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National politics

Harman and Goodwin

The Goodwin pension saga is in the papers again today. Boris Johnson points out again that the whole Fred the Shred sideshow is rather convenient for the government and keeps the public’s eyes averted from the parlous state of our nation’s finances whilst Brown is fiddling in Washington.

Boris’ best line is:

I don’t wish to sound remotely complacent, but if and when Hattie takes over from Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party, the Tories will be able to stop fund-raising and get on with some truly radical and innovative policies, because Labour will be out of office for a decade at least.

I am sure that Labour will be out of office for at least a decade. I think that any time that Harman spends as leader can be added to the base.

All good knock about stuff. But the implication of Harman’s interview with Andrew Marr on Sunday was that Labour would simply come up with a custom made law to swat Goodwin. Quite right you might say but quite wrong when you sit down to think about it. What part of our state can operate effectively if its partners and contractors can’t be sure when the government is going to turn around and use its law making powers to change the rules of the game? Would you do business on that basis?

Today Tom Winsor, the rail regulator from 1999 to 2004, gives a frank account in the Times of how the government proposed to do this in the case of Railtrack when Gordon Brown and Shriti Vadera came up with their evil plan to steal Railtrack from its owners.

3 replies on “Harman and Goodwin”

The last time they created a law to swat one person, that individual was Brian Haw. Because the legislation could not be applied in retrospect, Brian turned out to be the only person who the new law didn’t apply to…

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