Dither and thither

So Cameron wants to “cut through dithering”? What a lovely phrase; it makes anyone who stands against his Tory dreams sound like the senior U3A branch of the WI. British stereotype: old ladies dither at roundabouts, or finding the right change at the supermarket, or attempting to use the automatic ticket machine on the underground. Yes, Cameron implies, dithering is irritating and useless, slowing down the progress of Important People, people who have places to go, vital things to achieve.

But it’s not dithering he wants to cut, it’s governance, checks and balances. A certain degree of questioning, restraint and control is necessary for any community to thrive; should a supermarket be allowed to build? or will it kill the small town? A planning enquiry gives each side a say and – with luck – comes to a reasonable conclusion. We may all claim to want a turnaround from recession or to promote greener energy sources but how we might do it often requires a balance. No one group should hold sway. MPs should represent their constituents – ALL their constituents, not just those who voted for them.

Remove red tape for housing development? Great idea! We need new homes! But, hang on, there’s an SSI with the last population of a vanishing species; that’s a Tory member’s estate so she’ll make a fortune while the woodland – lungs to the city – vanishes.

Free Schools? Let parents and communities control education, not evil county councils; localism is the buzz word. But, hang on, what happens if there’s a dispute at a Free School? They’re controlled by Mr Gove? Isn’t he a bit busy and, well, a bit central? And why are companies moving in to run these “free” schools that are anything but free to us (few remaining) tax payers?

Meanwhile police and security are being farmed out to private companies and the NHS is being dismantled from the inside, pieces being handed out to private contractors on the whim of – whom? Should there be controls? Why are freedom of information requests fought so fiercely?

This is not about the economy of the general population, not about imaginary “choice”. This, like most of the ConDems’ policies, is about profiteering. It’s about speeding-up the process of the rich becoming richer, paid for by the rest of us. Cut the dithering? Cut red tape? What they mean is cut curbs on their greed.

David Davies’s comments on “shock treatment” to kick-start the economy are the final insult.

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And now a random picture of a tricksy spider seen in my garden.

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