'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday 4 February 2011

When collective responsibility goes a tad too far...


Poor Damian Green appeared to have been done up like a kipper (to use the current in vogue statement) last night on Question Time when he had to defend the governments position on Forests - a process he quite clearly didn't believe in and found - well, indefensible...

The principle of collective responsibility is of course a sound one - but really... Does every government minster, from the cabinet down to the most humble PPS really have to pretend they support every aspect of an entire governments policy? Especially one where they have had no say what-so-ever in its formulation?

Suppose we had a brilliant cabinet minister, universally acclaimed as the best person for their role, an acknowledged expert in their field - who has an issue with some other minor part of government policy. Are we really meant to lose their skills just in order to present a united front?

Amusingly the wikipedia link explaining the principles of CR suggests readers might like to read up about Democratic Centralsim, which it describes as a' similar Leninist policy'. I rest my case.

Surely ministers can be allowed to exercise a bit of common sense here? After all - we want our MP's to be talented free thinkers. Don't we?

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