GB's National Plan is Not the Way Forward
Gordon Brown intends to hold onto his job in the wake of Thursday's drubbing by becoming The Man with a Plan. Across Government, policy wonks are drafting section of a National Plan, set to be released early next week as part of Brown's relaunch. Looked at generously, this might be seen as a sign that GB has not run out of steam or ideas: but that will depend on how new - and good - the ideas are.
But there is something deeply worrying about the presumption that what we need now is a National Plan. Just when Westminster is at its lowest ebb, and the demand for power to be distributed more widely is at its loudest, the Government thinks it can plan the nation from SW1. We've had the Children's Plan from Ed Balls. There are National Plans for domestic violence, obesity, dementia, rare diseases, savings schemes for poor people, and the teaching of swimming.
These are all important, of course. But the idea that our problems can be solved by nationally-determined planning is old hat. Gosplans are not the way out of Labour's troubles. Rather than accumulating power to the central, planning state, Brown should be giving it away. We've got our own plans, thank you.