A Level Politics

Improving your grade

Passing the parcel with poverty?

Posted by Matt Walker on June 12, 2009

Do Labour now accept that they are going to lose the next general election? Yvette Cooper, the new Work and Pensions Secretary has announced that the government intend to pass into law central government’s commitment to eradicate child poverty.

As we know, parliament cannot bind the hands of a future parliament, making commitments on its behalf that cannot be reversed. And yet, this looks like an attempt to at least box a future parliament into a political corner.

Is this merely a trap for a future Conservative Government? A Cameron administration would have to either support the current government’s commitment on child poverty, or actively and very publicly reject it, rather than secretly burying bad news on a heavy news day. The Conservative opposition could of course argue against this proposal, but would arguably look bad if they did so. Is this an example Gordon’s Brown’s oft-talked about strategic brilliance, after weeks and months of political errors?


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