(8) Vote Conservative... because of Francis Maude
In most of this 'Vote Conservative' series I've focused on policy (the biggest one is to come in part 10) but it's also worth noting the importance of the Implementation team being run by Francis Maude and Nicholas Boles.
One of the worst legacies of New Labour is that voters no longer believe a politician when they promise to do something. A failure to think policies through, constant reshuffling of ministers, a lack of attention to detail and endless reannouncements have fed this legitimate disbelief.
David Cameron has been determined to change this by (1) keeping frontbenchers in place so they master their briefs; (2) building policies on the rock of success in other parts of the world (eg Sweden's schools policy); (3) paying private and voluntary contractors by results; (4) limited Whitehall reform; and (5) by ensuring the Tories are better prepared for government than any opposition in modern times.
Because of the work of Maude's team, there is a business plan for every portfolio which sets out specifically what the four year objectives for each minister, what they will seek to achieve in the months after the election, what new legislation is required, what kinds of administrative action and secondary legislation is required, what kind of secondary legislation is required and how long these things are likely to take and how they will be measured [See this from Oliver Letwin].
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