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February 28, 2008



but ministers wouldn't be able to speak openly and give their real opinions. the minuted cabinet would be a sham, and teh real cabinet would be forced underground....bareknuckle cabinet meetings


So this would be a great idea if we had a better media?

Then perhaps we should try to figure out how to create one first.

Luis Enrique

I think you're way wrong here - it will not increase their incentives to argue for better policies, it will increase their incentives to utter bland slogans that they think are going to sound good to the media / voters, and turn cabinet meetings into weird political speech making charades. Real policy discussions will then take place somewhere else, in private.



While I usually either agree with you or find your arguments very interesting, I fear that househunting may turned your brains to mush.

You appear to be arguing for a more judicial sort of politics?


You've argued *against* this kind of thing in the past. Perhaps you should stay in London to avoid any more of these lapses?


he'll be less inclined to press it, and more inclined to press good arguments

Unless he's a member of the Cabinet, in which case the notion of collective responsibility comes into play and he'll support the poor policy.

Mark Wadsworth

Maybe S&M has a point. He pours out this stuff week after week, some of it is brilliant, some of it is crap, but we still sort of respect him and dip back in every now and then. If the same applied to minutes of cabinet meetings, sure, there'd be lapses, but it would make fascinating reading, in a sort of car-crash-politics sort of way.


My compliments, Mr D, on your closing remark.


"Real policy discussions will then take place somewhere else, in private."

Well think about this for a minute - do you really think policies are all made during cabinet discussions? I'd say the most important discussions go on somewhere else anyway, regardless of whether any minutes are published.

It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to assume that the members of the cabinet really do speak their mind either. I'd imagine they are a bit wary of each other after years in politics.

Peter Risdon

Bang on.

Dave Cole

It depends what you mean by cabinet minutes; the actual minutes are just a record of the decisions that were taken and are used in departments to work out what they have to do.

Would there be a difference, based on what you're saying, other than the sensational effect of TV, in broadcasting the meetings live?

I cannot help but feel that the effect of this would be to reinforce the informality that was criticised so much under Tony Blair's premiership - kitchen cabinets, sofa government and ratification of decisions rather than making decisions in cabinet.

Scott Hughes

I am almost always in favor of more transparency in government and leadership. Secrecy makes room for extra corruption and abuses of power.

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