14 May 2013

I have argued for several years that MK is not a serious party. Its policies are not thought through and there are vast and ridiculous gaps in them. Its policies on interrelated devolution and funding are especially lacking in substance and detail. I have explored these lackings over several blogposts and in my last post, MK: Cornwall says no thanks, I suggested that MK really should listen to its candid enemies. I quoted Augustine of Hippo, learn from what your enemies say.

Well, on the heels of its poor unitary council election result, MK has started a members’ review of its policy on devolution. Such policy reviews are routine for parties after a disappointing election; nevertheless, it shows commendable sense and the beginnings of seriousness in MK. Of course, there are other MK policies that cry out for review but this is a start.

I hope MK does not simply rehash its present inadequate policies, new clothes on old frames. I hope this isn’t only about trying to make the present vacuous nonsense more palatable. The task MK faces is showing how local devolution would work, how it fits with localising power in the rest of England and increasing interest in English devolution; whether it sees a role for troubling nationalism in this MK devolution; and, importantly, how it would be paid for. Would the MK devolution be the end or a stage?

In the past MK has surrounded itself in vagueness but that is not an option now. There must be clarity.

My blogposts on MK raise some of the relevant questions and point to inadequacies in its policies. It will be interesting to see whether MK listens to its candid enemies as well as its members.

Perhaps I should add that Augustine also said, “Da mihi castitatem et continentam sed noli modo” (Confessions 8.7). Oh dear, I hope, understood politically, that isn’t the spirit of MK’s review.