Friday, 25 July 2008

Labour U Turn on free school meals - The fastest U Turn in the West?

ConservativeFrom the Conservative website:

Just hours after a national newspaper was briefed that a proposal to offer all children free school meals 'will be included in the [Labour] party's manifesto' for the next election, Ed Balls's chaotic department has denied any such plans exist.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families – the Government department responsible for this year's exam marking fiasco – said this morning there are "no plans to change existing national policy."

Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove said:
"Ministers clearly wanted to draw attention away from the Glasgow East result and placate the unions. But just hours after announcing an uncosted £1 billion spending pledge on free school meals, they are distancing themselves from their own plan.

"After the exam marking fiasco, this latest error by Ed Balls underlines how much the Government has become driven by positioning for the short-term rather than getting policy right for the long-term."


Andrew Allison said...

What a bloody mess. You can't even believe a thing they say, even more so than before.

Daily Referendum said...

Maybe they thought it would help Brown, and then thought "sod it why bother."

Richard Havers said...

Positioning? Michael Gove gives them too much credit. They're like a blind man attempting to park a people mover in a multi-storey.

Daily Referendum said...


I agree, it seems that the feeling of no one being at the wheel is getting stronger.

John M Ward said...

"U-turn if you want..."

I assume it wasn't having the effect they wanted, so was scrapped/denied at an early stage. If there had still been mileage in it, it would have been retained for the duration.

That's how NuLabour works, as I have observed many times and commented upon on occasion.

Anyone working in local gov't in particular will be well aware of numerous initiatives that have lasted a year or two and then been dropped, only to be replaced by the next headline-grabbing idea (usually very little different from what went before).

John M Ward said...

Andrew Allison

I have learned, over the years, the technique of noting what NuLabour say, but not believing it automatically. This helped give me something of an edge during my eight years as a Councillor...

I highly recommend this technique to everyone!

Daily Referendum said...


And we wonder where all the money goes?

Andrew Allison said...

John: I have never believed much over the years, but usually when a government makes a policy announcement they stick with it or allow some time to go by before ditching it.