Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Tories are missing a trick...

I'm not sure if the Tories are standing in front of an open goal and haven't noticed, or if they're standing in front of an open goal and waiting for the keeper to get back on to his line so that they can embarrass him by sending him the wrong way.

So Labour and the Tories are scrambling side-by-side to reach the top of the 'modernising reform' ladder, promising all sorts of ideas from 'power to the people' to electoral reform.

But a large part of the discussion is on the proposal to make parliaments fixed-term - every four years, an election is called. I've not read much fine detail on this idea, but I feel David Cameron is missing a trick. He is in favour of fixed term, but he should also come out and say that if the Prime Minister steps down from his position in the middle of a sitting parliament, there should then be, four years or not, a general election. This would put Gordon Brown on the back foot on the issue. He can either disagree, and be forced to defend his 'lack of modernisation credentials', or he can agree with the policy and have to take the flak of 'but you didn't do it when Blair stepped down - so why do you agree now?'.

This is a Prime Minister without a mandate and it is one of the easier, but effective ways of bashing him round the head. The public do not like this manouvre that Brown slithered through and will remind the electorate of his selfish, power hungry, controlling nature.

So why isn't Cameron going for it as a stipulation of these proposals? Is he waiting for GB to agree to four year fixed terms, and then going to pull the rabbit from the hat? It would have a much greater impact if this was the case, but Brown isn't an idiot and certainly isn't going to lay his head on the block and give Cameron the axe (because Brown would rather die than openly say 'Me and DC agree'), so Cameron should attack on this now, and could really hurt the Prime Minister with it.

Seems like an easy way to go 1-0 up.

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