Tuesday 25 September 2007

Choices to be made

In today's Times, David Aaronovitch puts his finger on the challenges facing Brown after his conference speech, when he writes:

It is another myth that the last few Blair years were the swansong of a delusional, dying leader, in which everything stopped, while the pomaded dilettante built his cardboard academies. Some fairly profound changes were being wrought in public service provision, and the question has always been whether Mr Brown intended to deepen this process and possibly even accelerate it in pursuit of what he called yesterday a “genuinely meritocratic Britain”, in which “if you try hard, we will help you”..... But, in the general run of education and health provision, what does the PM think about patient and parent choice? Who chooses the personal tutor that we have all been promised? Who can tender to become such a tutor?.... Now, my presumption is that the Prime Minister is prepared to make tough decisions, because if he isn’t, then there’s not much point to him. And if he is, then perhaps he should go to the country very soon.....if he wants the freedom to do the difficult as well as the easy things, then he needs to put the Long Election Campaign behind him.
Aaronovitch almost has me persuaded of the case for an early election so that Brown could start to work through these choices (though, to be fair, he has made a lot of them already even if chose to obscure them yesterday). Meanwhile Steve Richards in the Independent makes a good case for not going early, as he applauds how Brown's approach to policy, though downplays the hard choices that he will face turning policy ambitions into reality.

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