Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Local goes belly up

Well, we get the tax plans through unamended in the morning and then in the afternoon defeat slips through under the radar screen when the local government paper goes belly up.

Well not quite defeat but rather a reference back of the local government paper. So, for all those with other things to do with their time rather than follow the joys of local government policy formulation by the Lib Dems, here's a suitably potted history of how we got to where we are now.

November 2004 regional government Titanic hits North East referendum iceberg on maiden voyage.

Problem: Lib Dems have lots of regional gov policy which has now sunk to the bottom of the policy ocean floor. Without a hope of raising the stricken policy, now is the time to, in polite political speak, move on from it. Elected regional government was expunged from the Lib Dem manifesto and after the gen el, a new policy working group was set up on local and regional government. It was muggin's job here to be the policy officer working on it.

So jump forward a few months, and I had moved on from policy to political communications, leaving behind a raw policy paper that was well refined and knocked into shape by Polly Mackenzie, then the ODPM adviser. She hacked out my waffle and did a pretty good job of pulling the final paper together.

So now you terribly nice people in conference, you've kicked it into the long grass. How we deal with the government's white paper on LG is still to be seen. Though frankly, how the government themselves will deal with it is yet to be seen!

I wasn't there for the LG debate this afternoon as I was hidden away in a hotel putting on a training session. (So I missed the CK speech as well)

So I wonder if my new mission impossible, should I choose to accept it, is to help get a revised LG paper through Harrogate conference next March. Oh joy!

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