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Friday, June 22, 2007


Gordon Brown has invited Nazi Ashdown to join his cabinet (OK I don't like him he was an enthusiastic supporter of ex-Nazis here certainly knew were involved in genocide & perjured himself in the Milosevic "trial"). The question is open how serious this was & how much an attempt to sow dissension with the LudDims.

The latest from Iain Dale is that he is also going to invite Sir Alan Sugar. Iain thinks that is a joke but I think he would be considerably more competent than the average minister.

However there were some other LDs mentioned & I would like to look at them as perhaps being a better way of seeing what qualities he is looking for.
Several other Lib Dem peers were mentioned in the discussions in the context of Cabinet jobs when Mr Brown forms his first administration on Wednesday or Thursday next week.

They include former Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger at health, terrorism watchdog Lord Carlile as Attorney General, Lord Leicester and Lord Oakeshott

She has been chief executive of the King's Fund "carries out research, policy analysis and development activities, by working independently, in partnerships, and through funding. It also serves as a resource to people working within health, including the National Health Service, offering leadership development, seminars and workshops, an information and library service and conference facilities." & has written a book The Moral State We're In which Amazon describe as
A study of the moral state of the nation -- the acid test of this being how we treat the weakest among us. Rabbi Julia Neuberger will assess the situation in the UK from her own unique viewpoint, and promises to draw some challenging and thought-provoking conclusions. Just as Will Hutton looked at the political landscape at a turning point in Britain, Rabbi Julia will take the moral temperature of the nation by looking at the ways in which we treat the weakest amongst us. The National Health Service, government pensions and asylum seekers all make daily headlines, and here is a writer with the moral authority and mastery of the necessary information to undertake this timely project. The way we treat the weak and vulnerable members of society has long been an established way to judge how civilised a society is. In this book, Julia will look at the extent to which the elderly are thought a burden, the way we care for the mentally ill, attitudes to asylum seekers, support for ex-offenders as well as the care of children and the future of society in the UK. Her straight-forward approach to what has elsewhere proven highly esoteric, is here written with ease and fluidity and with a style that is highly approachable for those interested in the state of their nation with purely social, rather than academic, motivations. With her uncomplicated but extremely intelligent and candid take on the issues that make daily headlines, and with Julia's high media profile, this book is guaranteed to tap into the state of our nation.
but by a negative reviewer
in particular her observation of how excessive bureaucracy continues to prevent people from becoming more willing to help out and lend a hand. She also makes a good point about how the elderly are treated. However, that aside, this reads like a manual for the politically correct. The author assumes that all child abuse takes place within two parent families, thinks everyone in Britain doesn't like children or other cultures and seems to find more sympathy for the perpetrators of crime rather than the victims.
So somebody thoughtful without direct governmental experience (though this is almost automatic if going for LibDems), probably overly politically correct but definitely interested in non-bureaucratic reform.

Lord Carlisle, independent monitor of anti-terrorism legislation, has welcomed the four month consultation on the government's new proposals for preventing terrorism.

The peer expressed happiness at a "genuine period of four months consultation" and urged all involved to not "rush to judgement" and "listen to the arguments".

The comments could be taken as an implicit criticism of the rushed manner in which the government has been accused of passing previous counter-terrorist legislation.

But Lord Carlisle also implied his approval of government plans to extend the period in which terrorist suspects can be held without trial.
So something close to approval of detention without trial but not a total yes man. Finally Lorrd Oakshott
Oakeshott worked in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Kenya from 1968 to 1970; from 1972 to 1976, he was Special Adviser to the Member of Parliament Roy Jenkins. After this be became director of Warburg Investment Management, a post he held until 1981. Following Oakeshott worked as manager for Courtaulds Pension Fund until 1985
Assistant to Roy Jenkins & then a merchant banker.

So generally on the hard edge of political correctness. Not radicals but strategic reforming thinkers rather than day to day managers. That could work. I could see them in a leaner & more efficient government. Not libertarian by any standard but not going to heap up one rule on top of another.

Now lets see what he does with Miliband whom I once described as having risen by spouting cliches because he is not equipped to understand what rubbish they are but whom Labour MPs seem to think of as an up & coming you man with ideas.

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