Saturday, November 19, 2005

Of Commissions And Cojones

From time to time we may have been slightly unkind to Tim Yeo. But this morning he stumbles across a fundamental truth.

He's worried about the environment. And despite being a DC supporter, he's fretting about the Boy Wonder's lack of...well, substance. As you will recall, the latter has promised to set up a cross-party commission to create a consensus on measures to combat climate change, to implement statutory annual cuts in carbon emissions and to create an independent carbon audit office.

Sounded great at the time, but thinking about it some more, Tim's concerned:

"Setting up a commission sounds a tiny bit as though we are going to think of some policies, some of which will be painful, but we aren't going to say what they are just yet. Young people...will be looking for explicit policy commitments. It is not enough to say this is very important and we are going to do better at it than the Government has."

Ah. Well, you see Tim, that's a teensy bit of a problem with your boy.

The trouble with politics...well, OK, leadership, is that it's rather more than simply "trust me- I'll call on the best brains in the land and work out what to do". Most political problems don't have a "correct" technical solution. Climate change is one of them- not only is there still expert disagreement on the causes, but most proposed solutions involve losers as well as winners.

Pensions is another excellent example. Most of us have known for ages that the pension age must be increased, and the longer we put it off, the worse the final disaster will be. But for obvious reasons, no politico wants to be the one giving the good news. So instead, we've had years of reports and commissions as successive "leaders" have sought to pass the parcel. Will spineless Tone implement the leaked Turner Report? Don't hold your breath.

So Tim- well done for spotting the issue. And fortunately it's not too late.

There's still time to switch your allegiance.


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