone for a coalition with David Cameron as PM and Vince Cable as Chancellor?
What Should The Government Do?
This is my slightly libertarian leaning view of the role of Government.
It’s job is the making of laws, international relations and the setting of standards and monitoring of services. The government should only be responsible for services where there is a natural monopoly.
Role of National Government
National Government has accountability through the democratic election process. It operates as a single national provider of some services and setting of standards for the rest.
- Security – Armed Forces
- Legal – Central courts, national police
- Set rights and responsibilities of individual versus the state
- Set rights and responsibilities of individual versus the company
- Set miniumum standards for Health
- Set miniumum standards for Education
- Set miniumum standards for Welfare
- Set national strategy for Transport and the Environment
- International Relations
- National audit office – oversight of local government
Role of Local Government
Local government has a role to ensure that services are delivered according to the national standards.
- Security – local police
- Legal – local courts
- Monitor local standards for Health
- Monitor local standards for Education
- Monitor local standards for Welfare
- Public / private partnerships to deliver services where a monopoly exists (e.g London Underground)
Role of NGOs
The role of Non Government Organization is to deliver the services. Ideally there should be multiple competing providers. These organization can be run from profit or not for profit
- Delivery of Health Services – Hospitals, Health Centres, Dentists, Other Practitioner
- Delivery of Education – Schools, Colleges, Universities
- Delivery of Welfare – Housing Associations, Home Help, Social Work
- Delivery of Utilities – water, gas, electricity, telecommunications, internet
- Delivery of Sanitation – waste disposal
- Delivery of Transport Services – buses, train companies, airlines