John Reid has a mouth like a barn door, and isn't afraid to wade in, cussin' and blindin', when the mood takes him. But that's no reason why he shouldn't be Home Secretary. After all, compared to DPM John Prescott, reviled thumper of an egg throwing 1980s style bouffant mullet man, Reid is a pussycat.
Yep, Compared to Prescott, Reid seems like one of Tony Blair's better selections.
And there's a lovely new transport minister, too.
So, what's the problem?
Where do we begin?
John Reid is the new Home Secretary. He is going to force through the police mergers in England, just as Charles Clarke intended, despite massive opposition. Without any consultation with the public. And, unlike Clarke, he is not accountable to the electorate here in England. His constituency is in Scotland, and in his local area police forces look set to become smaller to reflect local needs.
The change to regionalised police forces in England is a big step. But no referendum has been allowed. Views expressed thus far would seem to suggest that the public is against the idea of larger police forces, covering much larger areas. This is taking away the local touch. Centralisation.
The government says that the move is neccessary to deal with the threat of terrorism, but surely making police headquarters more remote from the communities they serve is not going to help? If adjustments do need to be made, this would not seem to be one of them, it simply cannot make life safer.
And how convenient that it fits in with the government's regionalisation agenda.
The government is obssessed with breaking up England via regionalisation, despite the massive opposition revealed by the vote in the North East of England, the only area allowed a referendum. Unelected Regional Assemblies suck away at finances we supposedly pay to our representative local councils. Our emergency services have already been regionalised. Now it's the police. Next, our county councils will disappear. No more Cambridgeshire, no more Sussex...
She's a lassie from Lancashire...
Not any more.
Large regional government bodies, covering much larger areas will replace our ancient counties system of local government. Big is beautiful. Your local regional offices may be bloody miles away, but Labour tells us it will be better for us.
So, the next step on this road is the police, and John Reid, whose constituents up in Scotland will be totally unaffected by his actions, will be driving the plans through.
In appointing Reid, Tony Blair is clearly saying STUFF YOU! to the electorate in England. He is, no doubt, hacked off because of the bloody nose New Labour received in the recent English local council elections. Still, at least non-accountable Scottish MP Alistair Darling is no longer Transport Minister for England. Blair has given the job to another MP representing a Scottish constituency. Can you believe it?!
No matter what these er... "representatives" do, you can't vote them out, because they don't represent you here in England. Yet most of their policies will affect only England. They can do as they please. Take John Reid: in the majority of cases his actions as Home Secretary will have no effect on his constituents in Scotland. The new Transport Minister for England (whose name escapes me), is free to do what he likes - it won't affect the people who voted him in. His actions will certainly affect you if you live in England. But he's not answerable to you.
Terrifying. I can't believe this is happening.
This blog is supportive of the aims of the Campaign for an English Parliament, but is in no way connected.