A new-look government?
Gordon Brown is preparing a new government, for when he officially gets the top job in a few days time. And we hear he’s discussed offering government jobs to members of the libdems, but they’ve turned him down. Noone seems quite sure who suffers or benefits from this.
Looking up from an unedifying narrow view of the parties, what would be good for the country? Here the answer looks much clearer: if Brown can move away from the traditional notion of a government entirely from within one party, we stand to benefit. But he needs to be transparent and honest about it: giving power to “special advisors” through the back door has a bad press that’s not about to go away (even if it’s really just a modern variant of “Sir Humphrey” of the 1980s and earlier).
If Brown can appoint ministers from outside his own party, I for one will be well pleased. They won’t be libdems (at least in the short term), but they could still be Tories, other parties, or (probably best) no party. As is indeed fairly widespread practice in many other countries. Not only will he move away from traditional tribalism; he’ll also set a good precedent for future governments. It’s a natural followup to the ending of the class war that gave rise to the original Labour party.
And it’s a precedent I strongly suspect David Cameron will be happy to follow, if and when he gets the top job.
Next: do away with this absurd system where so much power vests in any one person. Regardless of who it is, or what party they lead. That includes leaders of opposition parties, too.