Thursday, 5 June 2008

Labour MPs warn of rebellion - again (Planning).

How long does it take for a government to realise that its policies are a load of old "pony". It's not as if there haven't been any obvious signs:

Your party is polling lower than any time in its history.

You lose a safe seat up north by a massive swing.

The police are taking part in mass demonstrations.

Your Leader has an approval rating lower than a snake's jake.

You are becoming dizzy from performing U-turns.

Your grass root supporters give you two weeks to get your sh*t in one sock or step down.

You face a summer of industrial action.

Your Cabinet ministers are jockeying to replace you.

Your MPs are rebelling week in week out - if it gets any worse they will start calling Brown "Darth" as he seems to spend most of his time fighting the rebellion.

I could go on but I'm getting bored.

Anyway, this brings me to today's threat of a rebellion from the Labour backbenchers. MPs are worried that removing the need for ministerial input into planning will make the system less accountable. No less than sixty backbenchers have signed a motion criticising the proposal to create an independent Infrastructure Planning Commission. Basically the Government want to railroad planning for major projects without the pesky public getting involved.

In their defence the Government claim that they are:

"firmly committed to this important package of reforms to the planning system which are critical to meeting our long term objectives for the economy, to address climate, and for our society".
It looks like someone has been using the random bullsh*t generator. Friends of the Earth do not agree that this Bill will help fight climate change. Their planning campaigner Hugh Ellis said:

"The Planning Bill is an environmental disaster. "The government wants to fast-track major developments - such as airports, roads and power stations - through the planning system without considering their impact on climate change and with little regard for local opinion. "Ministers must listen to the mounting concern, and put people and the planet at the heart of our planning system."
Back to the drawing board me thinks.

Hat tip to The Spine for the picture.


Man in a Shed said...

Just watched PMQ's on the BBC's watch again and I have two comments:

1) Why are all the Labour women dying their hair red ?
2) Brown is a disaster. He is beginning to look bewildered. The Mps behind him must be wondering what to put on their CVs.

Daily Referendum said...


Will work for food?

Experienced in handling large amounts of other people's money?

John M Ward said...

The planning system is one of the most interfered-with parts of this country's governance, as I know from my eight years on our local Council. It is one of the things I am pleased to have left behind.

There has been an almost non-stop flow of rules, regulations and guidance flooding out of Whitehall for several years now, including the new "simplified" planning regime that is in fact far more complex than what went before.

All this centralised and unaccountable planning dictatorship started with Prescott's regionalisation agenda, and the consequent forcing of all local planning authorities' "Local Development Frameworks" to be consistent with a regional plan -- in my area's case, the South East Plan.

We all need to be aware that there are already extensive threats to local people's rights and protections, and this latest move is just another step in the direction of removing all power from the people and their elected representatives.

At least FoE weren't taken in by the sales pitch for this proposal, and it looks like at least some backbenchers are of similar mind.

Hopefully on this occasion (unlike the 42 days issue, by the look of it) this threatened rebellion will lead to one of Gordon's "Trade Mark U-turns", as David Cameron called them during this week's PMQs.

Daily Referendum said...

John, I think the term "S turn" may come into use for Brown.