Ah, the wonders of the new political dawn. 'New Politics' as opposed to 'Old Politics'. And so it seems from the long-awaited Coalition Document, published today, a new colour is born - Yelblue. This new colour is used throughout the new document and even gets an entire page to fill (page 2 in case you're interested). I'm sure readers with children will appreciate that when a toddler mixes two paint colours together, the result is an unappealing looking mess. I suspect we may be witnessing the modern political PR equivalent of such a mess. For when two incompatible colours are forced together the result isn't harmony, it is mess.
But apart from the creation of a new colour, the coalition has been busy setting out how it will be the most reforming government since the 1832 Reform Act. In this brave new world of privately-educated people running the country, Nick Clegg said in yesterday's over-hyped speech on political reform: "...as we tear through the statute book, we’ll do something no government ever has: We will ask you which laws you think should go." Ermm...how about the laws on the punishment for murder? I'm sure the majority who want to bring back the gallows will greatly appreciated Nick's new openness. Hang on a minute, Clegg also said that “CCTV will be properly regulated, as will the DNA database, with restrictions on the storage of innocent people’s DNA." Yet the majority of the population supports the use of CCTV in the fight against crime and supports the storing of DNA from people who have been arrested.
Yes, they may be innocent, but if they go on to commit a rape or murder, as a tiny number have, I certainly wouldn't want to be the politician who had to look the parents of a dead child in the eye and say "sorry, we could have caught your child's murderer years ago, before he struck again, but the 2010 new government destroyed his DNA record because he was innocent at the time of an earlier arrest." Opposition is so much easier than government. Self-righteousness is so much more satisfying than calm, sober application of principles to the reality of difficult and complex situations.
I honestly wish the new government well, but I have to say I can't get the image of my toddler's messy paint-mixing out of my mind.