This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

As Tony Benn always says :

Who elected them, whose interests do they serve, who are they accountable to and how do we get rid of them ? Therein lies my problem with the following appointments to ministerial posts or advisory positions in the leadership team of Gordon Brown. All the below :

Sir Digby Jones: Trade minister
Prof Sir Ara Darzi: Health Minister, patient care
Admiral Sir Alan West: Home Office minister, security
Lord Malloch Brown: Foreign Office minister, Asia, Africa and UN
Lord Stevens: Adviser on international security issues
Lib Dem Baroness Neuberger: Volunteering
Lib Dem Lord Lester: Adviser on constitutional reform

have one thing in common - no-one elected them ! The latter two Lib Dems are only in advisory posts, but others are to be parachuted in to government via the Lords. So much for 'change'. For Tony's cronies read Gordon's gofers.

What we are seeing is the forward march of the unelected !

Yes, a Tory and even a Lib Dem administration would also draft in non-elected personnel to positions, but that doesn't make it right either.

The likes of Digby Jones hasn't even any intention of joining the Labour party. His position is that he is only accountable to Gordon Brown. Another four senior arrivals are from within those taking the Labour whip within the Lords already. Is this democracy ? Add on our flawed electoral system, the proliferation of quangos and unnecessary centralist government and we are far removed from any notion of modern liberal democracy.

As for the wider cabinet, the presence of Hazel Blears, Geoff 'Buff' Hoon and Des Browne hardly fills one with confidence. Nonetheless seeing Broon waltz past the Tories in the polls this week, allied to the Quentin Davies defection from Tories to Labour has amused this observer greatly. Not a great few weeks for 'Dave' Cameron.

Ditto, more ominously for Sir Menzies Campbell too.

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