Thursday, 23 July 2009

Gordon's productive term

The last few months has seen more productive activity from this government than the previous two years. With today's long overdue announcement of plans to electrify the rail lines to Wales and the West, another sign of Andrew Adonis's hyperactivity at transport, we have seen a government willing to grapple with several big issues that had been largely neglected in the past. The recent proposals on care for the elderly and on energy are other good examples, and there have been continuing economic and public services reform proposals. And the management of the flu crisis has to date (despite a phoney media crisis at the weekend) been well managed.

Of course, the problems in Afghanistan will inevitably overshadow this work, as probably will tonight's Norwich results (though I couldn't resist a small 8/1 bet on Labour a few weeks ago). And the rushed attempt to appease the media over MPs expenses have had to be watered down. But the idea that this is a government that has run out of steam has been shown to be so much media narrative.

The challenge for the government is to get past that sense of inevitability about Cameron come the autumn. For the truth is that in many policy areas, the Tories have still not got much to say, and on issues like health, what they do have to say is deeply dispiriting. The only shame of it is that this bout of serious policy came two years into Gordon's premiership rather than two months.

No comments: