Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Party politics

Just a quick word on this, as it’s generating a good deal more heat than light (just look at the comments here).  Brown accused Cameron of turning the death of Baby P into a ‘party political’ matter – an accusation that genuinely enraged Cameron.  People have been suggesting that of course it was Cameron being party-political, it was in PMQs after all.  Well, I think there’s a distinction to be drawn here.

Had Cameron stood up and said that the death of Baby P was evidence of the failure of a Labour council and, by extension, of Labour administrations everywhere – that would have been a party political attack.  Had he blamed the Government for it and said that under a Tory Government it would never have happened – that would have been a party political attack.  That he asked a specific question, and then got tetchy that Brown wouldn’t answer them wasn’t party political.  It might have been political, but it wasn’t party political.  There is a difference, and it does matter.

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