Douglas Carswell

30 DEC 2010

The Coalition rhetoric is radical. But where is the beef?

In his very first question as Prime Minister, I asked David Cameron about reforming the House of Lords – and got an answer that really pleased me.

Pushing for a fully elected upper House, I asked if he would confirm that “he will bring forward proposals in the next 12 months to make all our law-makers accountable through the ballot box?”

In his reply, David Cameron said “ there will be a draft motion, by December, which the House can vote on.”

December is now almost over. Did I miss that motion?

Perhaps, like, so many other areas of political reform – open primaries, recall votes – the radical rhetoric has yet to be matched by actual change. Sir Humphrey has got his talons into ministers.   

Westminster-based journalists tell each other that the government is being radical. But looking at what has actually been done, rather than said, the evidence suggests otherwise.   

Every few days, I seem to field a 'phone call from a BBC researcher inviting me to make rude noises about the Coalition – preferably in angry, reactionary terms (Indeed, the latest one as I wrote this ...) They are invariably disappointed when I explain that my concerns with the Coalition are not that they are failing to be traditionally Tory, but – as with Lords reform – they are failing to be radical enough.

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