Inevitably, it’s nearly all referendum this week…
One step forward, two steps back
It’s a truism that David Cameron is renowned for getting out of political crises – and for getting into them. However we vote next week and whomever is Prime Minister after the summer, the Government will face another big difficulty, in that it will need to give a referendum dividend by the Autumn Statement. This will include significant policy changes that will need either a specific political mandate or the ability to cajole opposition parties. And the Conservatives’ hopes of either of those essential factors are not helped by Cameron ceding the stage to Corbyn et al now. In other words, a short-term tactic is – yet again – storing up trouble for the future.
Money can buy you love
Companies that get our procurement intelligence reports are already familiar with Whitehall’s rule on social policy through procurement. Later this summer, all private sector suppliers to Whitehall will have an idea of what the Government really wants when it signs a contract. The Cabinet Office has promised to give examples of contracts that deliver on the Social Value Act – and chosen case studies will be a strong signal of what it wants suppliers to do beyond what they are actually getting paid for. It will also be a big hint on whether or not major programmes like the Apprenticeship Levy will be rolled out on time…
Divided they fall
I wrote an article for Labour Uncut on why left-leaning MPs should be worried by their unity for Remain. The gist was that senior Labour types have contented themselves with Tory infighting, instead of weighing the real social justice dilemmas of Leave or Remain – Brussels promotes workers’ rights whilst stopping interventions to save the steel industry, for example. The article doesn’t argue for a particular side in the referendum, but the monochrome debate in Labour (about how loudly to campaign, not what to campaign for) suggests the intellectual innovation needed to regain power is still missing and that even MPs with a ‘safe’ seat should worry. The full article is up on the GUIDE site, too.