Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Coalition Agreement now sounds excitingly radical

If you are looking for policy ideas that will help the Liberal Democrats break out of the sterility of presenting themselves as the centre party, may I suggest the Coalition Agreement as a source of ideas?

Take this paragraph from the Social Action section:
We will give public sector workers a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver. This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.
While I was stuffing envelopes at the Corby by-election, a young Lib Dem activist said to me that we should be campaigning on this commitment under a slogan like "Sack your boss and run your service yourself".

I think he was right. It would certainly be far more attractive to workers than George Osborne's idea (which Lib Dem parliamentarians appear to be going along with, if only grudgingly) of encouraging them to give up their employment rights in return for shares.

More and more, the Coalition Agreement reads like the prospectus for the government Britain needed in 2010 but somehow did not get.

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