I admit to being wound up by Jacqui Smith's on Question Time last night. "Cameron is a nice guy but he doesn't have any policies" line- This is my rant back tonight to the UK's home secretary.
You, Jacqui, are responsible for combating crime, in a country where violent crime has nearly doubled in 10 years, where our prison service does not act as a deterrent (88% of inmates are re-offenders) and 27 young people have been murdered on the streets of London this year. No wonder many people I speak to feel their local police are not in control. Surely you are prepared to at least listen to some alternative ideas?
What about the Conservative suggestion for locally elected police chiefs? Whats wrong with the idea that instead of drug addicts being offered more drugs one might try supporting abstinence rehab programs? Why should a sentence of 1 year not mean 1 year in prison?
Are you not worried about family breakdown? We have the highest rate in Europe. I know that most kids from single families are fantastic (my father died when I was 10). But Jacqui, as Home Secretary surely you know that a quarter of those in prison are children who have grown up in the care of the state? What is wrong with the Conservative suggestion to stop paying parents to live apart?
And then unemployment - surely as home secretary you are concerned about the 1.7 million people unemployed. Why not try the Conservative policy that if you are on "employment" benefit if you turn down a job, another job and then another job you might just not get your benefit.
Oh and NEETs, three quarters of a million young people not in employment, education or training - not a neat way to start a life. So why do you rubbish Conservative suggestions for a renewal of apprenticeships, careers advisers in every school and would you try National Citizen Service? - the 16 year olds I speak to are prepared to give it a go... why not you?
Perhaps as home secretary you have never met a person who is worried about their impending operation in case they catch MRSA or C-Dif? If you were you would have spoken to a doctor or two. They would tell you that to beat infections we must not only wash our hands and clean under the beds but ALSO isolate every infected patient. Conservative policy for single rooms in hospitals is not because a hospital should be a hotel but because having some single rooms saves lives.
Possibly as home secretary you have a driver to fill your car with petrol - and so have no interest in the fair fuel stabiliser? If you ever got out of the car you might have noticed that public esteem for politicians is at an all time low so why don't you give the public the referendum on the European Constitution that you promised?
To be fair you didn't meet the two mums that I did today who were at their wits end. Both their husband's companies have just announced a new round of redundancies... big businesses are packing their bags and upping sticks to lower tax countries and small companies are facing having their bags packed for them by administrators. What is wrong with reforming our arcane bankruptcy laws and cutting bureaucracy to make our corporation taxes more competitive?
Jacqui/ Alistair / Gordon we are in a global economic crisis and Britain's national debt is the worst in the world except for Pakistan, Hungary and Egypt. What do you offer? Nursery school for 2 year olds, home computers for 8 year olds and free theatre trips for 18 year olds.
Wake up - its not working - why not try out a Conservative policy?
It's late - that's my rant over and I could find a whole lot more weblinks if you wanted but remember Jacqui Smith MP for Reddich has a majority of only 2,716 votes.....