Wednesday 9 June 2010

A whiff of new politics.

On Monday Nick Clegg said in parliament that the coalition was prepared to re-examine its proposal to grant anonymity to defendants in rape cases, a measure voted for by the Liberal Democrat Conference in 2006 but not included in our manifesto.

There have been serious objections to the proposal, and Nick's response was: "...we do want to listen to everybody who has a stake and expertise and insight into this. and if the idea we have put forward does not withstand sincere scrutiny, we will of course be prepared to alter and change the proposals we have made."

This reasoned approach is in stark contrast to so much policy in recent years which has been driven by dogma rather than evidence. This has been particularly true in the fields of education and crime.

If this reasoned approach becomes a feature of coalition government then this really will be the new politics. It can, however, easily be knocked off course by accusations of U-turns, backtracking, retreat and even betrayal. I hope the coalition will hold a steady course, and will try myself not to use the term "U-turn" again.

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