AS The new British Governmentunvbeils plans in various new areas many of their ideas seem at odds with both the message given by the recent austerity budget.
No better exampleisthe comment made by the new Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, turned former tory policy on law and order on it's head having been part of an opposition which criticized community sentences as'letting off offenders Clarke has now U-Turned saying short sentences don't work and that since his prdecessor oas home secretary Michael Howard started a process which under successive home secretaries presided over a record uk prison population of 80000 one has to wondefr whether or not these words are purely designed to cushion the previously trailed announcement of cuts of between 25-30% no mention was made of the fact that most tory voters see prison as the only way to protect the public because offenders cannot committ crime against members of the public when detained at her majesty's pleasure.
other critics of more community sentences see effective rehabilitation as being less likely in the community particularly when the hard working probation service, who work with offenders out on licence and ex offenders in the community are having any progress they make hampered by chronic staff and budget shortages.
Another area which sounds like a good idea but has implications for other policy areas and of course expenditure isIain Duncan Smith's call for 'people in council houses to uproot and move to where the work is not such a bad idea for the single person.
However how good for the 'big society' would it be for families to uproot potentially every six months, in tyhis age of shortterm contracts,go to the bottom of the council house list in a new area,no matter how long that list is before one even considers finding new schools for the children. the practicalities have not been thought through particularlr as there is a shortage of social housing all over the country largely due to the previous conservative administrations drive to sell off council housing stock to lanlordsand tennantswithout providing more council accomodation for rent. this also link's with Duncan Smith's contention that most people who break the law come from broken homes on council estates using his model surely crime would rise as families split to look for work outside their areas lesading to more broken homes and thus according to Dunucan Smith higher crime shich will be dealt with much less effectively as police budgets will receive swingeing cuts of25-30%leading according to police chiefs thousands fewer bobbys on the beat anathema to the vast majority of the ageing conservative party grass roots membership continued rhetoric by the government to pusuade sceptics that these new ideas are possible with the scheduled cuts in spending is something transparently unconvincing
to huge sections of the electorate.
M,eanwhile Simon Hughes appears talking about the referendum on MAY 5 next year as if somehow a change to proportional representation the electoral commission will need to keep a close eye on boundary changes to ensure no gerrymandering of the electoral landscape.Hughes has clearly not Reckoned on the whole of thE tory media machine linning up againstClegg andco against PR ANG KILLING IT STONE DEAD.
the prospect of two leaders of the same coalition campaigning against each other will be a site to beholdand if the electorate vote to keep our curious and certainly unrepresentative first past the post system how much will the liberal democrats regret passing the recent budget and support of a wholly conservative economic agenda./ the UK appears to be on an unarrestable economic and social slide if the policies being implementedcontinue unchecked