Posts tagged ‘Harriet Harman’

Smaller Government?

There is a rumour going around, apparently first articulated in the media by Harriet Harperson in a column for the Standard, that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) might be shut after the end of the Olympics.

It probably isn’t true but on the off chance that it is, I for one would welcome it as but a small step on the road to smaller government.

Being a minimalist libertarian, I obviously don’t think that this goes far enough.

My ideal, for starters, would be the closure of every national governmental department with the exception of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The rest can all be devolved down to nothing higher than county or city level. Once their powers have been pushed down that far then the local populations can decide what they want to keep, what to scrap and what can be done independently of government (much of it I believe). This should encourage trade and healthy competition between the regions to the benefit of all.

Why though spare the FCO and the MoD? Because so long as the concept of the Nation State still exists, they have a role which I’m not sure can be dealt with at a lower level*. I’d like to see the end of the Nation State – and thus the elimination of the need to have the FCO and the MoD – but until such time as this happens I’ll put up with them. The income for this rump of national government can be paid by the counties/cities on a fixed amount per head basis with the Prime Minister/Foreign Secretary directly elected with mandate to do no more than protect our interests internationally**. If s/he wished to change this, it must be put to a vote – as must their annual budget before any money is handed over.

The only other possible exception – i.e. I’m undecided about it – is some form of trans-county/city crime agency but its powers would have to be limited least we end up with an FBI/Homeland type agency.

Updated: to add the acronyms at first use and another footnote.

* No doubt there will be an anarcho-capitalist (Obo?) along to tell me I’m wrong about this. :)

** And not launching wars of aggression, obviously.

“Sugar and spice and all things nice…”

Well, well, who would have thought it? It turns out that the ball-breaking harridan Harriet Harman we all know and love hate is just a front put up by the real Harriet who is, apparently, so meek and mild that she needs protecting from all the nasty men.

I mean, what other conclusion can possibly be drawn from revelation that this year’s Labour Party conference will have a women only session entitled ‘What Women Want’?

Before you feel that I am being too harsh on Mrs Dromey (if that is at all possible) it is seems that it is not just poor Harriet who feels this way as the session came about after ‘what is described as an “uprising” by female members’.

The session will be led by the senior Labour female figures of Harman, Yvette Cooper (aka Mrs Balls), Baroness Royall and Baroness Scotland and whilst the agenda is as yet unknown they are canvassing opinion from the female membership and expect that:

There will be formal resolutions based on suggestions from female members, who are being invited to the platform to put their case on education, childcare, the economy and the NHS, as well as party rules.

Presumably because none of these issues matter at all to the male members of the Labour party?

It will not be entirely women only though as Labour leader Ed Milliband will be allowed in, with a source telling the Independent that “Ed will be there as an honorary woman”. What such an ‘honour’ says about Ed’s masculinity I leave to the speculation of reader…