The past 2 years have shown us that to be an opposition leader or shadow minister is actually a really easy job.  As all you have to do is stand there say you shouldn’t do that, oh we wouldn’t do that and lots of other really easy things to say.  This Labour opposition well have done jolly good at saying they wouldn’t do that or your cutting too far and too fast and lots of other media friendly sound bites.  Yet we haven’t heard what alternative they would do instead.  They have become more a party of opposition not an opposition party.

So this got me thinking it’s easy to say what you wouldn’t do and as a result have the public say oh we like the sound of that, and get a boost in the opinion polls as a result of it.  But what is hard to do is to actually put down some policies for the public to look over and see just what they would do.  As at the moment all we know about Labour is they wouldn’t cut as much and they would borrow some more for a stimulus package of some sorts. 

Now that on its own is not really a lot, how much more would they borrow? £1bn, £10bn, £100bn or £1,000bn? And how much less would they cut by, a million pounds less of cuts is cutting by less.  So the public are left hearing we would spend more and cut less.  Which when times are hard is quite appealing more money in your pocket and more public sector people there to help.  Which in a sense is conning the voters that you would be better, when in reality you may only borrow a little bit more and cut by a little bit less. 

Which is really not on as you could very well be giving false hope to the electorate that things may be financially better under the party that well let’s face it caused the mess in the first place.  Then it hit me that for financial policies not would the government publish its plans and have them put in to action like they have done. 

But that the opposition party would have to publish some strict economic policies that list values detailing both proposed increases in spending and budget cuts.  That would then be given to the Office for Budget Responsibility who would look over them and model them to see just how they would play out.  Then this data would be released to the public so that the electorate could see just how or if there would be any difference in the two sets of policies. 

So that they could then make an informed and educated decision on the plans of the government and the opposition so when it came to an election people could vote more informed.  I also think you could probably extend it to other areas such as reform of services. 

Then when it gets to the time for a general election the OBR could do maybe a TV program that would illustrate the different positions that the two parties would have got the country to.  Which could list things like national debt, the state of the emergency services and the NHS and all the other things may be presented by Andrew Neil or someone.  What I think is great about this idea is that you couldn’t have an opposition party saying something really stupid like they would give every one £1,000 because that would be factored in to the calculation so overly populous policies couldn’t be trouped out just to win votes then returned to the closet under the stairs. 

In my opinion it would be beneficial for everyone, opposition leaders would really have to think about what they were saying, the government may pick up on an idea that they missed and implement it and above all the voters would get to see the big what if question.  So its win win all round. 

 


tubby paul
17/05/2012 2:05pm

Good idea, and a lot better than listening to people wanting to tax bankers bonuses and spend that many times over, oh how that annoys me!!

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