Good signs?

You know that the government is reconsidering it’s plans when you start seeing credit for an idea being placed on someone other than a NuLabour politician.

Which is why this is good news.

Labour opponents of the bill claim it was originally cooked up by over-zealous Home Office mandarins who have long wanted to extend the power of the state.

Former Home Office minister Kate Hoey said: ? I know having been through the Home Office in 1998-99 that it was always something that the officials were pushing.?

She added: ?It was always floating around even then. Home Office officials have been very keen to bring it up. They are not happy unless they are interfering in our lives.?

If I start seeing quotes like this from higher-ups in New Labour, then I’d expect plans to be quietly shelved for a while. Which would be a very good thing. But I’ll not hold my breath.

It also looks like the man who wears the trousers in the Blair/Brown relationship has his doubts about the plans.

The Chancellor has told allies of his fears about the mounting bill for the scheme, currently standing between ?6bn and nearly ?20bn.

Between ?6bn and ?20bn? So, it’s either a fricking huge sum of money, or three times a fricking huge sum of money. Way to narrow it down.

[lefty paper mode] How many hospitals/hip operations/police officers would six billion pounds pay for? And how many would twenty billion pay for? Surely the government realises that they’re not meeting all their conventional promises, so why are they wasting the People’s money on this? [/lefty paper mode]

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