Damned if you, damned if you don’t and doubly damned if you didn’t but now you did.
No, not a new tongue twister.
Just my response to the inevitable media sniggering that has accompanied the news that, owing to extreme public outrage, Brown et al probably won’t be scrapping childcare vouchers any more. U-Turn, the Sunday Times cried at me across the breakfast table. Others sneered about a government ‘climb down’.
But what exactly is so wrong with the government changing their mind after 81,000 people signed their names to a petition on the subject?
Surely that is what democracy is all about – leaders listening to our opinions and reacting to them?
Why else would you set up a petition, except to encourage change. No one lobbies politicians just to make a point; you place pressure in order to get a result.
Ideally they might get it right first time, but i’d still rather a government who were responsive to popular sentiment. Of course they are doing it because they have calculated the ‘mum and dad vote’ is rather crucial to prevent a Conservative landslide come May, but so what!
Isn’t it better for them to ‘climb down’ on an issue they have apparently got it wrong with, than remain stubborn and defiant just to prevent accusations of flip-flopping.
Just imagine how different world history could have been, if only leaders were a little more willing to contradict themselves.