Thursday, 13 September 2007

Conservatives Report: Restoring Pride in Public Services

Before I look a the green issues, I just wanted to finish up with the above report.

The section on Heath was a bit flim flammy, frankly.
The Policy Group proposes the freeing up of local decision-making and a new enabling partnership with clinicians.
You do not "restore pride" by introducing a universal labelling strategy, an NHS Board or tinkering with health policy organisational trees. Oh, and the GP cat is out of the bag, Dave, courtesy of the numpties at New Labour. The best solution for healthcare is to unhitch the monopoly totally from the State and create a proper pluralistic solution using compulsory insurance.

Education is ok - more power to exclude, for example. This might free up the resources to enable remedial education to be performed as suggested. Extending setting is a tricky one as I believe you really have to go the whole hog and once you get sets you really need to have enough kids in each school to make it work properly.

Social Housing section is flawed deckchair shuffling and vague talk about local decision making, which for housing means either "nimby" blocking or a tyranny of the masses. The point about bribing giving share of equity "for good behaviour" shows naivety in the extreme and is an insult to all those working hard to have their own home and pay a mortgage. When will politicians learn? The reward for good behaviour must be simply the continuation of a roof over your head. The consequence of bad behaviour should be eviction, pure and simple. The State has to stop being "landlord of last resort" and ditch the "Duty of care" fraud that has crept into our systems.

The Conservatives talk about reforming the housing benefit system. In Roger's Manifesto there was a very clear statement on this which should deal with the whole issue. This can be summed up thus:
State housing and/or benefit must be a safety net, not a hammock. Once begun the allocation will not increase even if the tenant increases the size of their family by whatever means, such as birth, marriage or cohabitation with dependents regardless of their country of origin.
This way people who fall into poverty can be helped but people should not consider State housing as a life-long and ever expanding resource. They are, in effect, "home blocking" people who fall on hard times.

This report is a big disappointment. How it can be described as a means to "restore pride" I do not know. The authors should be ashamed.

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