Thursday, 3 July 2008

Doing the right thing

Has anyone else noticed how Gordon Brown has lost his capacity for providing a valid justification for anything he and the Labour party are doing?

At practically every prime minister's question time, when stuck for a truthful/honest/valid response, he engages the following foolproof template answer; "we did X, because it was the right thing to do". No other explanation needed, apparently. We no longer require reasoned political debate, bipartisan discussions or meaningful compromise; we can now do things simply because we say they are the right thing to do. Certain African despots could learn a lot from our Gordon.

Now this is an exceedingly flexible template for Gordon. It is not just in defense of the litany of poorly-conceived Labour policies where he can wheel this one out, as he has on the 42-days detention bill and the abolition of the 10% tax rate. No, he can also used it to defend the actions of others. When asked by David Cameron why Geoff Hoon was writing thank-you letters to Keith Vaz regarding the detention bill, what was Gordon's response? That's right, Geoff Hoon was merely thanking Keith Vaz for doing the right thing. Again, no details needed. And Mr. Brown had the gall make this response repeatedly to parliament.

If Gordon Brown believes so strongly in his current policies, shouldn't we get to hear the sound, logical reasoning that has led him to want to implement them? Is it enough to say that 42 days is the right number of days for detention, without any further justification? Surely we deserve better than this?

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