Fairness and the coalition!
18 months ago we saw the forming of the coalition between the lib dems and the conservative party in a very visual form with a joint press conference on the lawn of downing street. What is it that most people remember about that bright sunny summers day apart from the glowing faces of a new fresh Prime Minister David Cameron and an energised forward looking Nick Clegg? One word "fairness" it doesn't matter where you sit on the political spectrum or whether you are a political hack or a casual armchair politico, everyone I talk to say that is what they remember. Its the "foundation" of what this tory led government is built on, and the thread that flows through the bold decisions being made across all departments over the last year.
What does fairness look like?
If you listened to the opposition under Ed Miliband you may believe fairness is something that floats around in academic political speak and brought out to spin that labour hold the monopoly on being the "nice party".
I've got a few messages for Ed, winning a leadership election when another candidate won the majority of votes IS NOT FAIR, telling the public you won't make any promises or suggest solutions to the perilous situation the country finds its self IS NOT FAIR, and when you suffer cliqueyness and become "pigeon holed" within the party for your gender or sexuality reeling off lists of legislation and telling you that you should be grateful for all the red tape they brought in instead of focusing on people IS NOT FAIR.
David Cameron and the coalition have been sending out a lot of messages themselves around what fairness looks like to: Always earn more in work than on benefits, an education system where every child has the chance to go to an academy, an education system where the qualifications you take will be valued by employers not just pieces of paper you were falsly sold, an nhs where clinical decisions will be made by medically trained doctors not management trained staff, an immigration system that protects the most in need but ensures community resources aren't stretched to breaking point by un capped influxs of people waiting 5 yrs for an immigration decision, a corporate tax system that rewards success and encourages growth not punishing high aspirations, a criminal justice system that keeps dangerous criminals off our streets longer but also recognises that social problems need social solutions not more time in prison and within 2 yrs of coming to power we are likely to see the legalisation of gay marriage something labour never delivered on.
I don't claim to be an "academic politics graduate" or MPs aide but to me the coalitions messages are plain simple examples of "fairness" being delivered not discussed not given as a list of rights but a values system that is defining every decision implimented by the government today.
You don't have to agree with every policy decision the government makes or every minor decision that sits within a draft bill or action, but what its clear to see is that people are at the heart of government decision making, they want to put people not quangos at the heart of local communities and they want to put people first above red tape and legislation.
people talk about "personality politics" but when I see this government in action I see "people and community politics" that's fairness and about time too!