Sunday, November 16, 2008

Of course Cameron was playing party politics with Baby P

It's his job. If David Cameron wasn't playing party politics with the Baby P story, then he was culpably incompetent in choosing to raise the issue.

Before PMQ's, he will have sat down with his advisors and asked them "How exactly can I make political capital out of the Baby P case?" and asked the questions that came out of this analysis - namely a question that Gordon Brown quite properly refused to answer because he hadn't had time to read the report. So we then saw a a yar-boo exchange of "you didn't answer my question" and "you are playing politics". Tedious.

There is nothing wrong with making this a party political issue. The question of how central government should relate to local government is an ideological one on which the three parties have very different views. The Liberal Democrats tend to believe that local voters are quite capable of supervising local government. Labour think that councillors should go to civic events while their council administrations administer central government policy in a politics-free manner. And the Conservatives think whatever looks best in the paper that day.

There is a non-political element to this row, which is about how Haringey social services screwed up. But that is something that needs to be dealt with in Haringey, not in Westminster.

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